It used to be that we cooks would keep recipes together in a neat little box, plastic or wood, and have our favorites ready to go at a moment’s notice. I remember the box my mother kept handy—that, and a copy of her red-and-white checkered, spiral-bound copy of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.
That’s the book she used to teach me about making a real pie crust, and how to make other classic kitchen basics. She had that, and the cards.
Fast forward, ah, several years and my husband and I have a weathered plastic blue box much like the one my mother had. He’s a cook, too, had worked as a cook for years, something that was an answer to my prayer as a single woman. I used to say, “Lord, send me a man who can cook.” I also like to cook and one of my favorite things to do is finding and trying new recipes. But I digress.
We have our own recipe box, and it contains my family recipe for French meat pie and my favorite recipe for chicken and dumplings. The card for the dumpling recipe has been smudged and needs replacing, if I get around to that.
Then there’s the recipe printouts that found their way into our cabinets. You might know the ones I’m talking about. You see a recipe at a site and think, “Oh, I must cook this.” And when I do, I save the printout. If I were more organized, I’d sit down and write out a card. But why do that when it’s already printed out, and a card is so much smaller? That, and we still had two kids at home at the time with a lot going on at once. So over time, those printouts stacked up.
With the Internet and many food companies having their own websites, I also have free memberships with those, for Betty Crocker, Kraft, etc. If you sign up with them, some years you’ll get a free wall calendar with more recipes!
A couple years ago, Pinterest entered my life, and it’s one of my favorite things yet. I have a board called Foodie Finds where I pin recipes to try, along with my comments before and after the fact. I have another board called Freezer Meals. As a fiction author and news reporter AND a grandma, having something to put in the slow cooker helps with my in-and-out schedule.
Recently, though, I came to the conclusion that I have TOO. MANY. RECIPES. I was officially on overload.
How can someone who likes to cook and explore have too many of those? It was when I realized I couldn’t find that one recipe I like, sweet and spicy one pot meat meal with vegetables and fresh ginger, the one I like to add sriracha sauce to? Was it from Aarti Party? Or Allrecipes.com? Or in those printouts? I knew I didn’t make a card for it. . .
That’s when I decided to start saving my recipes all in one place, on Pinterest. It’s not the same as a card or a recipe book, but it sure beats making printouts, and if I find a recipe on Kraft’s site or at Betty Crocker, I can simply pin it and be on my way.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming, I should be all set this year. I didn’t even mention my favorite cookie cookbooks!
What do you do to keep your recipes straight?