Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It's Little, But It's All Mine...

Last week, I lamented that recipes I'd printed were a pocket of chaos in my life. Saturday was a quiet day at home, and while Andrew worked on his comic collection, I decided to tackle the recipes.

I started by putting in season one of Clatterford that I'd checked out of the library. Proper mood is important.

Then I gathered plastic sheet protectors and the pile of recipes and spread out on the floor. I put all the recipes I thought I might use in a sheet protector... and then I ran out of sheet protectors.

Many of the recipes are only 1 side of a page, so I knew I could double up on a lot of the sheet protectors. That meant that I had to figure out how to organize them so I didn't have a spicy black bean salad in the same sheet protector as a fruit trifle recipe.*

I made a few piles, became overwhelmed, left the mess all over the floor and enjoyed Clatterford for awhile from the couch. This process repeated itself a few times. It's tricky to organize recipes, perhaps especially so when they're all vegetarian.** Is poached pears a side dish or a dessert? Is fake chicken salad a salad or a sandwich? I found that nearly everything was an entree in my mind. I don't cook that often, and I certainly don't make cohesive meals. If I make a new recipe, it gets the place of honor (perhaps beside something we pulled out of the freezer) regardless of what it is.

In the end, I decided that having them stuck in binders made them easily flippable, and two 1.5" binders were manageable even if the organization within them was imperfect. I have them roughly divided: salads, soups, sandwiches, desserts, entrees.

My hope is that I will flip through these to admire their tidiness and be inspired to make something that I thought looked good enough that I bothered to print it off in the first place.

If not, at least they're organized.

*Those of you who know me know that this is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night.

**I asked Andrew if he wanted to go through the recipes I was planning to throw away, and I would add any he thought he might make. He declined, and as I am slowly beginning to accept that he has even less interest in cooking than I do, I threw meat recipes away unless I was particularly interested in making them vegetarian. (There were two of those, I think.) I decided if it had meat in it, I would never make it and it didn't earn a sheet protector.


  1. LOL! Love your cookbook neatness--because we all know how neatness counts. I laughed because when I 'turned the vegan leaf'--my recipes were spread all over the bed and my dogs started ripping them apart--so that solved a lot of my what-to-keep problems for me!

  2. Okay, I have one more thing to add--I did rip a scarf I was working on to pursue the lace scarf you posted yesterday--I just loved it! (I made the Talia vest--love it!-- from that issue of Knitty and totally forgot about the lace scarf--glad you reminded me!)

  3. Please tell me you have these in searchable electronic format on your "computing-device-of-choice."

    Cause THEN on the day you realize you don't really want to hit the store and need to survive on the current contents of your quaint kitchen (ah, alliteration attack! Ahh! Again! AAAhh!)


    Ok, better. Close one!

    Where was I? Oh, right.

    Then you can search for "olive oil" and "red potatoes" and "1/2 cup salsa."

    And then a meal will magically appear!

    (That's how cooking works, right? Like creating a super-solution in Chem lab, and watching the precipitate fall out of invisibility?)