Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tome of Culinary Knowledge

By nature, I am a rather organised, tidy person. My husband will attest to this. I frequently berate him for leaving opened mail, along with their now-redundant envelopes, strewn across the sideboard.
It follows then that I was troubled by the disorganised recipe collection that I had gathered over many years. Comprising of two card files, magazine clippings, hand written scribblings on scraps of paper, foodie calendars, and other assorted recipe sources, it was overwhelming, and unusable unless I had several hours free to find what I was looking for.
Imagine my excitement then, when I found a faux leather book into which I could compile this overgrown collection. It was a thing of beauty. The cover was a rich deep red, with gold filigree, and 'Recipe book' written in a gold stylised script. Inside, its thick cream pages were tabbed. It even had space to glue in clippings and a useful 'cooks reference section'. All could be annotated by the compiler, and indexed. Nothing could have suited me better in practicality or aesthetics.
Of course, I bought it.
Initially I just transferred the recipes from one source to the other, but I soon realised that by doing so, I was writing out recipes that I may, delicious as they sounded, never actually use. So I created a rule: only tried, tested and loved recipes would go into my tome of culinary knowledge.
Flicking through the book now gives the reader some insight into how my families eating habits have changed, and what has stayed the same. From luxurious Spice-encrusted Steak with Jack Daniels Sauce, and time-consuming Lemon Meringue Ice Cream of our B.C. (Before Children) days, through the Fruit and Oat Bars of the baby years, to the super-easy, child friendly Bean Stew and sugar-free muffins. Amongst the ones that have stood the test of time are Sausage Casserole, Salmon Mousse, Tomato Soup and mum's Peppermint Slices. I am a little concerned though about what the twenty-three recipes under the baking section say about me. Especially when you consider that the 'Salad' pages contain only one!

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