there are many dishes that i will always associate with special times spent at my grandmother’s house. she makes so many wonderful dishes that are a special part of the various family holidays and events we share together. it just wouldn’t be Easter without her yummy scalloped potatoes. they are slightly firm yet really creamy…and they have so much cheese and have a crackled look after they are baked. so delicious my mouth waters at the thought of them!
and then there are the dishes my mom makes. when i came home from a long day of school or cheerleading practice, just smelling that aroma when i walked in the front door made me melt with happiness. especially when she made corn fritters with hollandaise sauce. yummmm! i couldn’t get my homework done fast enough in order to eat dinner.
yea, you know what recipes i’m talking about = those!
those recipes deserve a place of honor in your home.
one year, after starting a family of my own, it was my mission to have my mom and grandmother write down their recipes so we could have them for generations to come. having each of them write those recipes was a full-time job in and of itself. especially because, as most family members do, they only know the recipe by heart and don’t have it written down anywhere. they have made the dishes year after year and when they make it, it’s from their heart.
it took them both the better part of a year but we got the job done. they had to make the recipes in order to document how many tablespoons of this and how many cups of that created that particular recipe. once they mailed me their recipes, i put them away in a drawer for safe keeping.
(on a sidenote – if you don’t have your family recipes written down and saved somewhere, that would be a great and fun family project to complete. nothing makes you happier than re-creating those special dishes and serving them to your own children to enjoy!)
in addition to those family recipes, i had millions (ok, maybe not millions….but it sure seemed like it when i was weeding through them!) of other recipes put away in that same drawer. magazine tear outs, recipes from the newspaper, recipes from friends, and so on were all collected in a file folder hanging in our office desk.
eventually (in between changing diapers and attending play-dates) I got around to putting them into a simple binder. here is what my old recipe binder looked like:
i had so many recipes that i broke them up into two binders; one for salads, soups, main dishes, sides, etc and the other was for anything related to sweets:
should i dare show you the file folders that used to hold those tear outs and family recipes? ahhhh, why not. nothing to lose now. here are my “recipes to try” folders:
and page protectors:
and don’t forget your label maker, if you plan on using one.
(by the way, a laundry basket is a great vehicle for collecting items to donate or trash while you are sorting a project.)
once i had all of the recipes sorted into keeps and trash, i stacked them into categories. then, it was time to create labels for the section dividers:
wow, i must have been in *the zone* while making this dish. look at those splatters!
and that was it! our family recipe binder is complete! and when we find new dishes we love, it’s easy enough to add them right into the binder.
i have kept one hanging file folder for recipes in my office desk. from here on, i will add recipes i would like to try to the “recipes to try” folder. if it’s a keeper, it goes straight into the binder. if it’s not a keeper, the recipe page is recycled. i have found this to be a much easier system for staying organized. there is nothing worse than putting a system in place and then not being able to stay on top of it. this system has been tried and tested in my own home for several months and it’s working great!
each week i pick one or two new recipes from the “recipes to try” folder and add it to our weekly meal plan. it doesn’t add too much pressure on me and we’ve been able to try some great new additions/foods.