Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Homemaking Tips- Organizing- "Sort through your Recipes"

Do you do as I do and print out recipes from your favorite cooking sites?  Or scrawl the recipes on whatever scratch paper that you have at hand?  Do you collect cooking magazines or rip out recipes from Ladies magazines with the intention of trying them out someday?
Where do all of these recipes end up?  and how do you find them when you want to?

After a year of adding these mismatched papers and torn magazine pages to twenty-plus years of other favorite recipes, the assortment was overflowing and tumbling out of my Hoosier cabinet like Niagra Falls that could not be damned up.  I needed to get them organized so that I could find the recipe that I am in search of when I need it.
This week's tip is to sort through your recipes.

For twenty years I have had my recipes organized in two boxes: one for deserts and the other for entres. However, it was long ago that the recipe cards began to overflow these two little boxes.  I have so many now that when I open the door of my Hoosier cabinet where they are housed, the cards tumble out!

I had had the intention of doing this project since last winter and in my quest I have found that there are many ways recipe cards can be creatively stored.  With the renewed rage in cooking these days you should be able to find these kind of recipe holders in a wide variety.  I have found several recipe holders that are similar to photo albums, the kind that you could slip a photo (or recipe) in its own individual sleeve.  The other day I purchased one that can stand on its own with the recipe card sealed in plastic so that it will not get my messy-cook fly-aways on it.  I like the stand because my messy fingers always leave marks on the cards.  (Messy cooks are good cooks right?)  I am saving this one for cookie recipes.  

When I have a recipe card I use a metal reicipe card holder that I have acquired, this helps from me having to pick up the card so often. By the way I have bought an assortment of attractive blank recipe cards and will rewrite all of the ones covered in grease spots or the ones that I had printed out from the computer onto paper.  They will be much easier to find in this form that just papers sitting on a shelf.  Also, if you are going to take the time to rewrite the recipe, make sure it is one that you want to keep.  I have been sorting through and finally tossed into the garbage many reicipes that my family does not like, or I accumulated with the intention of trying (like Greek moussaka that I never did make).  I will categorize the recipes such as Breakfast, Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Entres: Beef, Poultry, Seafood, Deserts, Cookies, Drinks, and Holiday Specials. In all honesty this has been an ongoing, albeit quite relaxed summer project for me- but the progress is apparent and I appreciate my efforts when it is time to meal plan.   

I love to receive recipe cards in the giver's handwriting. When I pull the cards from their recipe box and begin to cook I immediately feel close and connected with the person that graciously shared their cooking secrets.  Some day (not this week!) I would like to create a recipe journal or recipe scrapbook of family recipes. I would like to give one to each of my daughters (and future daughters-in-law). But until I have time to undertake that project I would just like to organize my cards so that they are not overflowing in the boxes.

Look forward to the soon-coming Fall days when the chill in the air will bring a desire to fill your kitchen with the waft of sweet smelling baked goods and comfort foods and your recipes will be ready and waiting for use.

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