Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mama Needs a Recipe Catalogue

I have always loved old, handed-down-through-the-generations, recipes. I have a small collection of old recipe books and my favorite recipes in them are smudged and floured from use. I collect recipes from family  members, too, but I always end up losing them and having to ask again.

Lately, with my family's push to eat healthier, cook more, and know from whence our food comes, I naturally find myself cooking more. Finding good recipes (or figuring out where I put them) is becoming more important. I've been thinking that I need to get organized and put all of my recipes in one spot, but I definitely do not need another thing on the kitchen counter. It's a cluttered wreck already! 

Suddenly, today, I had one of those "duh" moments where the lightbulb comes on over your head and you kick yourself for not thinking of this sooner. I will collect these recipes in a file on my computer!

I went into Microsoft Word and started transferring recipes that I had handy from paper to computer. Each one is saved as a separate document, but all of them are saved under names that start with "recipe-" followed by the name of the actual recipe. Next time I want to find a recipe, I can go to My Documents, type in the word recipe and get a list of them! If I need to, I can print it or email it to my phone so that I can have easy access to it in the kitchen. 

How great is that? 

I believe that every Mama should have a catalogue of recipes stashed somewhere, so that we can hand them down to our children. When my Granny passed away, we didn't have any of her recipes in writing. Nobody knew exactly how to cook the family favorites. Luckily, after many failed attempts, a few recipes were worked out. But only a few! I still wish I knew how to make her fried bread with homemade chocolate syrup. My step-mom worked out how to make the syrup, knowing what ingredients Granny used and having seen her make it, but the bread we never got down pat. It was one of my favorite foods as a child and I wish I could make it for my kids now. We often underestimate how much food traditions matter to future generations. After all, who wants to remember how to cook like me? But our children will want these recipes one day, and you never do know how long you have to get them written and collected in one place. Why not start now?

Do you have your recipes catalogued in one place? Do you have favorite hand-me-down recipes? Is there a "lost" recipe in your family that you miss? 


  1. Food....brings people together....Recipes.....bring memories....Beautiful Post.....

  2. Laura,
    I had my recipes on my computer and on paper as well. Now I'm using Cookn' Recipes software. I think I still have a link for download for a PC for free. Let me know if you're interested. Check my post about it here:

  3. This has really got me thinking!! I have my mom's recipes and all my favorites in several different recipe binders etc, but I really think I need to just get them online in case something happens to them!

  4. Your post reminds me that I really need to organize my recipes. I have recipes stored on my computer, in cook books, and handwritten on scrap paper!

  5. Man, I really need to do something like this. I have so many slips of paper and notecards and ripped out magazine pages all over the place.