Friday, August 21, 2015

confessions of a recipe hoarder





I hoard recipes. I used to hoard them on index cards until that got unwieldy but about the same time, the computer came along. Ah, electronic recipe hoarding.

I wish I was the kind of person who had favorite recipes and stuck with them. I have favorites, but then I keep adding to the collection. I still make beef stew and tomato soup the way I have for years, but the recipes I keep discovering...now those are special.

A few years ago I found a recipe for a Summer Vegetable Gratin in a Cook's Illustrated magazine. I make it at least once every August. Last year, my friend Cheryl, introduced me to Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good. Now that is a must-make in the fall. I found a recipe on Smitten Kitchen for PearTarte Tatin and it's my showiest autumn dessert.

You can imagine that things get out of hand. I have recipes in binders: two Christmas binders, a Thanksgiving binder, an Equinox/St. Patrick's Day binder, and a Current Favorites binder. I wind up with overwhelming piles of recipes to sort and organize (badly). I tried going completely electronic but there is something appealing about a recipe with a smear of butter or a smudge of pumpkin.

The internet, as much as it is helpful with my addiction (I use Plan to Eat) it is also part of the problem. I love food blogs and food sites: Smitten Kitchen, Food Network, Simply Recipes, Yummly, Tasting Table, and so it goes. I can't find one recipe for fish tacos...I have to find six recipes, compare them, use the fish prep part of one, the sauce recipe from another, the cabbage from yet another. So now I have to keep all six. It is a sickness.

These last weeks of summer, I am drawn to recipes for things from the garden: vegetable gratin, salsa, soup. Soon, I'll be moving into fall recipes which are my favorites. I love the aroma of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Oh, my. It's good to be alive.


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