Monday, October 8, 2012

How to Organize Recipes

Recently, my grandmother gave me a cardboard box full of recipes. Some were torn out of magazines, others were cut from newspapers, many were handwritten on the backs of envelopes or checks with notes such as, "LaVene's--GOOD!"

There are a disproportionate amount of recipes for pickles and beets and zucchini dishes and jello salads. I will likely pass on Bernice N.'s "Red Hot Jello Salad" which combines red hots, applesauce, sour cream and red jello. I also hope Maxine Mile's never learns I didn't make her "Ribbon Salad", containing lime and cherry jello and one cup mayonnaise along with various other ingredients. I feel a little guilty about this one because it did receive the designation "real pretty and good salad".

However I am looking forward to "Dora's Fudge" (real good) and "Better Than Sex Cake," frustrated author unknown.  I remember my Grandma making this cake when I was a child and really liking it. I wasn't allowed to call it, "Better Than Sex Cake" but told to just call it, "Really Good Cake".   

The recipes that intrigued me the most were the family recipes. Recipes handwritten by my great-grandmothers who I never met. I consider the box a true treasure trove.

While I have looked through the box, I have not yet attempted to organize any of the recipes. This is more of a winter project. Along with a family cookbook I have longed to put together.

Recipe Treasure Trove

Most of us do not have a lifetime of recipes to organize but it is easy to quickly accumulate lots of recipes printed from the Internet or torn out of magazines at the doctor's office. What to do?

Recipes on the Loose

Here's what I do. I buy photo albums. I re-purpose the photo albums into recipe albums.

Photo albums for 4x6 photos

Recipe Albums
Simply insert the recipes into the photo slot. Full pages may need to be folded before inserting. No more shuffling through papers. Just flip through the pages to find your recipe.

It would also be easy to print off family recipes, place in individual albums and give as gifts. You can find much smaller albums than the ones pictured for just such a project.

Andrea's Puppy Chow
Most importantly, you preserve cherished recipes such as the first recipe my oldest daughter ever cared enough to write out and save (circa kindergarten). Precious!

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