Recipes, Recipes, Everywhere!
I love to cook. I love to peruse recipes. Before my last move I had a lot of cookbooks as well as many stacks of clipped recipes. When trying to downsize to move I realized that for many of my cookbooks, I only used a very few recipes. I did not want to pack whole books for 3 favorites. So, I made copies of those recipes and donated the books. I kept a few of my favorite books (which are practically falling apart from repeated usage), but the rest went.
I had my clipped recipes scattered in several places in my kitchen, so I gathered them up and grouped them by categories. As I read over them, I threw away ones I had not used in a long time (or never used). I made a folder for each category. Some of my categories are main courses (subdivided into beef, pork, chicken, and seafood), sides, salads, sandwiches, breakfast, vegetarian, deserts, and parties. I did keep one old recipe tin that had old handwritten recipes – some in my grandmother’s hand. I made copies of those favorite recipes because they were beginning to become illegible from the handling, but I still kept those original recipes in the tin more as memorabilia than ones I really used.
Every week when I plan my menus for the week, I pull out my stack of recipes and choose. In the past I would often just go online to look for a recipe rather than try to hunt though what I already had. With the new system each recipe is easy to find.
I love to try new recipes. I like to try something new almost every week. So, I am on the lookout in magazines and the newspaper or even on Facebook. When I look over the recipes sometimes, I will think, “Wow, that looks really good and I would love it if someone made it for me! But I know I will not ever fix it.” I read it and then just let it go. But other times I do think I will enjoy the recipe, so I clip it out. But here is my rule – I do not file it away until I have prepared it! I schedule it into my menus within the next week or two. Sometimes the recipe is a disappointment. Sometimes it is quite good but took way too much time to prepare. I enjoy the experience of trying something new but then I let it go. The keepers are then filed in the appropriate folder.
Once a year I schedule a time to review the recipes I have saved. Since I do keep adding to the folders, they need a clearing out. Recipes that no longer excite me or just have not been used at all for the last couple of years get tossed. This makes it easy to find the ones I do plan to use for the upcoming week.
I challenge you to look at the recipes and recipe books you have. How are they organized? Why do you keep them? How do you use them? Maybe it’s time to release some and enjoy the clear space.