Friday, April 27, 2012

Taming the Recipe Collection

I have this image in my mind of a beautiful recipe collection, a full-page professional looking illustrated recipe on each page, categorized and neatly filling a three-ring binder. Each of my collected recipes, torn from a magazine, scribbled on a restaurant coaster or printed from the internet, would be perfected to our own liking before it is included in this compelling volume.

What I have in reality is a massive accumulation of recipes in various sizes and styles, jammed into a couple of overflowing file folders, a recipe box, and one fat binder. They are not "arranged" in any order and I end up finding new ones online instead of digging through all my untamed receptacles for that particular recipe I was thinking about.

A portion of my recipe collection

So I am consolidating my recipes.

I've gone through the recipes and taped each of the odd-sized ones onto a piece of printer paper. That way all the pages are the same size, and I can make notes on them as I experiment with them. (When you are a gluten- and dairy-free cook, you do a lot of tweaking.) My goal is to get them all sorted by type and put them into a big fat three-ring binder.

This process has several advantages. For one thing, it helps me cull duplicates. (I had no idea I had a dozen blueberry muffin recipes!) It also makes it much easier to find a specific recipe, but I guess you knew that without my mentioning it. And as I make the notes on the recipes I tweak I can get them just how I like them.

Goal - to get each recipe transformed from one form to the other

This process is also long. My recipes may never make it into that three-ring binder with a photo of each one. But if they do, I'll get to use my all-time favorite office supply: page protectors! I love those things! I'll slip two recipes, back to back, into a page protector and smile at how well the page protectors keep those recipes from getting messy.

What have you done to tame your recipe collection? What tips would you like to share? We'd love to hear them!


Mrs.N said...

WOW -is all I can say to your recipe collection!! I can totally understand getting that far and collecting so many..I am a bit of a collector myself of certain things. It will feel wonderful to get it all under control and organized!! Ganbatte as we say in Japan!

Ginger said...