10 July, 2016

What's For Dinner?

This is a frequent sight in our kitchen: a grocery list is being populated with needed items based on recipes from the meals planned for the coming week. How do you tackle this task? My approach to the job has become something of a ritual. My recipes are stored in expanding folders labeled accordingly: main dishes, breakfast foods, breads and coffee cakes, vegetables, salads, etc. What appears to be a mess here is actually quite orderly (at least to my thinking). I know what I am looking for while hunting for my tried and true lasagna recipe: it's hand jotted on the end flap of the lasagna noodles box. Who else would know this? I'm guessing no one. But, that's the way I have saved all my favorites. Some are penned by my mother, my grandmother, my daughter, my mother-in-law; these are the treasured recipes, the ones I return to over and over. I know which one is on what sheet of paper by size, color and design. These are not the only recipes I possess, not by a long shot!
Nearly thirteen years ago Mr. Goodneedle built me this cookbook cabinet for my birthday. I desperately needed a way to organize an ever-growing cookbook library. It was designed for this space; I wanted it to be tucked away, in plain sight, in this corner of our kitchen. You can see how many cookbooks it holds; on the top shelf of the bottom section, behind the doors, is my box of "organized" file folders. Do I use all of the other numerous cookbooks in my collection? Occasionally, yes. Do I have other recipes in virtual folders on my computer? Of course I do; I use online sources for new recipes that I want to try and am constantly spurred on with additional ideas by sites like Pinterest too. And yet, where do I always return, week after week? Yep, you know it, those files crammed chock-full of handwritten recipes proven by generations to be exactly the meal that I had in mind; there is great comfort contained there. So, what's for dinner at your house?
Life is Good! 

10 comments:

Quiltdivajulie said...

My motley assortment of favorites are stored in clear 8.5 x 11 pages in a 3-ring binder (the smaller ones are sometimes taped onto a larger sheet of paper - 2 or 3 to a page). Sections include main dishes, side dishes, family favorites, bread machine, crock pot, dutch oven, and desserts. From the cookbooks I rarely used, I removed the few recipes we liked and added those to the notebook (recycling the rest). There is one section in the notebook for not-yet-tried . . . if they pass with approval they are added. If not, they are thrown away. That's how I handle it (and yes, there is a similar scene when I prepare for a week's grocery run)

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Yup. Exactly.

Paula, the quilter said...

I have some super strong magnets that I use o put up a blotter style calendar. I write the menu in the suares. All my recipes are on 3x5 index cards or folded pieces of paper kept in hose old style meal recipe card holders. I have recipes from multi generations of my family. I love to read the old ones: "take a piece of butter the size of a walnut". How big was that walnut? Have walnuts changed sizes in the last 100+ years?

Quilting Babcia said...

I have a clear box for storing 3x5 recipe cards, most typed out nearly 50 years ago, some handwritten by my mom, MIL and other relatives, then there is the family recipe binder compiled by my sister before one of the family reunions from 20 or so years ago; and yet another binder of recipes gleaned from various internet and other resources. Yes, cookbooks too, but like you, that recipe box and family cookbook are the two most often consulted! It works for us!

Shasta Matova said...

I tend to get recipe cards stained, so I have them on a word document on the computer, and print out the ones I need. A few years ago I got rid of all the cookbooks I hardly ever used. I only use a couple of books, and in one of them, there were some extra pages, so I added the tried and true recipes to it. After all I was already writing in it to note which ones I had tried and what we thought of it. At some point, I think I will paste over the recipes I don't like in it, and then I will have a special customized book.

Janet O. said...

Love your cookbook cabinet! What a treasure!
Went through a major cookbook purge after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease last year. Having to find new versions of lots of old favorites, so my methods are in transition. Right now many of my recipes are found on Gluten Free blogs, printed out and placed in clear plastic sleeves. I clip together these recipes by category. I really should get them in a book. : )

Ramona said...

Several years ago I made a recipe notebook for my daughter when she was getting ready to move out on her own. The favorite recipes were typed into the computer and printed for her notebook. I then copied recipes written by her grandmothers, great grand mother and great-great grandmother and added those to the book. She was thrilled to have those in there and to see their handwriting. There is a big pile of recipes in my cabinet that are like yours... on cards, scraps of paper, etc. They are a treasure for sure!

45th Parallel Quilter said...

Cookbooks! Oh, my!! I have waaaayyy too many of them ... love to read them, collect them and they are stored everywhere. Oddly, I know which ones are where so I can easily get to a recipe I'm looking for. BIG fan of storing new ones on the computer and printing out when I need it. Also have the 3 x 5 box with handwritten cards ... most from people no longer here so their handwriting is also a memory as well as the recipe. I am blessed with a big pantry ... we live a distance from town so I keep a lot of staples on hand (in addition to those items I can each summer/fall). My grocery list usually consists of fresh produce, bread, milk and those perishable items I need each week. Also restock whatever I've taken from the pantry that week ... especially important when we get into winter up here which can result in being housebound for days. Good topic ... interesting to see how others handle. Linda

Lindah said...

I did a major re-organization of the recipes a few years back. I had begun depending on the internet for interesting recipes, so out went all the cookbooks, but 3 --my pie book, my cake book and a southern-style book gifted by a family member. All the old faithfuls and historicals went into a 3" binder along with the stack of new favorites, divided up by category. In addition, a 1 1/2" binder contains the summer recipes and canning/freezing instructions. A recipe must be super-special to make it into either of these chock-full binders. Even so, there are so many wonderful and easily located recipes on the internet, I seldom remember to use the binders. I keep a running grocery list on the computer, ready to print out at any moment the family car is available for the trek to town. But now, oh now, the list is so short because the wonderful garden is supplying such succulent items for our meals.

cityquilter grace said...

when i moved in march, whittled down cookbooks and kept ones i use and my faves...a few years ago purchased a loose-leaf cookbook in which i put ones i use often and also family faves from my mom, grandmothers, etc. i wanted it to be a keepsake for my daughter in the future...if an internet recipe gets used regularly, it goes in the notebook with the other faves...i included side notes like where it came from, who originally made it, etc...so it's a sort of cooking history too..