24 April 2006

Meme: Recipe collection

Several moons ago, Ceendy over at Sour Cream Timbits tagged me for the recipe collection meme. It's taken me a bit longer than I hoped to get to this, but I've finally put my answers together:

From where do you obtain the recipes you prepare?
Hmmm...you know, I've never really thought of their origins. I suppose they are rooted in a number of sources: people in my life (my mum, my friends), various bits of prose (cookery books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, authors who describe meals in novels), restaurants either by asking for recipes or deconstructing them at home, and (of course) TV:
Food Network and PBS are two main sources.

How often do you cook a new recipe?
It depends upon how busy I am. If I'm swamped, I stick to the same couple dozen recipes stored in my head. Otherwise, it will be anywhere from one to four times per week.

Where do you store your favourite recipes?
The Fussy Eater laughed at me when I told him that I have a recipe database on my computer. In it are the "tried and true" originals, developed over years by my mum or me--along with some of the hundreds or thousands of amassed ideas (currently five metal boxes filled with newsprint and printouts). Only about 90 recipes are entered...I have no idea how many waiting.

I've also chicken-scratched some of my favourites in my big yellow exercise book--appropriately splatteredd and splatered with bits of egg, chocolate, vinegar etc etc etc...it's also where I scribble my food notes and research, not to mention the Chinese and pizza takeaway orders.

A few are in email, waiting to be printed and boxed.

Then again, there are the bookshelves.

How large is your recipe pile? Is it organized? If so, how?
The database is cross-referenced by a number of ways: category, ingredient, source, alpha...

The clippings are organized in boxes by category.

Books are divided into two bookcases. One is primarily reference material:the first shelf has general texts (most have recipes--whether ancient or new) such as
On Food and Cooking, the Penguin Guide, historical memoirsbiographies/memoirs; the second shelf is pretty much devoted to herbs, spices, oils and vinegars; the third shelf has drinks and a magazine holder of little booklets and what nots. The bottom two shelves are reserved for cats: I don't look and what they've done to their space and they don't barf in my shoes--it's a mutual understanding thing. The other bookshelf contains cookery books, file in alpha order by author and then chronologically by publishing date.

What is the oldest recipe in your "to try" pile?
As old as I am, less a day.

Are you really ever going to make all those recipes in your to-try pile?
Realistically: no--but they are there, jic.

Do you follow a recipe exactly or modify as you go?
It really depends. For example, I'll substitute powdered gelatine for leaves, two teaspoons of extract for one vanilla bean. If the recipe falls under related to other things I've done, I'm more apt to using the author's words as guidelines, but not law. If it is something I've never done before, I'll follow it word-for-word and then change it the next time.

What is one new recipe that you're scared to try?
What's there to be afraid of? It is only a set of words...

Tag at least one new food blogger for this meme ("new" as in only blogging a few months).
Sam at
Sweet Pleasure.

Tag at least one food blogger you visit regularly but never interacted with.
Hmm...I generally post comments to the blogs I read (may not do it weekly, but still)...so: n/a

Tag at least one food blogger you constantly visit and leave comments.
Zoubida at
Kitchen Culture.

Tag anyone else you want.
Sarah Lou at
One Whole Clove.



Timmys count:
Before the nonsense: 44 cups; 3 free coffees, 1 free doughnut
Now: 41 cups, 7 free coffees


Journal Actif said...

"It's just a set of word"...
I laughed out loud at this. Thanks for the invitation Jasmine. I'll post soon about this.

Sara said...

you sound like you are pretty organized. a database! my database is a three foot stack of recipe clippings and notes on the floor of my spare room.

Anonymous said...

Great post!

I admire your organizational skills in terms of entering your recipes in a database. Mine are scattered EVERYWHERE!

Anonymous said...

Jasmine, I am agog. FIVE metal boxes of clippings?! I thought I was a compulsive snipper of recipes from newspapers and magazine, but FIVE boxes?! Oooh, I'll bet they're filled with treasures!

Great post! And I love the agreement you have with your cats.

jasmine said...


Zoubida...well, yeah...it is only a set of words...now if I had to go out and kill my own tofubeast...*that* would be scary!

Sara: Welcome! Ummm...yeah...I try to be organized. It makes finding things a lot easier.

Ivonne: Please note that I only have 90 entered...I probably will never finish entering them, since I keep adding to them. I need a minion.

Tania: Yup...five boxes...each are organized by type, with one devoted to chocolate. The current plan is to input them by box...mind you have many versions of the same recipe. I'm also taking the opportunity to compare and toss as necessary...