Our methods of collecting our favourite recipes have transformed in recent years. For our parents’ generation, handwritten recipe books were very common. Recipes were usually collected physically, like by going to a dinner party, sitting in a friend’s kitchen, and writing down the recipe that impressed you the most. This method is unfortunately not as common any more.
Nowadays, people are mostly gathering recipes online, from social media, newspapers (online and print), culinary platform apps, and so on. Between numerous print and digital options, it’s hard to keep track of all our recipes. There are, however, a few options for adding some order to your recipe collection.
If you are someone like me who loves and enjoys cookbooks (we discovered that we own 93 cookbooks three years ago – I dread to think what the number would be now!), then there’s no reason to stop. If your bookshelf is covered in recipe books of all shapes and sizes with doggy ears, Post-its or random bookmarks peeking out of it, you clearly deserve to keep this system. However, we can inject some organisation into this system! Perhaps try designing something simple online and organise leaflet printing with an online service like print24. On this leaflet, you could include a personal directory for all your cookbooks. This could include the recipe titles and the location (book, author and page) of the recipe. A very simple idea that will formulate one comprehensive list of all your bookmarked recipes.
If you tend to do more recipe collecting online, then Pinterest could be the option for you. The platform allows users to pin recipes to their personal profile and categorise them as they please. Not only is it a great way to gather recipes and sort them, but it is also an excellent means of recipe discovery. Additionally, if you read food blogs or newspapers online for recipe inspiration, there is usually an option to pin a particular article/recipe to your board. This way, you can collect online recipes in one central place and sort them as you like.
Another nice way of collecting recipes that is perhaps not far from the way our parents’ generation did it: creating a scrapbook. In your scrapbook, you could collect newspaper cuttings of recipes, print off online recipes, or even write them by hand yourself. This could be a nice way to merge both online and print recipes and also makes for a wonderful thing to hand down to your children. It may encourage you to revert back to the original method of collecting recipes by sitting in someone’s kitchen, watching them cook, and taking down notes. This is a beautifully personal method of gathering recipes that broadens the meaning and value of a dish. It’s something I’ve been doing this past week with our BBC Good Food magazines that have been piling up for years and honestly just going unused after we’ve tried out a recipe or two – this week, we’re doing a full week of recipes gathered in my new scrapbook!