A New (To Me) Kind Of Cookbook

Picture it: A wild and frantic woman tearing up her house. Shrilly and terrifying noises coming from the closet where she stops for a moment to cry like a baby, then returns to the craziness. Would you go near her? Or would you back up slowly, hoping she didn’t see you so that you can turn around and run. Would you help her? Or would you dare to give her an alternative to what has made her so frantic? Would you comfort her? Or would you be so far removed from having the slightest bit of empathy (once you figured out how silly the problem is)? And what is the problem?

She can’t find a recipe she read about in a magazine so that she can make it for company coming in less that 24 hours.

Tragic. All of the above has happened to me. My son backs out of the room. My best friend offers an old recipe she has been using for years and is ‘perfectly fine’. The hubby, well, he’s a problem all by himself. But then one day it happens… I discover a solution. With age comes wisdom, right? So where has this idea been all my golden years? This ground breaking, life changing, amazing idea to end all amazing ideas: Keep the recipes organized in a photo album! Maybe I’m a late bloomer since I come from the days of using recipe index cards and cookbooks that snap shut when you walk away from them. But I tell ya, the moment I learned this one I made it my mission to find every recipe I ever wanted to try from a magazine, and got started on this project right away. Take a look:

I found these basic albums online for super cheap. I bought a ton of them to organize the recipes by category.

Each album is clearly marked on the side, from Breakfast to Dessert, to themes like this one that has complete Meal Plans inside.

If they come with photos, that goes in too. But only until I can take a picture of my own completed meal!

I try to leave a little room so that I can insert my own comments later. No recipe is perfect since it is usually a matter of taste, so if the seasoning or whatever needs to be adjusted then I’ll add that to the note.

This is out of the Meal Plans album and each recipe was tried and then put together as a possible plan. Then I’ll make note of whether I was right about putting them together in the first place. The great thing is this setup is not a permanent one… remove it and change it up if need be!

And recipes can come from anywhere. This calendar recipe will go into the “beef” album… well, as soon as the month is up.

Voila! There you go. A nice and neat little library sitting in my pantry. Martha Stewart would be proud.

I cannot tell you how this has helped. A simple thing to do, yet is key to the peace in my home. Well, not quite. I approached the hubby with my brilliant solution and he gave a casual smile. That would have been okay if it weren’t for the slight turn of the head that followed. You know, the gesture that dogs make when they don’t understand what they’re looking at? That one. The key to peace may really lie in how quickly we can hire professional help! Can you say, mediator?