Kristina over at Pioneer Woman at Heart and Susan at e-i-e-i-omg! have been talking recently about working their way through their stash of "to try someday" recipes they've accumulated.
Kristina has been pulling out a not-yet-tried recipe, taping it on her refrigerator and making an effort to use it before the week is out. Susan commented that she has a stack of new recipes about two inches thick.
To Susan I say, "Piffle! Move over, girl. I've got you beat by a long shot."
Do you see that open box pictured above? The dimensions of it are 12" x 16" x 11" high. It sits in the bottom of my clothes closet. It is nearly full to the brim with recipes and other food ideas I've clipped out of magazines or newspapers, found on the Internet or in other bloggers' posts.
Each fall I make a To Do List for the coming slower (ha!) winter months. "Go through and try or toss all saved recipes" is always on the list. For how many years I'd be embarrassed to say. (I probably can't count that high.)
So, being sensible about this situation, should I make it a priority (and just how would I do this short of hiring an armed guard to stand over me?) to really, truly dig into this box or should I take it all to recycling and unceremoniously dump the whole content in the scrap paper bin?
Anymore, I actually feel a bit of guilt printing out a new recipe to try or clipping one from a magazine. Why even bother adding more to my box in the closet when I know those at the bottom of the stack must be ten (or even twenty -- oh, my!) years old?
Do you save recipes to try? Do you place them in your super-organized filing system? Or do they get squirreled away helter-skelter in a cardboard box like mine? When you come across something that sounds like it will be a new taste treat for your family, do you make it immediately? Or are you like me and it takes you years to dig it out and actually try it? Don't be afraid to confess. After thinking about this, I'm hanging my head in shame and feel it is definitely time to do something with that box in my closet. Goodness knows, I can use the space for my four new pairs of Manolo Blahnik shoes. Hahaheeheeheehohohoho!
The Walk Back
38 minutes ago
I only clip a recipe or print one out if I am going to make it for a meal that same day. I'm not the biggest fan of having piles of paper sitting about, so that is how I handle my pickyness about paper. I do however sometimes save a recipe if it looks like it will be a winner with my family - on my computer. I go through and delete the ones I've not used in 3 or 4 months - figuring they weren't that important anyway. The ones that I do print/clip and use go immediately into my little Nabisco Recipe Box that I've have for over 40 years - when it gets too stuffed I sort out the recipes I've not used in months, to make room. One recipe that I've always kept - and used - is for corn tortillas that a friend taught me to make when we lived in Kansas in the 70s and no stores sold tortillas. (We moved there from California and had to have friends send us the spices for Mexican food, as that was available in stores there either). No wonder we couldn't wait to get back to California when my husband finished college in three years.
Hey, there, Mama Pea:-). Here's my system that kind of works for me...if I see a recipe online that I want to try but am not going to make it that day, I pin it on pinterest (this is the only way I use pinterest). I go to my pinterest board when I want to make something new. If I have a certain ingredient I need to use and search for a recipe using it online (or am ready to use a pinterest one), I scratch the recipe on a scrap piece of paper. If we like it, I put it on the winner pile to eventually be transferred into my recipe binder. If we don't like it, it goes in the trash. But I have something radical to suggest about your box. Recycle the whole works. You will feel as free as a bird;-).
I sorted my large box of recipe by seasons, now I sorting by do I want to make it this month, if not out it goes.
I save them on my computer or just add the page to my favourites, if it is one I have tried and liked I write it in my recipe book, I dont cut out of magazines if I see one I really fancy have a go at I write it in my book :-)
Recipes to try end up in a kitchen drawer---so I can't let it build up too much or I wouldn't be able to shut the drawer!
Me? ---I'd take the box to the recycling center. Then---you can start collecting more!!
I'm all over the place - some recipes are wonderfully organized in binders (and never touched again), some are piled on my desk, some are pinned, and some I try immediately. Definitely need to figure out a better way. I think I'll give the binders to my niece and just start over...
I keep documents on my computer in a folder entitled "Recipes To Try". There is one document, for instance, for cookies, one for canning, one for salads, and so on. I use the "paste special" function, which doesn't bring pictures and links with it, and then there's almost always a little cleanup of extra lines and so on that necessary but oh, well. If the recipe is a process and I need the pictures, I will paste it to a separate document all it's own, and then to protect the contents from disappearing if, for instance, the blog gets taken down, I will convert the document to a pdf file. There's a free converter available on downloads.com called PDF Redirect version 2 that I use. It's very simple, you just use your print function, once the program's installed, and choose PDFredirect off the list of printers. It doesn't make it print, it converts the document, and then you can save it wherever you want to. Or print it, whatever.
When I'm ready to try the recipe I print out just the page it's on. If we don't like it, I delete it off the document. If we do like it, I cut and paste it from the "Recipes To Try" folder documents to the ones in my "Cookbook" folder, which also has a separate document for each classification.
If I see a recipe in a magazine that looks interesting, I will cast around to see if there's a comparable recipe for the same thing somewhere online. AllRecipes.com is a good one to start with, but there are many places to look. I'm too lazy to type up recipes to store and I'm not very good at managing paper.
Years ago, I kept a 3-ring binder with tabs to separate categories, and I'd tape recipes to notebook paper. If I didn't like the recipe when I tried it, I'd just put a big "X" across it. I still have that binder somewhere, with lots of untried recipes in it. It's just Hubs and me and we don't have very big appetites or much interest in anything very "exotic" so some things are just pointless to keep.
Mine is a stack on top of my row(s) of cookbooks, and I haven't gotten around to using some of THOSE cookbooks yet either! My name is Joy, and I'm a recipe junkie.
JoAnn - You sound very organized and disciplined! You are probably very right in saying if you haven't used a recipe in 3 or 4 months, it's not worth saving!
Jane - Keep encouraging me to toss the whole box. I have a feeling that would be the right thing to do! :o}
Sue - Somewhere in that mess in the box, I have started to sort the recipes by category . . . you know, salads, soups, desserts, etc. I've never thought of sorting them by seasons although I do have certain recipes that I make at only certain times of the year.
Dawn - So interesting the way we all handle recipes in a different way! Love reading all your different ways.
Sue - That's what I'm afraid I'd do if I dumped this whole box I've collected . . . just start all over with the same bad habit!!
Cr - But "start over" in what way? Hmmmmm? The same way? Or using a different method?
Ilene - Wow, you seem VERY organized! Much better (and more sensible) than my "box" method!
Joy - It's good to know what we are . . . and to admit it! Thanks for the laugh!
Mine are scattered hither & yon. It's on the task list as a retirement chore. We'll see if I get it done. I also have about a year's worth of magazines to go through. I am a book person but found myself with about 10 magazine subscriptions recenttly. They just get piled awaiting me to flip through them.
Don't ya just wish you could just eat it from the picture? I finally started saving by tearing out of magazines instead of saving the whole magazine, I know I'll never cook any of them but they look so delicious, I need to find a recycle bin a big bin.
DFW - Yes, I have a magazine "problem" right now, too. I've been cancelling my subscriptions right and left because I was finding they came in and I just tossed them on the bottom shelf of my nightstand . . . and never get around to reading them. When I take my box of (untried) recipes to recycling, I should take the magazines to the library!
Tombstone Livestock - What I REALLY wish for is a live-in cook who would make all those luscious sounding untried recipes for me! I would be oh-so-glad to sample, sample, sample.
I'm not the cook in our family but I still collect recipes. I always think that one day I'll become better at cooking meals but then I actually try a recipe and it ends up horrible.
I tend to keep recipes I find online in a file. After a year or two if I haven't tried them the whole file will get dumped. I do have a pile of paper recipes that I printed but I stopped printing them and just store them in my computer files now. The only time they get printed is if I am actually going to cook the recipe.
Now if I could just get rid of all the health and cook books I have I'd have more room for all the other books I read.
What is it about recipes! It's so hard to pass up something that looks like a "must try." My problem is that I bookmark them and then lose them. I have dozens and dozens of recipes bookmarked over three web browsers and I never seem to be able to find them again. Worse, I forget about them and later discover I've bookmarked the same recipe years apart. Then when it comes to cooking, I always make the same half-dozen dishes I always make!
Sparkless - I don't keep any recipes on the computer . . . guess I'm old-fashioned enough that I have to have that hard copy. Must admit it makes for more of a mess to keep around though!
Oh, Leigh, had to laugh at you saying you cook the same half-dozen dishes over and over. Don't we all? Why is that? Because of the convenience? Or that we know it will taste good when with a new recipe, one can never be sure? On the other hand, it really IS hard to pass up a recipe that appeals to our mental taste buds. What we all need is a cook that will prepare all those new recipes for us to critique!!
Just found your blog. I think I will return! I have quite a few recipe books and prefer to collect them but i have a folder near my cooker separated into sweet baking, savoury baking, chicken and turkey dishes, other meat dishes, rice pasta and pulses, vegetable dishes, soups, puddings and desserts, bread, snack sauces sides. I wold descrive myself as a little OCD but I also love being organised to the point that I enjoy that it annoys people at times.Ha ha! Looking forward to following and reading more of your blog.
Louise - Thanks for commenting! And welcome to my blog.
Sounds to me as if you're quite organized with your recipe folder. I've started to separate all those recipes in my box into such categories, but that kinda went by the wayside too long ago!
Hi Mama Pea. Your blog is now on my blog list of blogs to inspire me and my visitors.
Sorry about not commenting sooner, I've been out of town. Just here for a short bit, then back out of town.
I wanted to say, yes I collect recipes and try to use them right away.....unless of course I have one of my senior moments, or as I call them a brain fart....then they accumulate in a plastic binder on my kitchen appliance stand.
Sandy - Kudos to you for (usually) trying out a new recipe right away. It just makes sense that if a recipe sounds good enough to clip out or print out, it is something we're really interested in and will try it pronto. (If only I could be that way!)
Here's hoping your life gets back to its regular routine soon. Hugs.
I do have a suggestion that might work for many of us. Keep your recipe box next to your chair at night. Sort them and pick one or two out a week to try. Look for the vintage ones that may not be around so much. Share the recipe if it is a good one. We can all do that if you like.Rate it and tell us what was good or bad about it and if you would change anything before trying it again. That way we can pick up some new ideas and get rid of the recipes that we did not care for.We can definitely give credit where it is due if we need to.
One more thought, if we try to plan meals it will be easier to add a new recipe then. If we have to go grocery shopping, we can add what ingredients are needed for the recipe to the list. Diana
born2late - Your idea is a tempting one! In another blog I read someone's suggestion we all try a new recipe each day. (That might be a bit much.) Actually, right now as we're trying to finish up our (long) list of summer projects, I know I can't take the time to try a new recipe even once or twice a week. I'm lucky to get decent meals on the table at all. Winter time is my time for experimenting with new recipes. Maybe this winter I'll make it through that big, ol', box of recipes I have!
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