"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Organizing Recipes

My parents built the house I grew up in so everything for the most part was custom built to what they wanted. In the kitchen was a built in desk. In the desk were two, really long skinny drawers for filing away 3.5x5 and 4x6 recipe cards. Brilliant.




As a Young Women's project, I assembled the above recipe box of my favorite recipes so that when I was off at college on my own without mom and dad cooking for me, I'd have some recipes I could make. The problem with this recipe box, which my husband often kids me about, is that it's only about 4 inches deep and 2 1/2 inches are desserts. I realize that this must really be a problem as I'm busily baking a cake, (just because), with no idea what to make for dinner and already planning my next dessert (Wendy's grandma's cookie recipe I got from Wendy's sister when we were roommates) I'm wishing that dinners could be that much more fun for me to make. Someone enjoys baking meals, right?

Several years ago I decided to assemble all of my family's recipes into a cookbook, sort of like schools or church groups do on occasion. I gathered dozens of recipes, typed them into my computer and then kept waiting for my mom to find her mom's such and such recipe, or for my brother-in-law to email me his recipe for something. Then I'd discover several new fun recipes to include, and my sister would make something yummy for Sunday dinner and I finally just gave up on ever completing it. We are a family of evolving recipes. We have the old standards, but I think each of us has a subscription to a cooking magazine.

Then, two Thanksgivings ago my sister-in-law showed up with a binder of recipes in plastic protective sleeves that she'd brought along to help contribute to the Thanksgiving feast. I thought this idea was great because I get a lot of recipes from magazines (ie: Taste of Home, Food and Family, Family Fun) or I print them off of various websites. Then I read this on The Pioneer Woman's website about her mom's enormous, coveted recipe binders. And I knew that this was definitely the way for me, to have all of my recipes organized. Although I might need a separate binder just for desserts.



Now I just have to print out all the recipes I have typed on my computer, make them, take their picture (I'm a bit partial towards cookbooks with recipes and when I say "a bit," I mean I won't buy a cookbook without pictures) and stockpile binders and plastic sleeves.

3 comments:

Ashby Family said...

You could sell that recipe book...I would buy it!

Jamie said...

I just barely finished compiling my recipe binder with the sheet protectors. For years I just had piles and piles and stashes of clippings, magazines, things i've printed out, etc. It was driving me crazy. So I finally made one and it's so much easier to use! I also ended up throwing away so many recipes that no longer looked appealing in any way. And I didn't even realize until after, but the sheet protectors protect from spills! Duh. I pasted all the little clippings onto the front and back of a paper, but I think eventually I would like everything typed out nice and somewhat uniform. I liked the smilebox idea that was in Family Fun, but for now this is good. You'll have to show us the inside of your binder, or share your favorites. So, I've been wanting to email you privately, but I don't have your email. I have 2 PF Changs recipes I can send you. My brother Ben worked there and I have the lettuce wraps recipe and the mongolian beef recipe. You can email me at an old account littlemajic@hotmail.com and we can share things that way. Then I can give you my current information and email which has my last name in it and all that private stuff.

wendys said...

A cook book definitely has to have pictures. My grandma (who has since passed away) denied ever making those cookies or having the recipe for them a few years after Tiff got the recipe from her. But we still call them Grandma's cookies.

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