Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday at the Table

There's something I haven't told you about myself. I am a recipe hoarder. For years, I have been collecting a stash of recipes - many of which I have actually used, yes. But many saved for "someday". There are the old-fashioned but precious-to-me recipe boxes. We all have those. I happen to have three. 5"x11". Mostly hand-written recipes from family and friends from days gone by. If a recipe is tried-and-true, it gets a star. If not, it gets tossed, unless of course it is a family recipe, it gets refiled for its sentimental value.

And then there are the books. Over 300 cookbooks, gathered and gifted over the years of my home-making. Honestly, this spring was the first time I can remember that I went on a vacation and didn't come home with a new cookbook as a souvenir. (Instead, I came home with a quilt book! And fabric!) Anyway, these books continue to bring great joy and inspiration to my kitchen.

And I am one of those foodies who actually write in their cookbooks. Notes like how it should be done differently next time . . . who it was made for and when . . . what it might be served with. And of course, there's the star. Is it a keeper? Then it gets a star - maybe even two if it's extra special. If not, it gets an 'X' - mostly likely never given a second glance again.

You'd think that would be enough, yes? Well, considering I live in a technical age, I obviously would have some recipes kept in technical storage. I happen to use MasterCook, a 'recipe management system' where I have 30-plus virtual cookbooks containing thousands of recipes I have gleaned from the web, had emailed to me, etc. Recipes here also get the 'star', or alternatively, are deleted. See I do have a system!

So there you have it - a confession for today. With a family legacy surrounding food, a home ec degree in one pocket, and eight years as a pastry chef in another, it's not a far jump to understanding why I love recipes. And you can see why I find it soooo frustrating when I am surrounded by all these lovelies and stand forlorn in my kitchen thinking, "What in the world shall I make for dinner?"


  1. I remember being in awe when I first saw your cookbook collection. Before knowing you I had 1 orange cookbook, written by a certain Betty. You've definitely influenced me with your love of cooking. I will never have 300 cookbooks, but I currently have around 50, and I do write in them.

  2. That is an amazing cookbook collection!

  3. I aspire to your level of recipe organizing!

  4. Your last comment cracked me up as I feel the same way, frequently. Sometimes the cookbooks, the cooking blogs and the online recipes feel like a waterfall where it is impossible to chose just one. Thank you for sharing your recipe hoarding with us - and making us feel like we are not alone. :)