One of the reasons I have started buying cookbooks more often is I loathe paperwork. Yes, the convenience and no-financial cost of being able to print recipes from the internet can not be beat but I can not keep up. Going through all the recipes I had printed out took me over a week last month, a week!
I started off by going through each and every recipe and asked myself, when did I print this out? If it was over a year ago and I am no closer to making it today then I usually toss it. If it is a special recipe for a dessert and I am just waiting for that perfect moment to make it, I will probably hold on to it.
During this process I am ruthless. I tear them out of my binder and throw the rejected recipes on the floor and move on.
Here is the tricky part. How do you organize them? I have two binders, one for cooking and one for baking. Baking is pretty easy, I divide the recipes up by what type of baked good they are: cake, cookie… but what about things like a recipe for raspberry coulis or a strawberry fool? I just ignore the fruit and file the coulis under “C” and the fool under “F”. I used to be very uptight and make sure that part was perfectly alphabetized. Then I would have a stack of recipes to be filed and I would never file them. No wonder!
The cooking binder drives me bonkers! Right now I have the main dishes divided up by the kind of meat that is involved. I tried once to just have sections for Asian, Mexican… but they would get ignored because I would ask myself, “OK, what can I make with ground beef tonight?” and have to go through all of them. I do not like having the sections divided up by types of meat but so far, this is the easiest way for me to browse and find main dishes I want to make. From there it is divided up into sections such as: side dishes, soups, bread, dips…
Then I have another folder. The purple one in the photo above. This folder is for my regulars. I do not want to have to go through my big binders on a regular basis to find something I make three times a month. I have divided that folder up between cooking and baking and find this has saved my mind and spirit in the kitchen. Minimal handling and organizing of recipes, as well as heavy binders.
I bet there are a million ways to organize recipes and I would love to hear your ideas!
Is there anyone else who gets panic attacks just looking at their pile of recipes or am I the only one?