Thursday, August 13, 2009


No, not that kind of purging.

I just purged about half of my recipes. It’s good to purge now and then.

I have my recipes filed by:
Pastas/Rice (This one is gathering dust.)
Miscellaneous (This is where I file special occasion recipes like Thanksgiving.)

I purge every couple of years, mostly the ones that were not used in the previous two years. Some are older than that because during the previous purge I still had intentions to try it. You know about good intentions.

I say “my recipes” but they are mostly ones that I have clipped from magazines, newspaper food sections, or printed from Food Network or food blogs. My eyes remain larger than my stomach, or the days of the year.

I have my own recipes, about 100, and three-quarters of them will be in the book, Guy’s Guide to Domestic Engineering, coming soon to a website near you, and hopefully a retail bookstore or two.

So, my advice is that if you haven’t prepared one in 2-3 years, and unless it is a family heirloom that only soils your kitchen when family comes a calling, chuck it, even if it uses chuck. The chefs will make more. So will you.

If you are a pack rat, and you need a room for food books, food magazines, and recipes, seek counseling.

If you’re anal enough, you can transcribe each saved recipe onto a Word document so that they are all the same size. (For those on the plus side of fifty I suggest a font size of at least 14, unless you have rigged up a way to attach one to your glasses.) This makes sense if you use some sort of display system in your kitchen for quick referencing while cooking. It would be better for those waiting in the chow line if you didn’t use recipes as your daily memory tester.

Recipes also stay cleaner this way. To which, I say, bite me, though you may need some Kosher salt, maybe some thyme. A well-seasoned recipe is a mark of a fully engaged cook, or a married one. As long as you can read it, and it’s not seasoned enough to be an appetizer, it’s fine. For guys, call it a badge—just like grease scars, and shirts and aprons with permanent stains.

1 comment:

The Mom said...

So, it's OK if "guys" of the female variety comment here, isn't it? :-)

I actually started keeping recipes in a Word document file when my grown children started asking for recipes they remembered. I also have friends who ask for my granola recipe from time to time, and it's so easy to just attach the document and email it! I'd much rather type a recipe than pen it by hand.

Another good blog entry, Keith. I love reading your thoughts, here and elsewhere!

Kelly Piepmeier