Wednesday, June 17, 2009

a pinch of this, a pinch of that

most of us probably have a pile, folder, notebook or box with recipes almost bursting its seams. i had all of the above -- emails and aricles printed at work and at home, tear sheets pulled from magazines, recipe cards given to me by friends and family...they come from everywhere. this past winter, i finally devised a system for mine that alleviated my anxiety surrounding the recipe box vs. recipe book controversy. where does this controversy play out, you ask? in my very own mind. well, the solution i arrived at involves both book and box and makes me not dread recipe exchanges or bridal shower recipe cards.

there is real value in the book approach - it can be easily flipped through and added to without the need for neat writing or transferring. i use a thick binder with plastic sleeves to protect each page from tearing while in the book, and also to protect them from food and liquid while cooking. my book is very generally organized into four sections - appetizers, soups/salads, entrees and desserts and then crudely separated by type within those categories, but without dividers. i like it to be as easy as possible to stay organized, which means as few steps as possible.

the book is my complete recipe collection and is always growing - it includes ones i've tried and ones i have not. the ones i have made and been happy with are marked with stars, and also printed on recipe cards that are kept in a countertop box. this way, when looking for recipes, i have choices of where to look - if i'm looking for ideas, i look in the book and have access to new and old recipes. if i am looking for a specific recipe then i look in the in much smaller collection, arranged by category in the box.

in the front of the recipe box, i keep cards with kitchen measurement conversions and meat readiness temperatures so that i have the information handy when and where i need it.

this book/box solution addresses my desire for a recipe system that is both thorough and finite. love when that happens.

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