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Trying to Get a Handle on Cooking

I have an old-fashioned tin recipe box that dates back to at least the time I graduated from college (1988). The lid is long gone, and the recipe collection itself is a mish-mash of different-sized recipe cards, pages from magazines, and computer print-outs. Some of the recipe cards date back to elementary school, and include a snickerdoodle recipe from my Brownie troop leader. I don't think I've ever actually tried to make it. (Come to think of it, I haven't actually tried to cook most of the old recipes.) The recipe cards include my favorite of my mom's recipes, but they are hand-written and not that easy to follow when actually cooking. The fact that there's no order or organization to the collection makes it next to useless in meal planning.

So I'm finally creating my own cookbook, one page at a time. I have a three-ring binder and a set of sheet protectors, and I'm starting to transfer the old recipes to full-size, large-print pages. I'm going to start actually trying the recipes I've been grabbing sporadically online, keeping the ones I like and discarding the others.

I also have more than half a dozen cookbooks which have seldom been used. Recipes from those pages are also going to be transferred to the binder as I work through them, for easy reference.

Some of the "recipes" are more memory joggers. For example, one of my favorite quick recipes is to boil some veggie rotini, add store-bought pesto and parmesan, and drop in some chunks of chicken cooked on my George Foreman grill. No recipe needed, really -- but nice to have when I'm wondering "what in the world can I make?"

Right now the "recipe book" is fairly utilitarian, but I have plans for making it more fun by annotating it with stories about family dishes, photos, and etc. One of the advantages to having it all on computer is that when Wolfling goes off on her own, it will be easy to make a copy to send with her.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 27th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
I love this sort of thing. I use a blank book and tabs in my cookbooks, but same basic idea.
Dec. 27th, 2010 06:00 am (UTC)

The memory joggers will also be useful for Wolfling, if she wants to make something and can't quite remember what you put in it.
Dec. 27th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
Awesome project! And must be in the air! Last week, I bought a 3-ring binder and index tabs and started organizing my stack of recipes. Have fun! :)
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 28th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion!
Dec. 28th, 2010 03:57 pm (UTC)

What a GREAT project!!

I have the same sort of thing in my kitchen, a mash up up magazine cut outs, hand written stuff, and printed cards from various sources, some of which I've never even thought about making.

I think you may have inspired me to do something similar! Transcribe one or two a day, nothing stressful or overly time consuming. Maybe I'll even take the laptop into the study where our home altar is set up to use the time as something almost meditative since I suck at traditional meditation =)
Dec. 28th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Transcribing them all at once felt overwhelming, but doing one or two at a time as I try them seems to be manageable. I'm also not hesitating to use my scanner when grabbing cookbook pages.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


Queen of Swords

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