Friday, 1 May 2015

Brave or foolish – the recipe file is being culled!

Last year I read Marie Kondo’s “The Life-changing Magic of Tidying”.  I am not a tidy person and while this book did not change my life completely it did inspire a clear out of “stuff”, especially clothes. (One jacket I bought on sale about six years ago I have never worn – every time I put it on I don’t like it – but it’s new so how can I get rid of it? Marie says that objects must “spark joy” so perhaps it will do that for a customer in the charity shop.)

My parents loved food and creative cooking. South Africa in the 1950s and 1960s had a wealth of fresh produce but if you wanted pasta you got spaghetti or macaroni – lasagne was unheard of as were many other things you can find in even the smallest corner store today.  So my mother made lasagne and filo pastry, ground her own spices and produced all the chutneys, jams and the other preserves and pickles that were the norm. We had three freezers and a large pantry. She collected recipe books too. My mother-in-law was a wonderful baker and I have many of her recipes although her famous recipe book disappeared and every family member is sure that someone else has it!

For years I have also been collecting recipes from magazines, newspapers etc. Some are transferred to index cards and others put in a box.  Some I have made successfully and others not, and many I haven't ever tried but keep in case..... I have a huge box of index cards and another full box of cuttings.

I am in the process of typing up all my well-used recipes and converting them to metric – some are in American measures (South Africa pre-metric), some are in Imperial so at least they will be consistent. I can then put them on my iPad or a memory stick and take them with me. (I used to say if the house caught fire, once the people were out my recipe box was next to be saved.)

As I go through the recipe cards, my new resolution is that I either need to make it or throw it away (apart from family recipes).  If I suddenly need to make something and don't have a recipe - there's the internet or my friend and chef, Paul Wenham!


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