I have a horror of cookbooks. Let me rephrase: I have a horror of collecting cookbooks. I do not like the thought of looking for a recipe amongst a sea of culinary texts that I rarely, if ever, open. My ideal is to have one well loved recipe card collection in a well-organized book, with a few well-loved cookbooks on the side that I do manage to open once a month or so. This age of the Internet helps me in this endeavor a good deal. If I’m looking for a new soup recipe, I can google it rather than purchase a soup cookbook. Within the hour I have printed out the recipe and may have started on dinner. There’s just one problem with that….
A plethora of 8 1/2 by 11 pages with one recipe on each threatens to overtake my cookbook/recipe book space.
Lately, I’ve tried to cull the paper clutter by writing out the recipes I find on 4×6 index cards–because I only print what I figure we’ll like, and I always intended to eventually write out the recipes from that plethora of pages anyway. In the recipe book, I’ll find it again, but in that mess of papers, I might not, at least until the next time I thumb through them.
Another means of saving recipes is having an online recipe box, or so I’ve found on the Better Homes and Gardens website. This year I signed up for their 100 Days of Holidays newsletter just for kicks. I skip the Halloween ideas for the most part, as we don’t go in for the macabre and also don’t do more than take the kids up and down our street for trick-or-treating. However, they’ve started sending ideas for Christmas baking, and one of those that appealed to me was this toffee recipe (click the picture for a link).
There’s only one problem with an online recipe box: you may forget what you have saved. For instance, I completely forgot that I had saved this same recipe to my online recipe box last year. Looks like it’s time to pull out the index cards again!
One day I will have a perfectly organized recipe system. I’m sorely tempted by this gem, offered by one of my favorite artists/illustrators. I own several of Susan Branch’s cookbooks/seasonal books that include recipes. When my sister-in-law gave me the Heart of my Home cookbook, I read it like a novel. It’s not everyday you receive a cookbook that has a different embellishment/illustration for each recipe–which, I might add, was handwritten. And yes, I do open it at least once a month. 😉