Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Recipe Collection Meme

I was tagged by Kalyn's Kitchen with the Recipe Collection Meme.

I love cookbooks!

Above on the left is my main cookbook bookcase (its actually a 4 shelf, topped with the bread bin) and on the right is a smaller bookcase mostly dedicated to cookbooks I have checked out from the library. Both bookcases are within arms reach of my computer, which is at one end of the kitchen. I have cooking magazines scattered throughout the house and cookbook and food writing overflow on several other bookcases. I also have cookbooks in storage. We really need more bookcases in the house. I'm a total bibliophile. How many cookbooks have I purchased in the last month? Four or five but I try hard to get inexpensive used copies.

I have recipes in a binder that is just a collection, not organized by type of food (although this was/is the plan) and several hand-written books of recipes from my younger days. I also have recipe boxes online at and I also have recipes on my computer.

On to the Meme:

Where do you obtain the recipes you prepare?
Mostly from cookbooks (90%). I'd say I prefer cookbooks with glossy photos to inspire me to try a new recipe, but I note that actually my favorites have few or no photos. I do search online recipes quite a bit and have found some gems on and For online recipes, I'm strongly influenced by the reviews by home cooks.

How often do you cook a new recipe?
Right now, an awful lot. I would say between 5-8 new recipes a week. In addition to working on recipes for Albion Cooks, I've been trying recipes from other blogs. Last weekend, for example, I made Monkey Bars from BakingSheet and Savory Cheese & Scallion Scones from Farm Girl Fare.

Where do you store your favourite recipes?
Not in an organized way. I have so many different medium now. Happily, I have a good memory for which of my cookbooks contain fav. recipes. I use tabs to mark recipes in my own books. I make copies of recipes from library books and keep them in the binder. I have a separate file with recipes ripped from magazines (mostly the NYTimes) or newspapers. And then I have some on the computer.

How large is your recipe pile? Is it organized? How?
Well, my binder and file folder are my recipe pile, kinda, and we've already determind they're not that organized. The way I organize recipes I'm going to try is by listing them in a separate notebook. I write down the main combo of ingredients and the source (cookbook name usually). I also use the notebook for research notes, ideas for recipes, combos of flavors I want to try, ingredients I want to highlight or investigate further, other blog recipes that I want to link to highlight, and now an inventory of everything in my pantry and freezer along with a list of 28 recipe ideas that will use those ingredients.

What is the oldest recipe in your to try pile?
I don't know. There's a photocopied recipe from the Feb '93 Vegetarian Times for Chocolate-Espresso cake I don't recall trying.

Are you really ever going to make all those recipes in your to try pile?
probably not, I should edit.

Do you follow a recipe exactly or modify as you go?
If it's a baking recipe, I rarely alter it the first time round unless I'm feeling very confident or the recipe strikes me as really off. For other recipes, I almost always modify them one way or another. I like to follow my instincts and see what happens. I find recipes can often be improved and I like to indulge my own preferences.

What is one new recipe that you're scared to try?
I'm going to try Thai spring rolls, but they look fiddly to me and I'm afraid they'll fall to pieces. Fat-Free Vegan and The Bakehouse have both posted about these lately and inspired me.

Tag at least one new food blogger for this meme ("new" as in only blogging a few months)
I'm tagging Dori at The Bakehouse

Tag at least one food blogger you visit regularly but never interacted with:
I'll tag Rae at bunnyfoot

Tag at least one food blogger you constantly visit and leave comments:
Karina at Gluten-Free Goddess

Tag anyone else you want:

Bea at La Tartine Gourmande

and Susan at Fat-Free Vegan

and VK at Vegan Knitting (and then some)


Anonymous Vegan Knitting said...

Nice Meme! I'll try to keep it going with a bunch of people. BTW - your photos are reversed.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

VK - not anymore!

6:18 PM  
Blogger SusanV said...

Hi Catherine--Thanks for tagging me (I think!) I'll give it some thought and post my answers soon.

7:05 PM  
Blogger karina said...

Uh oh! Have I packed my favorite cookbooks yet? There are boxes everywhere. I'm wondering if this is the same meme Ilva tagged me with [that I haven't done yet!] If so maybe I can kill two memes with one stone.

5:52 AM  
Blogger Harmonia said...

Great blog you have here! Mind if I link you?

I'm at:

Found you via Vicki's place!!!

1:39 PM  
Blogger farmgirl said...

It's always comforting to find a fellow fool for a cookbook (or magazine or recipe clipping). I'm so glad you enjoyed my savory scones. I, too, think they taste better toasted the next day. And yes, I will get round to posting variations one of these days. Hopefully soon with the chive ones, as the chives in my garden are at their best right now. I also created a feta/kalmata olive version that claimed Honorable Mention in the Milk On The Menu Recipe Contest several years ago, but for the life of me I can't find my copy of the recipe!

2:26 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

hi Susan - I think its a cool meme - I discovered a lot about my organizational style (ha!)
Karina - I was cruel to tag you when you're in the middle of a big move. Take it easy!
Harmonia - links welcome! thank you.
Farmgirl - those scones were wonderful. Chives are my fav. herb right now. Feta/olive - I'm game!

8:11 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Love your blog! Can I link to it? Found it through Fatfree Vegan blog.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Hi Denise - welcome and thank you! I'm a big fan of Fatfree Vegan myself.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

Hi Catherine,
Thanks for the tag. Rob tagged me for the same one so I will combine both. Thanks for thinking about me.

11:25 AM  

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