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Monday, September 8, 2008

Drowning in recipe clippings

I am so proud of myself. If you'll have a look at the photo above, taken at the Port Perry fair last weekend, you'll notice the handouts on the table. These papers featured food info, they had recipes. If you know me, you would expect that I would have taken every single offering, maybe even two copies so I'd have a spare. But this time I did not. Oh no. I did not take a single one! Nope, not one. That may not seem like a big deal, but it's like an alcoholic saying no thank you when offered a beer.

You see, I collect recipes. Avidly. But I have come to realize that there really is such a thing as too much. I have binders full of recipes. I have file folders full of magazine pages torn out just for the recipes. I have recipes everywhere. But you know what? I've reached the point where frankly, it's too much.

Just the other night, I emotionally exhausted myself by spending slightly over two hours going through several manila envelopes and file folders I found in a box down in the basement, all recipes torn out of newspapers and magazines, pamphlets put out by various food companies, and recipe cards picked up at grocery stores. The dates on all these? Old, my friends. Old. All from 1987 to 1990. That's twenty years ago or so. My stars.

And here's the kicker. Looking at them now, most of them didn't interest me at all and I wondered why I had saved them in the first place.

Our tastes change, our style of cooking evolves, our budgets (hopefully) improve, our skills grow, even who we cook for changes. Small children with picky appetites turn into ravenous teenagers eating everything in sight, then turn into young adults with newly-exotic palates.

This was not the first accumulation of recipes that I have recently culled. I am trying to be ruthless. I am fortunate to have a huge cookbook collection and realize that between my own cookbooks and the vast amount of recipes available on the web -- particularly from the food bloggers I enjoy -- I have more than enough recipe resources. I don't have to drown in paper clippings that I don't look at anyway.

Of that giant stack of recipes that I had saved all these years, I kept only a few pages of holiday recipes. That's it. The rest went into recycle.

Does this ring true for anyone else -- recipes stuffed everywhere? Do you actually use them? I have found some great recipes in magazines, but I have found even more keepers from friends and online. And from the books on my own shelves. It's time I started reading my own cookbooks again!


noble pig said...

I'm still in the amassing stage, it's so hard to part with them.

Mz. Nesbit said...

I cut out recipes from parents magazines, then i organize them in folders. then i don't ever use them. ha ha

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