Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Calling All Cooks!

I am not very good at organizing anything.  I procrastinate all chores that deal with organization.  Now that we are moving I am starting to think that a bit of organization would be a good thing.  Several weeks ago, my mom asked me for a recipe.  I made it at Christmas.  I remember writing the recipe down on an envelope or maybe it was a note card or perhaps a scrap piece of paper.  I can't really recall.  I have searched high and low for this recipe the last few weeks.  I KNOW I have it.  I just can't find it.  I use the recipe book in the above picture as my go to book.  My Dad made this book for me several years ago.  I had the best intentions of using it correctly.  I just haven't gotten around to it yet.  I place all of my favorite recipes collected from friends and family in this book.  See all the loose leaf papers.  Those are my treasures. 

The funny thing about my lack of organization in the recipe department is that for the most part I KNOW where most everything is.  If I want to make Cheri's Garlic Knots or Pan Bread, those recipes are located in the front stack of papers.  If I want to make Concetta's Baby Cheesecakes, they are in the front pocket.  The problem comes when I am making something that I don't make very often.  I have trouble finding the recipe...like Peanut Clusters in the Crockpot that my mom requested over two weeks ago!

Remember confession is good for the soul so here is my confession...This is my cookbook shelf.  I use all of these cookbooks.  I use some more than others, but there is nothing here that I want to purge from my life.  See that Taste of Homes magazine?  There are about 10 of our favorite recipes in there.  Do I cut them out?  Do I keep the whole book?  Should I label the front of the book?  (Keep in mind that I KNOW where most everything is if I need it.  The problem comes when I have to give directions to someone else living in the house to find a recipe.  It goes something like this...."Go to the Taste of Home Magazine that I bought 3 summers ago. It is a thick magazine, but I don't remember what is on the cover.  Oh, I bet it is something grilled.").   Well, you get the picture.

My question to you:  How do you organize your recipes?  What about your magazines that contain recipes?  What do you do with those recipes that you use most often?  Am I the only one out there that has a problem in this area???  Do I need professional help?  I can see me now..."Hi, my name is Julie. I have a problem with recipes."

grace and peace,


Carmen S. said...

LOL, I can think of worse problems than recipe organization, I think your being too hard on yourself:) Here's what I do.. for cooking magazines I tape a slip of lined paper on the front cover and write down every recipe I make or want to make from that mag. and the page number. For recipes I print from online or cut out, etc. I buy the big spiral notebooks, then tape each recipe into the book starting at the front (number the pages) Then starting in the back of the book on the last page I write the recipe name and page number it is on, this way you can move towards the front(backwards) with your index and towards the back with your recipes:) Any recipes on "recipe cards" go in a regular card box and are labeled per category. I hope this is of some help, it tends to work out well for me:)

TnFullQuiver said...

..."Hi, my name is Julie. I have a problem with recipes."......"and closets"

Concetta said...

Didn't I do an organized cookbook for you years ago???? What happened to that book?? Did it go the way of the communion bread??
I expect a full report!
Love you,

bsadams said...

I also use a 3ring binder and just put the recipes that I copy or tear out of magazines in sheet covers and organize in categories, but I also have a family favorites cook book and any recipe that everyone loves and that will definitely be made over and over goes in this book and that works out great for us, hth :)

idigpotatoes said...

i have recently consolidated every loose recipe i have used and like in to a fat 2 or 3 inch, 3 ring binder. recipes i want to make are in a number of folders. the cookbooks are a whole different story but i have cleared most of them out. so for new recipes, When i make it, it either goes in the binder or the garbage. This has only been a problem once, when a friend asked for a recipe that i made but didnt like so i pitched it, i then sounded a lot like you but to the library ladies. i checked this book out, about 3 years ago, i think it was southern or something, maybe midwestern. the recipe page had flowers on it. luckily i knew it was from my library which is smaller and i ended up finding it by looking for the book on the shelves. the binder works for me, i divided stuff in to general categories. i can flip through it now and find what i need.

Lois Christensen said...

I have two different ways of organizing my recipes. First, I type them out in a program on my computer or I copy and paste a recipe I found on line and then save them in a separate file called "recipes." Very creative, I know. I include pictures also. Love doing it on the computer.

But I also have my good old trustee 3 ring binder that is organized with different categories and I have printed out the recipes from my computer and have them in this binder as well.

~ Jackie said...

I am a compulsive recipe hoarder, although I have to admit I save more than I actually make. :)

I have a recipe box, that I use for all of my old family recipes (that were originally put on 4x6 cards) and new recipes that I print from online sources that give me the opportunity to print them 4x6.

I don't file new recipes in the catogory part of the box until I've made them, and know my hubby likes them. (He is a little pickier than I am.) They fit just right in the lid, which makes it easy for me to flip through the new ones now and then when I am wondering what in the world I want to make for dinner. :)

I tear out whole page of magazines that have recipes on them, and I keep them in one spot on my desk next to the computer. When I have a few minutes, (usually when I have to make phone calls that I know will require me being on hold for a while...) I type them using Word, and save them in the computer. Every couple of months I back my recipe file up to disk.

I like the sheet protector idea in a notebook, too. If you just put a bunch of empty pages in each category, it would be easy to stuff new recipes (magazine pages) when you got them.

Good Luck!

Boysaplenty!! said...

Ummm....my name is ummmm....Pam and I have a problem with recipes too!!! My recipe collection looks a lot like yours and NOBODY can find a thing except me. I don't know if you can relate to this but I can "see" the recipe in my mind whether it is handwritten or old typewriter style from the first cookbook I have ever owned that came from a local church fundraiser or from a magazine. The only magazine it would be is Taste of Home and let me tell you I do have a stack of those treasures. Yep. I can relate to everything you are describing today! Each summer I tell myself I am going to transfer all of my favorites to the computer then print them for a backup copy. That just never seems to happen. However, I am taking notes of all the great ideas given to you though. Ahh, there is help for us Julie!!

TNfarmgirl said...

Deep breath! You have rescued me for 8 years - now it's my turn. I'm planning a day and coming with an arm full or "organizing stuff" - when I leave..it will be done! I might bring soap too - just for fun!

Hi...my name is Cheri and I am an organizing nut - both cookbooks and closets....

This is going to be FUN!!!!!!!

Call you tomorrow and we'll set the date....hope I can sleep tonight...

ssshhhh...don't tell the 10 step program people.....

Anonymous said...

I love readding, and thanks for your artical. ..............................

Unknown said...

cherie, me too, me too!!! i also collect all the christmas magazines every year for recipes. it is almost ridiculous. i'm always going to do it "in just a minute" but then who knows what? but ME TOO!!!

Anonymous said...

LOL.. you're totally not alone! I don't have quite the impressive collection of cookbooks you possess just yet but I do have something my family refers to as,"The Big Black Book of Scary." LOL It's a book with TONS of my favorite loose recipes in it! lol

Here's what helped me. (I'm still working on it but Ive done more than I expected and it's helped immensely) I bought a 4x6 index card holder. I made dividers out of poster board. Then I opened the Big Black book and one by one I began writing down those recipes to the cards and filing them. I also transfer the ones I have saved online that are family approved. I do this with my most fav recipes from my books too. It saves me tons of time. :)

Oh, I started a new Blog very recently... here's the link :)