Monday, June 28, 2010

The Recipe Box

Recently Thierry and I have been discussing the cleaning up that we need to do around the house. He is particularly bothered by the clutter, although many would say our house is NOT cluttered. Granted, the office is a little overgrown with books and the papers on my desk. I finally brought two bags of my old books to the used book store down the street. The library has a stack or two of books that need to be placed on the shelves and the old printer is sitting on the floor waiting to be disposed of. I tend to leave coupons and odd pieces of mail around the house, mainly because I don’t know where to put them. I always had a junk drawer in my other houses where I could stash things, but not here.

We have a glass coffee table in the living room and we each have a pile of reading on the lower shelf and I recently added a file folder full of recipes clipped from magazines and downloaded from the internet. Thierry noticed this new pile which I brought out from the office bookshelves where I keep my cookbooks. I had to add clippings from two Vegetarian Times magazines to the folder, which is still there days later as I keep telling myself now is the time to file the contents. I keep meaning to scan them and file them in my computer recipe file, but the whole process seems daunting: first figuring out how to use the scan function on the printer, then figuring out how to save and file them on the computer.

I routinely go through my stack of cut-out and photocopied recipes and tell myself someday I should try this one! A few I actually have tried and my favorites (used more than once) are in pretty bad shape, full of food stains and water spots. When I moved from my home of 19 years, I tossed or gave away many cookbooks that I really never used. I kept about 40 or so and added to them when I went through my vegetarian phase.

With the internet I rarely open my cookbooks anymore, but try to copy or download right into my recipe file those recipes that seem interesting. At this stage of my life I should be able to just create a meal gleaned from all of my past meals, but alas, my mind gets boggled when I try to whip up something spur of the moment. Now I take my little Netbook and put it up on the counter, do a search on the ingredients, locate a recipe and follow it on the screen while I am cooking. I am not totally incapable of being creative – I do add or subtract from a recipe as appropriate, but do depend on the author to pull together the main ingredients of a meal for me.

I don’t know how many recipes I’ve clipped over the years or how many I have actually tried or eventually just thrown away. I wonder if it is genetic; clipping recipes, putting them away and rarely looking at them. My father did the same thing and so does my sister Jean. My uncle collected cookbooks and had video tapes of all types of cooking shows. He was a gourmet cook, and most likely didn’t need a recipe for anything – but this was his hobby and joy.

This week’s goal is to do something with these recipes – toss or save – and clean up yet another pile of clutter. As it goes, I made dinner at mom’s tonight and used a recipe that was clipped from some magazine. Maybe Thierry will be in for a real treat this week!

By the way, mom is out of rehab although still recovering from her fall. She is doing quite well, and Jean has been there to help her get reacclimated to her home and daily routine.  Home therapy will start this week.

I saw my doctor on Thursday and she informed me that I will no longer be given the carboplatin due to the reaction I had a few weeks prior. She said that she had been thinking of discontinuing this chemo anyway, since my scans were so good. Hopefully things will continue to improve.

It has been a very busy and wonderful week and weekend.

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