Then, I had to (had to ;) share this with everyone...because how often to you see yourself in writing...
Because you see, my mom’s “recipes” amount to two enormous—like, the most gargantuan I’ve ever seen—three-ring binders stuffed with plastic sleeves that contain every wonderful, fabulous recipe she’s used since The Dark Ages, or at least since around 1968. She still collects and tests recipes, so her plastic sleeves are updated with modern, interesting foods.
Yes I have a confession to make...I am PW's mom ;} And the proof is in the three ring binders...
The large black one, to the left, is my original binder from back-in-the-day when we had those three holed page protectors that had the black construction paper in the middle ;)
Where they acid free? I don't think so because they failed to stop the yellowing of my notebook paper that I choose to hand-write my recipes down on. What can I say...I still love notebook paper and even with my kids out of the house...I get really excited when the "Back-to-School" sales start!
Can you still buy these sheet protectors? Inquiring minds want to know...because these old protectors were sized perfectly to fit behind my INDEX TABS...compared to the new TOP LOADING sheet protectors that stick out TOO FAR so that you can't read your tabs anymore and sometimes you can not even close your binder properly...UGH!!!
Most of my recipes have PICTURES because I like to know how it is suppose to look when I've attempted to make it! Visual aides are my friend :) Also, I tend to pull many of my recipes out of magazines and for some reason...I pull A LOT that have been developed by the product manufacturer (great advertising I know ;) Does anyone else do this? I don't know why I tend to gravitate towards them but I do and I could really relate to PW's recipe that her Mom had in her binder because it was either an old Pillsbury Crescent Roll or Mountain Dew Soda recipe...I'd sure love to know!
When I started this 3-ring binder I was barely 20, had my first apartment and, my first baby so I was excited about being able to cook what-ever I wanted to in my own kitchen. My Mom was the descendant of parents who lived through the depression and even though we had a fully stocked pantry...my Mom was stingy when it came to using those supplies...couldn't waste things, especially, on a recipe that might bomb...lol Sound familiar ladies? Do tell...
What I also enjoyed was collecting, sorting, cutting, pasting and assembling this binder...I was a collage artist then and just didn't realize it...as well as an organized geek...aka freak to my family ;)
I would save the recipes to be tried in the near future, in the pockets in the binder, and once I tried it and like it...THEN AND ONLY THEN...would I hand-write the recipe onto my notebook paper and cut out the beautiful magazine shot of the dish. For me it was a way to relax, sitting there writing out those recipes while watching TV (or not ;) after I had gotten my son to sleep for the night or on the weekends when I had more time.
Then as time passed and I had a larger family and moved around and collected SO MANY more recipes I had to find another way to sort/organize my recipes so that I could get my hands on them when I wanted to try something new in the kitchen...can you say MAGNETIC PHOTO ALBUMS...
These are such an affordable way to keep and organize any of your magazine clippings as I've posted about before. They work really well for recipes that are not printed on both sides...which can happen with magazines...however, when that happens, I simply photocopy the side without the picture so that I can place it underneath the page protector as well. The fact that these albums are 3-ring binders also make them great for pulling apart the rings and taking the page into the kitchen when you want to use it. Along with the bonus of being able to easily re-arrange your pages at any time to keep them in the order that you like. I have a couple of these binders for different types of recipes, like appetizers & desserts and meats & poultry because I tend to get alot of magazines and save a lot of clippings ;)
Even regular photo albums can be used to collect your recipes...and this mini album is my family's favorite because it sits on the counter in my kitchen and is very handy because of it's size...
PHOTO ALBUMS...they are such an affordable option for storing and using your recipes with their built in page protectors and binder rings for easy access. THIS mini-album holds 4x6 size photos/recipe cards so it is perfect if you want to print cards from the internet or as I did...back-in-the-day...typed my on a typewriter and added the magazine photos.
MANY of the original recipes that I had hand-written in my black 3-ring binder I converted to recipe card sizes because my friends and family wanted my recipes. AND once you've made a recipe and no longer need the step-by-step instructions...a recipe card in all you need and having it handy in the kitchen is A GOOD THING!
Now let's talk further about recipes from the internet...well, I have to print them first so that I will remember to TRY THEM ;) I do save them onto my computer...but I find that...OUT OF SITE...OUT OF MIND! Also I still have to print out the recipe from my computer to try it...because there is not way that I'm bringing my laptop into the kitchen to read and recipe and cook from. HEY...you all have seen what my recipes on the notebook paper and cards look like...and they were behind the SHEET PROTECTORS...LOL So it just makes more sense (for me) to print them and place them here, in my temporary pocket folder.
Finally, I just want to mention another "obvious" recipe organization method...my categories here on my blog. These postings have been a way for me to gather all of the recipes that my friends and family want me to share and write down for them. I tend to cook by memory and by what I have in the cupboard...they hate this...it frustrates them because they can never duplicate it ;} These categories have grown so much that I'm working on a new blog format so that I can sort these recipes by category for everyone. AND soon...I will have them available in a PDF friendly format as a free download for my subscribers...woo hoo!
So let's recap these quick and easy ways to organize your recipes:
- 3-Ring Binders with Page Protectors and TABS for large storage and easy access.
- Magnetic Photo Albums perfect for magazine clippings.
- Mini-Photo Albums are just the right size for Recipe Card Holders
- Pocket Portfolios for pending recipe file storage.
- BLOGS for those super ambitious types ;)
Well I hope this has encouraged you all to tackle that pile of recipes that you have collected! Next time you find yourself in the store...browse the office department for pretty binders or the photo department for a magnetic and/or mini photo albums. Go create those recipes and a memory album for your offspring to vie over! AND please, do share with me how you organize your recipes and/or if you try any of my suggestions.