Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treat Index ...

Many, many, many years ago, I worked at a library. I made an absurdly low hourly wage. But most of the people were fun as the library set goes.

The work wasn't going to lead me to any Nobel prizes, but I like books. I've always liked books, and so, as a part-time job went, it was fine.

One of the high points, I was reminded last night, was that the library had a rather extensive and impressive collection of cookbooks.

Oh, cookbooks. I love them. I really, really love them. More than I should. Because I want to buy so many of the ones that I see, but honestly, how many cookbooks can one person own? Especially when she doesn't use most of them most of the time?

But they're so nice to have around, aren't they?

I recently saw a recipe on Leite's Culinaria and thought, "I think I have that book!"

Yup! I do. I've never baked a single thing from it, but there it is, on my shelf, waiting for me to get around to this walnut torte.

Hello, lovely. How had we not met before?

See? I need to spend more time with my books.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I used to peruse the cookbooks at the library and check out a stack and bring them home. And then, in my free time, I would plop myself in the recliner in the basement, position the top of a TV tray across my lap as a desk, and flip through cookbooks and write out recipes that interested me.

Which is how my recipe file turned into this:

And I haven't even added to it in years.

Instead, I've taken to tearing pages out of magazines and such, and stashing them in manila folders that I sort through occasionally, only to realize with disgust that a recipe calls for a cake mix – Really, people, it's too much effort to measure out the dry ingredients? – or that I tore something out so long ago that it no longer appeals to me.

I keep my recycling basket nearby. It gets pretty full.

In the cabinet next to the stove, I have a small loaf pan that holds my go-to recipes, the ones that I make with enough frequency that it doesn't make sense to take the time to file them away. (Hush. Let me have my delusion.)

But last night, I flipped through my mondo file looking for the Fudge Crispies recipe and was intrigued by a good number of the things I'd jotted down in my youth.

Also, my handwriting has morphed rather interestingly since then.

I kind of miss my recipe-writing days. It was a good way to unwind, to turn off my brain, to sit in front of whatever blather happened to be on TV, and transcribe.

I should visit my local library and see if there's anything worthy.

I have a lot of room in that file.


Anonymous Renee Schettler Rossi, Editor in Chief said...

Beth, many, many thanks for the kind mention of Leite's Culinaria. And yes, that cake is lovely to behold, is it not? Too lovely to not make...and here's wishing you a crammed recipe file soon.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

My pleasure, Renee. Thanks for helping to publish such a mentionable site.

As for my recipe file, I'm sure that if I wrote out all the recipes I bookmark every week, I'd be well on my way!

10:19 AM  
Anonymous David Leite said...

Beth, I love knowing more about your analog approach to recipes and cookbooks. And I adore that picture of the file drawer. Priceless!

3:55 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm a low-tech gal, my friend! No iPads in my kitchen.

I still have my bent-acrylic cookbook stand, though I haven't used it in ages.

4:08 PM  

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