Monday, October 02, 2006

OCTOBER challenge: Family recipes and cookbooks

Recipe File Box photo credit from seller "tina653" :

Photo Credits: Recipe easel by Catherine at Scrapease

Let's get busy on our October challenge right away ...No time to waste. Can you smell the apple crisp baking? Do you have Grandma's cider recipe at hand? And where did that great popcorn ball recipe go from grade school? What happened to all those cards and recipes over the years that you just tucked away for organizing later?

Well "later" is here and we want to create some great recipe files, cookbooks, or folders for your treasured recipes. Using scrapbooking supplies, you can create some wonderful containers for those recipes or duplicate and give the entire collection as a gift. But this will take a little organizing and we want to start NOW before the holidays are upon us and we get too busy.

Cookbook photo credit: Celia at

Decide first of all what kind of container system you like for your recipes. SOme people are used to file boxes but just need a larger one. Other people love cookbooks and flipping thru the pages is more comfortable way for them to find their recipes. Still others feel a need for speed so they make pretty file catagory folders and boxes for those folders. YOU DECIDE what kind of container you prefer that works for your system of searching for recipes. Most of us will use the same kind of system we have now but it needs to be expanded or enlarged or cull out the 'bad' recipes or the ones we don't use ever anymore.

Recipe page example

Your first task is to take out your recipe system and take a hard look at it. How big is it and how big is the job/overflow? Consider the space you have in the kitchen to store this too. How big/tall are your shelves? Don't plan to make a 12 inch tall file box if your cabinets are only 9 inches tall! See what I mean? Think it over. I am using a 2 up photo album for my Grandma Gramlich's recipe cards and my own friend and family recipe cards. I will be altering the album front a bit and personalizing it as well as making some accents for the section dividers and recipes.

Lunchbox recipe file

But you can choose any boxes, files, mini albums or cookbook style you prefer. Many people make 8x8 or 12x12 scrapbook pages for each special recipe. (Do this only if you are speedy scrappers!) Another fun idea is to take a garage sale or Goodwill sale hardback cookbook and alter THAT following their catagories.You could make a creative page set inside that framework and alter each section with your own recipe cards, photos, and embellishments.

Your second job is to cull out all the too-difficult, impractical, boring, or bad recipes you won't ever use. I don't care how pretty the photos are. If you don't have time to make a 12 step pot roast recipe from the New York Times, get rid of it. (Now if it is Grandma's pot roast recipe, keep it for heritage sake and journal why it is special!)

Try to whittle down the amount of paper you will be handling by being picky. Many of us toss in recipes from magazines for "someday" because they look yummy and pretty, but we won't every truly make them. And they are not CONNECTED to us or our family at all. My grandma often says, "Just Keep the Keepers." In other words, not everything is important to save.

But family recipes are keepers, even if you won't ever make them, keep the family recipes. Others may want to have those recipes down the line later on. That is the focus of this challenge.

Examples of cookbook altered projects can be seen here...Keep checking back....get inspired!

Get busy this week!!!

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