It has been an odd week. I will never understand some aspects of human nature. I find that when I’m particularly troubled or feeling unsettled, I take comfort in the things that well, comfort me. So today I’m choosing to share two of my loves with you: Books & Cooking.
I have an unnatural love for books, and I have a special place in my heart for cookbooks. I guess you can say I collect them (but also use them). My one pet peeve (that’s cookbook related – I have many pet peeves) is that I’m not going to buy a cookbook that has the author or a celebrity on the cover. I’m not buying the book for you or your big smile, Giada! Let the food speak for itself and then maybe we’ll talk. Enough with the ladies holding a barely visible plate of food behind a lovely kitchen island or a man in an apron with a butcher’s knife or something similarly hardcore. Show the food already!
I also love Post-it flags and one of my favourite things to do is flip through a new cookbook and flag all the recipes I want to try. Its offensive to me when you fold the corner of a page down. I used to also write notes in a few books lightly with a pencil but for some reason I stopped. I actually forgot I used to do that until I started writing this post…
Anyways with today’s digital takeover, more and more recipes are popping up online and the question remains – how do you store them? I love Pinterest primarily for the fact that I can store my Recipes from all around the web into one or a few Boards. My sister was the one who went on about the joys of Pinterest before I truly discovered it. With us being total opposites, I assumed I’d hate it. But it has become one of the best weapons in my recipe storage arsenal. With a Pinterest board, I don’t have to be a member of every single site I visit and honestly, I usually forget my passwords so I have to go through the whole process of resetting the password just to access one recipe I thought I might try one day. I even have an I’ll Cook, You Wash board so you can follow that if you’d like.
I also love those old timey recipe cards and recipe boxes although I admit I don’t see the practicality of it if you store a lot of recipes. Too many recipes, too few meals! How cute are recipe cards, by the way? When I have lovely stationery to use, I get very crazy over the neatness of my handwriting and then end up proving that “you are your own worst enemy” by making a mistake or rubbing my inky hands all over.
Then there are your favourite recipes. The ones that you know are winners that you’ll eventually memorize by heart. Or the dishes that you cooked on a special occasion that have a special meaning to you. The first thing I cooked when we moved into our own place was mashed potatoes & spaghetti. Yes, it looks just as colourless as you imagine and was absolutely carb-tastic! But I have a picture of this un-photogenic meal because its connected to a great memory.
I also love seeing the handwritten recipes in my mom’s collection – the creased pages of paper yellowed with age containing handwritten recipes from my Aunt when my Mom first got married. Actually, I’m not even sure if it was my Aunt’s handwriting or my Mom’s – they have identical handwriting. This used to come in handy when Birthday cards arrived for me in the mail but my sister’s got lost (we’re 4 days apart) or vice versa. Many birthdays have been saved by my mom adding in the missing name on the card that actually arrived. These handwritten recipes remind me that everybody starts somewhere and that the recipes that you master early on in your kitchen will become intertwined with the rest of your life and with the childhoods of your future children.
A few Christmases ago, a close friend of mine got me a blank book. It wasn’t any kind of blank book though – it was personalized and printed specifically for me. It said “Indi’s Recipes 2009/2010/2011” on the front and contained two lovely food related quotes on the back. It was probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever gotten.
Every page inside was blank and over those years, I chose my favourite and most meaningful recipes to be included in the book. I printed out the recipes, took pictures of all the dishes I made, bought kitchen themed scrapbook paper and stickers and got to work. Most of my great craft ideas aren’t very pretty when I set out to physically create it, and I can’t say that the pages I designed are particularly gorgeous (ok, some are pretty ugly). But this book describes perfectly the kind of the chef I was between 2009- 2011 and contains some of the recipes that have become staples in my house.
We all know food is extremely visual (we eat with our eyes first) and having a cookbook or a beautiful site open makes me want to cook and also makes me feel like I can cook anything! I’m also curious – what’s your preferred recipe storage method?
So no recipe today, guys. An odd thing to bring to Fiesta Friday, but hey, its been an odd week. I’ll be back to my less philosophical self on Monday. Planning a Gourmet Grilled Cheese night with some friends so stay tuned!