Organizing Recipies

 sweet potato casserole1.jpgI know Thanksgiving is near when my best friend calls me asking for “that sweet potato casserole recipe”.

Now, I don’t bake sweet potato casserole.  My husband has an aversion to sweet potatoes.  And I know I’ll get my fill of the slightly sweet and creamy goodness at my parents’ house on Thanksgiving day.  Because I don’t bake it, I don’t have easy access to a sweet potato casserole recipe. 

A couple years ago, my best friend volunteered to make it for a gathering she was attending.  She didn’t have a recipe so she called me.  We spent the next couple hours on the phone rummaging through my cookbooks.  I would call out the ingredients to her and she would then decide if it sounded good enough to prepare for Thanksgiving.  She finally picked one, made it, and declared it a great success.  End of story…or so I thought.

The following year, a couple weeks before Thanksgiving, she called wanting the same recipe.

“Which one was it?” I asked. 

“I don’t know.  It had vanilla in it.” she said.

We narrowed it down to a particular cookbook.  Unfortunately, there were 5 different recipies in the one cookbook.  After another 2 hours were spent trying to decide which one it was, she hung up the phone with 2 recipies written down and a plan to experiment.  I bookmarked the page.

I had asked her why she didn’t keep the other one.  “I did, but I don’t know where I put it!”  Does that sound familiar?  How many recipies have you tried and loved but could never make again because the recipe was lost?  It never has to happen to you again!

This Thanksgiving, you will probably enjoy foods that have become part of the tradition in your household.  Grandma’s casserole, Grandpop’s gravy, cousin Jill’s macaroni & cheese, and your cream cheese pie everyone loves.  Get those recipes and save them!

When I find a recipe I enjoy,  I type it up on the computer, print it out, place it in a clear plastic sheet protector and file it away in a 3-ring binder.  Although I have a vast library of cookbooks, my binder is the one most often reached for.  Every recipe is one we have tried and liked.  It includes experiments from our kitchen as well as recipes passed down through the years.  The pages have notes on them about a new seasoning or who liked what.

Because the recipes are typed out on the computer, I can easily email a page or print one out quickly to share with family and friends.  I can remove one recipe when I need it instead of having to have the whole book taking up counter space and the sheet protectors keep the pages clean and intact.  If I get a spill on one, I can just wipe it clean!  If I pull a recipe out of a magazine, I can just slide it in a sheet protector and I’m done (plus I’ll have a great photo of the dish).  No more lost recipes!

When my children are grown, I plan to make three copies of the collection and send each child off – each with their own history of family favorites.

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