Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Recipe Addiction

I might have too many recipes.

I've always loved food, so it is pretty natural that I would be a recipe collector. Back in the mid 1990s my mom subscribed to Cuisine magazine, and every month I would read it from cover to cover, devouring the pictures of food and the descriptions of cooking techniques. I would occasionally take on a cooking project, and in one the most memorable, I used probably every square inch of space in the kitchen. One year for Christmas, my mom bought me the annual volumes of the magazines bound together.

I started collecting recipes around 2007 when I moved out of the college dorms and into an apartment for the first time. The summer before the move, I copied a few of my mom's recipes and stuck them in a binder to take with me. Over the next couple years, I collected a few more, and tucked them into the binder.

But it was in 2009 that the obsession really started. First I subscribed to the Cuisine at Home eRecipes email list and printed out a few that I thought looked good. Then my aunt gave me a stack of Food and Wine magazines, and I tore through them, clipping out recipes to try. When I went to grad school, I eventually got my own subscriptions to Food and Wine and Cooking Light, and would tear out one or two recipes every month.

My reading material at the moment. Four food magazines, plus a Nordstrom catalog and Glamour magazine.
Now though, it has gotten a little extreme. I follow food boards on pinterest and then print out the recipes to make later. I tear out at least 5-10 recipes each month from my magazine subscriptions, and usually find a few more from friends, online, the Cuisine email list, or the free food magazine published by the grocery store. I almost always have a stack of recipes sitting on my coffee table waiting to be filed. My binder from 2007 has multiplied: I recently had to expand from three to four binders because I couldn't open the rings anymore without pages falling out.

Recipes waiting to be filed.
 Luckly I have a pretty good organizational system. All my recipes are kept in plastic sheet protectors. They are organized by category (poultry, beef, sides, breakfast, fruit desserts, etc). THree of the binders are for recipes I haven't tried. After I make a recipe, it either goes in the trash and the sheet protector gets reused, or it goes in the bigger white binder of "keepers" that I plan to make again someday. (However, except for some childhood favorites, I can't rememeber the last time I made a recipe two times...).

Three of my four recipe binders, plus the Cuisine at Home annual volumes.
All of these recipes are pretty useful, though! Whenever I'm not sure what to make for dinner, I flip through the binders and pick something that looks good. If I'm going to a potluck, chances are I already have a recipe for something good to bring. It also fuels my creativity, allowing me to try lots of new techniques and flavors. Sometimes the results aren't so delicious, but in those cases, I just have to work harder to make the leftovers taste good.

So maybe I have a lot of recipes, but I'm definitely not going to stop collecting.

No comments:

Post a Comment