My World Wednesday: Recipe Storage

The other day Rhoda from Southern Hospitality told us about the new binders she bought for organizing her collection of recipes. Rhoda is an amazing designer and beautiful woman and I’d expect her to have pretty things to hold her recipes. I thought I show you today the other end of the recipe storage spectrum with pictures of my own method.

I should be embarrassed to show this. But this is what has worked for me for the last 15 years. My recipe storage system is an old copy paper box.

Inside I have 30 plain, tan file folders for holding recipes I’ve clipped from magazines or written down from friends. My recipe categories are probably narrower than that of most people. For example, I have a file for desserts and additional ones for pies, cakes, 9”x13” desserts, cookies, bars, small desserts and extra fancy. Even though I use a lot of tea party recipes these days, I don’t separate them from my regular recipes because I’ve found they overlap too much.

One thing that has worked well for me is to clip only recipes that I really, really love. This way I don’t waste time looking at recipes that are too difficult, require ingredients that are hard to find or recipes that are just okay. Each recipe in the box is a winner.

Another reason I like my storage method is because I can cut out a recipe and throw it in the box loose. I don’t have to try to file it immediately but it won’t get lost once it hits the box. I usually sit down on my bed with the recipe box and file the accumulated recipes once every few months. It is a pleasure to do this, not a chore, as I get to review the recipes once again.

I’ve had prettier ways of storing my recipes but they never stuck. I’m not sure why. I guess the point is to find a method for organizing recipes that works even if it is one you don’t normally allow others to see.

While I’m talking about recipes, I thought I’d show you some of my cookbook collection. I think I counted 230 on this bookcase the other day. These are my “good” cookbooks that I use constantly. I have lots more cookbooks on my third-floor bookshelves but those are either very specialized, outdated or not my favorites. My oldest cookbooks still in active use are a Betty Crocker and Joy of Cooking both from around 1976.

My father-in-law made the bookcase for me when I was first married. I’d asked for something simple but big and he came through. At one point, we moved into a house with a very narrow, curvy staircase. In order to get the bookcase up to the second floor office, we had to cut a couple feet from it. Then my husband hoisted it up through a window. I have a pretty Victorian bookcase downstairs but this simple one has been in my office for over 30 years.

Moonshadow from KS Born tagged me for this interesting book meme. Step one is to take the first book you lay eyes on that fits the rules. Not your favorite book, but the closest at hand:The rules are as follows...1. The book must be over 123 pages.
2. Find page 123 in the book.
3. Find the first 5 sentences.
4. Post the next 3 sentences.
5. Tag other people

My book was Baking by Dorie Greenspan and this is what I found at the designated spot:
“Cookies like these are not difficult to make, but several take a bit more TLC than bar or cookie jar cookies. Save them for an afternoon when you are looking forward to fussing a bit, when you’ve got the time to mold, roll or even fry dough—as you will with Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben. You can also save them for a time when you want to show off.”