Thursday, September 29, 2016

Getting Rid of Cookbook Clutter

When I moved into my first apartment at the age of 16, I knew that I wanted some of my mom's recipes. So, I made a homemade recipe book, and spent a few days writing my favorite recipes down. You see, my parents were in the process of moving to another state (Pennsylvania) over nine hours away. I knew that I couldn't just go home and look through mom's recipes when ever I wanted. Through the years, I added to my homemade recipe book, collecting any recipes that I thought looked good.

 Fast forward thirteen years down the road. I was married with three kids. I had a Taste of Home magazine subscription, recipes from other magazines like Country Side, Better Homes and Gardens, and lots of recipe books that people had given me over the years. I had a whole shelf and a half full of recipes. When I wanted to try a new recipe, just the idea of looking through the stacks of recipes made me stop - there was so many, I didn't even want to sort through them. 

I never used most of them, but didn't want to get rid of them - because I, like most people, occasionally don't know what to make, and want to try something new..... so, I'd keep the stacks piled up for 'someday'.

And a few more years went by....

Last year, my hubby and I decided that we were tired of 'stuff' and wanted to simplify our life by living with less.... the extra recipes, and magazines, and cookbooks had to go....

“Living with less is about having more…. more time, more money, more quality… it’s about adding to your life, not taking away.” 
– Rhoda A Kindred

I went through all the cookbooks, magazines, and recipes. Any recipes that I thought my family might like, I cut out and saved. I made a folder to put them in. My folder has two sides, one for deserts and drinks, the other side for main dishes, salads, and breads.

I divided my personal cookbook into two, (one for breads, desserts, canning, and misc. and one for drinks, soups, salads, vegetables, and main dishes) so they are easier to handle. All my pages are in a clear sheet protector - which is great if you have a 'messy' teen (sorry Faith!!!*) cooking! 

*She's a great cook - almost better than myself, but lets just say, I'm glad for the sheet protectors when she's in the kitchen!!!

I also took all the recipes that we have never used or that we didn't like out of my homemade cookbooks. I want my cookbook to be only recipes that we like and eat as a family. 

Here's the final project:

On my shelf I have:
My Homemade Cookbooks 1 & 2
My Recipes To Try Folder
The Heisey Cookbook (my best childhood friend's family cookbook)
The Dunkard Brethren Cookbook (recipes from the church that I grew up in)
The ABC Cookbook for kids (mine as a kid)
The Molly Cookbook (mine as a kid)
The Moss Weaver Family Cookbook (it has lots of my Grandma Frick and Great Grandma's recipes - some in their original hand writing.)       
My Grandma Stumps recipes on CD

I also have my Ball Canning Book, Presto Canner Manuel, Stove Manuel, and Kitchen Aid Mixer Manuel and a Cake Decorating Book on my shelf.

Here is my new recipe shelf.... 

Now when new recipes come into the house, I go through them immediately - cutting out the ones that looks good enough to try and tossing the rest straight into the trash. It's a great solution that keeps recipe clutter to a minimum, and my recipes organized, and easy to find!

What do you do with your recipes? Please share in the comments below.

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