Monday, December 21, 2015

More planning

I am not a passionate cook. But - unfortunately? - I am a hoarder. So frequently when I come across a recipe that sounds interesting, or I encountered some kind of food I liked and managed to get the restaurant, I end up with a clipping, or a handwritten notice about some possible way of cooking. Plus the number of cookboods that one somehow accumulates.

Not that I really stick to recipes when I am cooking, they kind of serve as a guideline for improvisation, a starting point to take off from. Most likely I am not going to have some exotic herb it calls for, and then 'Italian herbs' will just have to do.
Frequently I just throw stuff together that's in the fridge, without using any recipe at all. So already I have told myself that this collection of cookbooks must never exceed this space in the shelf in the kitchen. When a new one suddenly appears, another one has to go!  Nevertheless, there is this collection of loose papers (housed in the three folders on the right hand side of the shelf, which originally started off as only a two-folder arrangement), and every once in a while I give myself an order and try to arrange those papers in some kind of alphabetical order. Of course, there will occur the problem of 'where do I put thisß' - i.e. does 'Margrit's Turkish Salad' go under Margrit or under Turkish Salad? (I have known that I had a recipe for large white beans with tomatoe sauce, which was not to be found under beans nor white nor tomato sauce... it did re-appear under 'sage', an important component in the sauce and which I have a huge bush of in the garden and at one point was looking for recipes to do something with all this sage.)
The other day I pulled something from that shelf, and of course a whole stack of papers fluttered down around me, so I set to sorting them (out).

 It's a bit like going through the scrap bag - will I ever use this piece of fabric? Or cleaning up the work table, which I am doing in tiny steps, too - I have taken the resolution to end the year with a cleaned-up work table!
And as I was sorting the new acquisitions into the alphabet I was amazed at the kinds of more or less interesting recipes I have accumulated.

So I think throughout the coming year I will try to use one or two every week. Either to be followed pretty strictly, or as base for improvisation. And then after the meal I will decide whether that particular recipe is worth keeping. Of course, the big challenge will be to reinsert a recipe at the 'correct' spot after it has been used and decided on positively. Otherwise I will constantly be juggling a mess of papers.

Perhaps something similar could be done to the scrap boxes, too. But this is getting very ambitious. Right now I am pretty proud that I really managed to give away four boxes last week. But don't even think that there is room in the shelves now - there were more than four boxes scattered on the floor, and ...

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