Sunday, January 9, 2011
Recipe Organization ~ Card Storage
A few summers ago I read a book about organization for your brain type. It helps you realize what brain type you are and gives tips for that brain type. I knew instinctively that all the left-brained organizational tips and strategies in the world weren't working for me. This book helped me not feel bad about it, lol. I *wish* I could remember the name of the book and find it again (if I remember it or find one similar I'll post it). Our library doesn't carry it. I have always been great at organizing or establishing a system only to see it crash and burn on the day-to-day routine.
Now I try to look at how I am actually living and then try to create some sort of order out of it... not easy, let me tell you! :) Is the mail always dumped on the entry table? Might as well put a basket there! A pile of pens and pads on the kitchen counter? Contain them in a something-or-other. Basically like that. Okay, so we get to my recipes. Recipe cards and boxes: don't work for me. Binders: don't work for me.
How am I living right now regarding recipes?
Part 1: Because of how I am currently cooking, most of my new recipes come from online sources (or Nourishing Traditions!). When I switched over to real food I would print recipes and stash them in an ever growing pile. Then I would wade through it when I needed one. Since this summer I've been wanting to organize them. Today we stayed home because of the weather (see the beautiful snow falling above?) and I actually got it done. It didn't take nearly as long as my procrastinator side thought it would and I'm so glad to have them handy again. It was so easy to pull out the chocolate pudding recipe we made today!
After breakfast I pulled them all out and sorted them into piles. Then I made file folders for each pile. Now they are in a little shelf in the schoolroom (that's right off of the kitchen) next to my copy of Nourishing Traditions and Catholic Traditions for the Home and Classroom (the black binder next to them in the photo has the cards for the Montessori R and D Grammar lessons). The folders that I made are the following, and I guess they would be a bit different for everybody: Snacks; Condiments/Sauces/Seasonings; Bread; Dinner; Desserts; Vegetables/Sides; Feast Days/Holidays; Breakfast; Drinks, Planning/Menus; Canning. I should probably make one for school lessons also because, let's face it, I'll never make "hard tack" just because we like it. That needs to stay with history!
My recipes went from this:
To This (yeah!):
Part 2: My kitchen counter. I always have a (fat) stash of recipes slid behind dh's snack box on the kitchen counter. His box makes a nice bookend against the wall :). That's where I tend to stash the recipes I need to make soon or that I haven't tried yet. Okay, so following the brain/organizing logic, I'm going to leave them there, but make it "official." I made 2 folders to slip back there: Already Made; and Still to Make/Gottatries. Why an "already made" folder? Because when I'm done making something I tend to stash it back there. Now I can call that organized and when I have a minute sort those into the permanent folders.
Part 3: I started a post about a week ago about online menu planners and recipe organizers. More to come on that...
I found these nice tulle bags at the dollar store. They were 3 for a dollar. What caught my eye is that these are 5x7 inches and full sets of 3-part cards should fit in them. I haven't decided yet how I'll use them so I only got one pack. Some ideas I have are: to put sets of cards in them and put the bags in the continent boxes; to put more language card sets in them and put the bags in the language basket I have on top of one of the shelves; or to use for 'fish bowl' math equations (probably not because the boxes are working for us).