Spring cleaning means organizing revenue cuts

0

I love the recipes. Magazines, cookbooks and websites, they reach out and grab me, begging me to cook.

Pick up one of the food magazines scattered around the house and you’ll find dog-eared pages with dinners, desserts, or drinks marked for future action. The cookbooks on the shelves have sticky notes and scrap paper bookmarks that remind me of delicious possibilities if only I spoke up.

Websites like allrecipes.com, delish.com and sallysbakingaddiction.com are places to spend precious time with food fantasies. The worst is the New York Times. I’m pretty sure it’s become a powerhouse, with a newsroom and a few foreign correspondents next door. The Times emails me almost daily. “What to Cook This Week,” “4 Dinners in 35 Minutes,” and “A Pie for All Seasons” are some of the recent temptations from top-notch writers like Sam Sifton, Melissa Clark, and Dorie Greenspan. Where to start?

The cookbooks on the shelves have sticky notes and scrap paper bookmarks that remind me of delicious possibilities if only I took action.

Frank Whitman / For Hearst Connecticut Media Group

I can’t give up my absorption with these cooking possibilities, so I decided to organize them.

For years Marsha and I kept three-ring binders, divided into “sweet” and “savory,” filled with recipes sorted through time with torn magazine pages, shared recipes, handwritten family heirlooms, and website impressions, all roughly categorized. We never had the opportunity to alphabetize the categories. Instead, recipes are ordered by most recently used. Pages are returned to the beginning of their section – a reverse timeline of recent menus.

It’s easy to see which are the most popular. At the bottom of the sections are a few never-before-cooked titles. Some are so attractive that we keep them just to admire them. Others, frankly, will never make it to the stove or oven and should be put down. This could be the first step in the organizing process.

Three ring binders divided into

Three ring binders divided into “Sweet” and “Savory” filled with recipes sorted over time.

Frank Whitman / For Hearst Connecticut Media Group

What I really want to do is create a list of recipes for future cooking. There have been too many times when I remember a tempting idea, but I can’t remember where I saw it and I don’t know where to find it. I hope a master list will fix this problem. I already know that this will lead to a mixture of old and new technologies.

Pages torn from magazines and copies made from borrowed books will be sorted (I hope) by category: starter, dessert, pastry, etc. Cakes can have their own folder. Just this month, I have my eye on the blackberry-flavored Kentucky Jam Cake in Fine Cooking; a Chambray Cassis cocktail from Bon Appetit, and pork chops with Sherry Pan sauce from Food & Wine.

Pages like this one from Fine Cooking for Kentucky Jam Cake have chipped corners.

Pages like this one from Fine Cooking for Kentucky Jam Cake have chipped corners.

Frank Whitman / For Hearst Connecticut Media Group

I don’t want to lose sight of recipes for another season like Roasted Corn Chowder with Shrimp and Tarragon or Braised Chicken with Butternut Squash, Walnuts and Sage from chef Michael Lomonaco’s captivating book, Nightly Specials. I think I’ll copy the pages and put them in another folder for convenient reference.


There will be a digital recipe file in the cloud. From websites, it’s easy to copy and paste or download – sometimes too easy. I can see electronic clutter here. Recently I looked for poached salmon; it’s easy to compare recipes online and choose the best one or synthesize the ideas into an appealing recipe and then save it.

Prolific sources like the Times, have their own “recipe box” feature where I can store recipes that appeal to me. It’s a wish list to eat well. A quick scan of my NYT recipe box includes Coq au Vin, Blueberry Muffins, and Butterscotch Pudding.

This project is part of spring cleaning – the kind of thing that longer days and warmer weather inspire. If all goes well, we will have exciting new dining experiences.

Frank Whitman writes a weekly food column called “Not Bread Alone”. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Source link

Share.

Comments are closed.