You could say I have a problem.
All right, let’s just call it a passion. A passionate hobby. One I apparently can’t stop despite having THOUSANDS of recipes in my current arsenal which should do me for at least another 10 years.
It all started when I was a wee veggie and I’d dutifully hand-write recipes I wanted to try into a little exercise book. I’d seen my ma do it, and I thought it was such a cool thing to do. I copied out so many recipes of all the exotic things I wanted to try when I was older, and some of the things I actually made (chocolate self-saucing pudding, FTW!).
When I first got a computer, I spent a fair bit of time typing them out into word documents, which I still have. In fact, once I found the internet, I was forever copying and pasting recipes. I would also borrow cookbooks from the library and type their recipes, and later on I’d take photos of recipes when I was at other people’s houses, and type them into word documents too (Nowadays I just forward them to Evernote).
Sometimes I would even print them out, especially if I was going to be using them in the kitchen, far away from the computer (remember those prehistoric days?) and I carefully hole-punched them and kept them neatly in a folder. Which I decorated with images of my childhood favourite toys, because once I realised there were sites on the internet devoted to these sorts of things all those years ago, I went a little nuts looking at them all. Nothing like nostalgia, huh?! I literally hadn’t seen some of these things since I was small, and it was cool to be reminded.
I also printed recipes out at work (sorry about that!) so I could add them to my folder when I got home. I don’t think I thought to email them to myself back then, although it’s something I did almost every day until very recently. Now I either email them to Evernote, like I said before, or pin them to Pinterest, which I tend to do a lot more.
Then I went nuts saving them in word docs and had a field day when it came time to neatly sort them into folders: appetisers, mains, desserts, etc. I love looking through them for inspiration and it’d be a sad day indeed if I ever lost them! That reminds me, I should back them up somewhere…
Anyway, I realised after a while I needed a whole folder just for mains, and that the other sorts of things printed out or saved from somewhere needed their own space to exist.
I keep printouts at the front, and magazine clippings at the back in plastic folders. Once, I owned almost every Super Food Ideas right up until the month I turned vegetarian and they weren’t very useful to me any more. Over the course of a week a few years later, I cut out all the vegetarian recipes I wanted to keep and gave the rest of the magazines to my sister (I also had four years’ worth of Healthy Food Guide magazines, which I sold on eBay last year. They were heavy to send. Do not do that!). They are all neatly stacked at the back of both folders, along with other bits and pieces I’ve collected.
The best part about all this is that I actually cook the recipes – I’ve never been one who puts it aside for “one day”, and then never does anything with it. That’s half the reason I started this blog, I was forever trying something new and therefore had a lot to say on the matter! I rarely cook anything twice unless we really like it, I’m too busy testing other recipes. Sometimes I just look through and find a interesting recipe here and a different cooking method there and come up with something completely different to try. Other times I see elements of a dish (say, pumpkin and asparagus) and use those to create a whole new idea. And sometimes I just cook like the recipe tells me to.
I also have a bunch of recipes I’ve saved into cookbooks at my profile on food.com… one of the best places for recipes that actually work. The site is a goldmine! Sometimes I’ll just pick a searchword like “vanilla”, and then save all the interesting looking recipes that come up. And TastyKitchen! I love that place.
Oh… and all the apps I have on my phone with favourites favourited, and the groaning shelves of cookbooks here in my kitchen. A story for another day!
Do you hoard recipes too? Do you try them?