I cook a lot. And the majority of my recipes are ones I’ve clipped from magazines and newspapers, or printed from FoodNetwork.com or given to me by friends and family. For the longest time my recipes existed in a sort of organized chaos. I had a bunch of manila envelopes, each with a category written on the front (breakfast, dessert, main dishes, pasta, soups, appetizers, vegetables, and so on). There were quite a few envelopes.
If I wanted to find my recipe for cauliflower casserole, I had to pull everything out of the vegetable envelope and sort through until I found it (though, truth be told, I know that one by heart – like many of the recipes I make). The pieces of paper weren’t the same size. Some were upside down. Some were backwards. It was a pain.
And so it was for years and years. Until now. I bought a big binder. I already had a three hole punch, paper, tape and dividers. One by one, I went through my envelopes. I threw out recipes that no longer interested me. I punched holes in the ones that were already on 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper. Those that weren’t, I taped to blank pieces of paper which I then punched holes in.
I taped numerous recipes to a page, in order to save paper and keep the binder’s size under control. For “main courses” I sorted recipes according to the type of meat – chicken, seafood, beef. My goal was not to create something of beauty (although, I find order beautiful), nor something that was indexed, with a table of contents. I just wanted to get rid of all those manila envelopes and get my recipes organized “enough”. “Enough” is a beautiful thing, too.
I did this a couple of months ago and it makes me happy every time I reach for the binder. 😉