Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Taste Through Time {Try New Adventures Thursday}

**I wrote this post on a Wednesday. The most mixed-up day I've ever had, I think! I woke up Wed. morning thinking it was Tuesday. Then somehow I realized it was not Tuesday, it was Wednesday. Then I sat down to write a post and my brain started thinking it was Thursday. All day yesterday I kept checking Alicia's Homemaking, waiting for her Try New Adventures Thursday post to go up so I could link, and I was thinking that she must be really busy since she didn't have it up already. Last night I was checking one more time when it dawned on me that it was not Thursday yet!! So, now that it IS Thursday, and Alicia DOES have her TNAT post up, I'm going over to link my Try New Adventures Thursday on a Wednesday post :) **

If you know me very well at all, you know I love to cook and bake. My kitchen is "my place" in our house. It is my favorite room to be in (unless I'm sleeping in bed, or curled up on the couch with a book or movie :) ). When I'm asked what my hobbies are, "cooking and baking" are always at the top of the list. If I had nothing else to do in this world, I think it would be great fun to open a little restaurant and bakery.

With that, it is no surprise that I have my "own" cookbook. Side note: I'm also a little OCD about my kitchen :) I don't like having recipes scattered between 20 different cookbooks. If I use them regularly, I want them all in the same place so they are right at my fingertips. I don't want to flip through a cookbook of 1,000 recipes to get the only one I use out of that book.

Daniel and I have been married for a little over 7 1/2 years. When we were first married my recipe collection was pitiful. Not because I didn't know how to cook or bake, I had just never taken the time to gather recipes for myself. That first summer I spent a lot of time copying recipes into 2 small binders, and I used them alot. Over time I was discovering that I also had a lot of recipes that while I knew what they were, I just didn't use them because they weren't favorites.

Three or four years ago those two original binders were starting to not be as efficient as I wanted them to be. So I spent another hunk of time copying down (by hand) only my favorites and the ones I knew I wanted. And by that time I'd added quite a few new favorites to the group. My current recipe book is a 2" full sized binder full of recipes, with plenty of bits and pieces of paper scribbled with even newer favorites stuffed in the side pockets.

When my youngest sister announced her engagement this summer, I knew immediately what I wanted to give her for a wedding gift. A copy of my cookbook. Many of the recipes she will be familiar with, because they are ones that we made and ate growing up. For the rest of them, hopefully we have similar tastes and she'll like them just as much as I do :)

I knew I didn't have time to hand-write each recipe, plus I wanted to make something that was cleaner and neater than handwriting on note-book paper. I love the way a clean, neat, freshly printed page looks, so I decided that typing and printing everything was the way I wanted to go.

Over the past few months, I spent spare time here and there going through my cookbook, typing up many of the recipes. I found some more to cull out, and plenty to add. I also learned the hard way to proof read before printing anything! I think I had printed 2 or 3 sections of the cookbook before I started proof-reading, discovering a lot more mistakes than I wanted to!

My sister was married this past Sunday, and last week I spent much of my spare time and a few late nights finishing it up. I had been thinking that I wanted a name for this cookbook, but nothing had ever jumped out at me or suddenly popped into my head. The word "taste" kept coming to mind and I was pretty sure I wanted to use it in the title somehow. The last day that I was working on it, I kept thinking over and over different titles including the word "taste." I came up with one I liked that didn't include the word "taste", but it reminded me too much of a very, very popular early 90's wedding song (Through The Years, anyone?). I just couldn't bring myself to name the cookbook Through The Years when all I could think of was that song. But I loved how it fit what the cookbook represents: recipes all the way from my grandparents generation to now.

With a little more grinding of brain gears, I finally had a name that represented the recipes collected and used over the years, A Taste Through Time. After a little more playing around with fonts and layouts, some whirring of the printer had the cookbook finished. I am very happy with the way it turned out. It was hard to wrap it up and give it away, not only because it was so neat and clean and pretty that I wanted to keep it for myself, but having it printed (even though just from my home printer) is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

I am very happy that my sister gets the first printed edition, and I hope she will get as much joy and as many miles out of her copy as I do mine!

~ A letter I wrote to my sister. ~

~ Alphabetical Index for the 231 recipes ~
One recipe per page, and the recipes in each
category are in alphabetical order.
I did it this
way so that if recipes get added in the future,
it could still be kept in alphabetical order.

~ Tabbed dividers for the categories ~
They are in alphabetical order, too. :)

Even though I tried to remember all the recipes I use less frequently (that haven't made it into my own copy yet), this week I have been making a list of recipes that I missed! I will get them typed up and printed off, along with an updated index, and give them to her the next time we see each other.


Sally said... [Reply to comment]

That was truly a gift of love! You are such a great sister to give her that gift. It will save her a lot of phone calls when she wants to cook. I think that was so smart to have each section in alphabetical order, and in a ring binder so she can add recipes as time goes on.

I'm SO IMPRESSED that you have such an organized recipe system. I have tons of cookbooks, and in general, use 1 or 2 recipes out of each one (the brownies out of this one, the pies out of that one, the lemon-dill fish out of that cooking magazine, etc.). I just never thought of doing what you did, and quite frankly, just don't feel like devoting the time to it right now.

You did an impressive job!

P.S. You should print one off for yourself, and then as you add new ones, you can slip them into your own neat, printed version!

Alicia said... [Reply to comment]

Miriam, it's SO beautiful! What a special gift...and one that you obviously worked really hard at!
I like all my recipes to be in the same place, too...but at the same time, I really love cookbooks. My latest thought is to put a page in each section of my personal recipe binder with a list of "chicken" or "pasta" recipes that I regularly use from other cookbooks, with the page number.

Cracked up at your "thought it was Thursday" thing. Man, I do stuff like that a lot...

Miriam said... [Reply to comment]

@Sally And if I would print off my own copy, with all those recipes I forgot about in it, I might not forget about them so much and actually make them!

Stephanie said... [Reply to comment]

What a neat, thoughtful idea!! So organized, I love it!!

Aiming4Simple said... [Reply to comment]

Wow! What a lovely result! I gave a simpler cookbook of my recipes to a dear friend. Even so, I underestimated the time that putting it together would take! Glad you were able to finish yours in time!

Katie said... [Reply to comment]

What a special gift Miriam! Those are the kinds of gifts that are really meaningful and that people love to recieve. I need to gather my recipes into something like this so they are all in one spot, mine are scattered everywhere :)

Kelly said... [Reply to comment]

I love this! You did a fabulous job. I know it was such a special gift for your sister!

Lucy said... [Reply to comment]

You owe Royaltys to Miss Rachel for the original, and to me for borrowing my books that she made for me!!! Just saying. And I got to see this book and it looks awesome!!