Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Monday, June 30, 2008

Tidy Tip Tuesday - Cookbook Crimes Undone

Do you use a cookbook while you're in the kitchen cooking? If so, have you ruined your favorites doing so? I have. The photo is of the oldest cookbook I own and it is so tattered and worn that I dare not take it into the kitchen for one more round lest it disintegrate into a puff of dust right in front of me.

I hope I am not alone in this crime of cookbook crunching. If I am alone - if all of you out there in Blog Land have neat, clean cookbooks then this post will be in vain. But just in case you suffer from the same malady, I would like to share with you a tip about how to keep your cookbooks tidy and clean.

About four years ago I wised up to this problem (yeah, I'm slow). First of all, I own quite a few cookbooks and it was a challenge to remember which recipe came from which book when I needed it. That together with being the Cookbook Killer made it necessary for me to come up with a different plan. So this is what I did:

1. I photo copied all the recipes I used on a consistent basis.

2. I arranged all the copies in alphabetical order.

3. I put the recipe pages into plastic protector sleeves, 2 to a sleeve with one recipe on the front and one on the back, keeping them in alphabetical order. But I also left some sleeves with just one recipe in them so that there would be space to add in new recipes when I wanted. Although I still had to make adjustments, it took less moving of recipes to new sleeves this way.

4. I printed up one page with all the names of the recipes (in alphabetical order) with a reference note that told me which book the recipe came from (in case I need to know sometime later). This is my "table of contents" page that I use if I cannot remember the exact name of the recipe. It is easier to look through a list than through the whole book. I also put the table of contents into a plastic sleeve.

5. All of these plastic sleeved pages I then put into a three-ring binder. I keep the binder on a kitchen shelf. When I need a recipe I open up to the right page, take the recipe in its plastic sleeve out of the binder and clip it to a magnet on the refrigerator. Or for my weekly menu, I take out all the recipes in their sleeves for the week according to what my menu plan is and put them on the frig in a clamp-type magnet, rotating each one to the back when I'm finished with it. At the end of the week, I put them all back in the binder and take out the next week's recipes.

6. I also make up a page with my weekly menu plan, put it in a plastic sleeve and keep it on the frig next to the recipes. Here is a photo of the one cookbook I now use. It is relatively "Sharon proof" and it is the only one I need to reach for when I cook.

I am a reformed woman now, no longer wrecking cookbooks. The new ones stay new looking. And the old ones are still surviving. Kind of like me.

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