If you’ve ever stopped by my house or the shop for a cooking class, then you know we have a lot of recipes and recipe books. I’ve kept track of all of these special sources of inspiration throughout my career. My first recipe box at the age of 14 was just a small 4”x5” card filing system. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to grow out of that box, but I do still have it as a reminder of my humble beginnings.
Now, after many years of cooking, learning, and collecting new inspiration, my needs have changed and we keep outgrowing our recipe boxes! We have tons of recipes that need a home.
Every place I have worked in my cooking career has owned a “Kitchen Bible”. This book provides standards for the restaurant, conversion tables, and of course the recipes that were used for the menu. After Never Enough Thyme moved to the new location in downtown Elmira, I’ve started on a few re-organizing projects.
When I hear the question: “Dierre, where is the recipe for…?”, I sometimes dread the words as there are so many to remember, and for the ones I don’t remember, finding the actual file isn’t always simple.
At my house, recipes are filed by categories such as baking, casseroles, barbecue, tried and true, and ideas for recipes I’d like to try. My favourite files are comprised of recipes from my parents. There’s a folder for Mom and one for Dad. I love sifting through these files for a little walk down memory lane and a few smiles.
Though the recipe files at the shop are a bit larger, the organizing idea is much the same. We have big binders with page protectors full of recipes we use regularly. To make things easier when we’re looking for something in particular, we’ve divided sections into recipes that are used more often, and others that are used only occasionally. We also have a wonderful collection for special occasions, such as Easter and Christmas.
If you are a digital genius, the same type of organizing can be done on your computer. I’ve even started to take photos of recipes I see in magazines. Wherever your inspiration comes from – clip, snap or email it to yourself and start an idea folder. Save yourself some time and figure out what works for you. Most of all, have fun!