January 18, 2011

Of recipes and memories

January 18, 2011 - Categories: cooking

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Kevin Waite asks, “What format do you use to keep your recipes? Do you use Freemind or Org Mode?”

W- and I write good recipes down in a notebook. Using paper instead of the computer means that both of us can easily add new recipes, we can draw or use graphical shortcuts, and we don’t have to worry so much about spilling things on our notes. Using a bound notebook instead of individual recipe cards means that we don’t have to worry about losing any favourites.

W- started out by keeping it as a food diary, complete with luscious descriptions and fountain-pen ink. Now it’s more of a recipe stash, but even the sparse notes evoke sensations. Because cooking is such a part of our lives, each page brings lots of memories. Even the blank pages near the end tell a story through the splatter from the time that the pressure cooker exploded when W- was cooking too large a batch of beans.

We get many of our recipes from the cookbooks in the house, and we frequently refer to the two editions we have of the Joy of Cooking. We also turn to the Internet for other recipes, like the recipe for home-made vanilla extract. We copy recipes into our notebook for ease of reference and recall. Flipping through the pages reminds us of things we should cook again.

W- and I also keep electronic lists and copies of some recipes, just in case we need to change our plans at the supermarket. We almost always shop with a grocery list, but sometimes we’ll swap recipes if the produce or other ingredients don’t look good. I keep lists in my Org outline too, so that I can easily review our batch cooking recipes or my list of recipes to try.

There are so many blank pages to go. Looking forward to filling them up!