Do you have a recipe box? I’ve always wanted a simple wooden box that was divided into easy to find sections and recipes.
But, this is what I have.
Do you see that old and rescued blue leather 22 x 14 x 7-inch suitcase? Yes, that’s my recipe box. And it has a special spot in my kitchen — always right there when I need a special recipe.
It’s chucked full of unorganized loose papers.
It’s actually like an unorganized scrapbook. 18 years ago, in my first apartment out of college, I started with this old 3-ring binder. It’s still in that suitcase. That 3 ring binder did me well for quite a few years — until I actually purchased a house 11 years ago and had more heart to cook, and lost that binder in the move!
Even with the internet and almost any recipe you want at your fingertips, I find myself going through My Recipe Box quite often. I know what the paper looks like of that special recipe.
Like this one from high school home ec class — that’s Mrs. Jacobson’s handwriting.
Or this Wedding Cake Icing recipe — that’s the recipe I used when Mom and I made my wedding cake 15 years ago.
This is my grandmother’s molasses cookie recipe — the one I copied for Dad when he moved out to his own apartment when I was in high school. I helped him learn to cook and bake those first few years. FYI, this recipe make a huge batch of molasses cookies and should be hand stirred — we burnt up a hand mixer our first try at that one!
Even in the depths of the recipe box is this postcard from my younger brother in 1994 when he was in the Navy on the USS Cape Cod and arriving in Tokyo. For some reason I put it in the 3-ring binder and it will forever stay in the recipe box.
There’s even a recipe in here for Mole Out — I remember copying that from a TV show back in the mid-90’s.
This one comes from college days and has traveled well. This was from my high school bestie, LJ. She went to Michigan Tech — they had to make their own, you probably couldn’t buy Kahlua way up there!
Ah ha! Here’s the cookbook and instruction booklet for the Onion Machine — I don’t have the machine, but I still have the cookbook.
And my Thanksgiving Dinner Menu file. It has the menu and any loose recipes I used for every year I’ve hosted Thanksgiving Dinner — it will be 10 years this year.
You can see I at one time started to work on that nice organized recipe box.
But it was just too much! I think I will continue to just enjoy my memories every time I open this recipe box in search of that special recipe.
Cindy blogs at Chippewa Creek ~ Our Life Simplified.
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Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:
Cindy, it’s early but I am just giggling like crazy this morning – SO impressed that these ARE organized (meaning they are all in ONE place)! Mine are in several places – a drawer, a couple of boxes …. and I also have a similar (but less fancy legged) farm table in my kitchen too. Are you the sister I never knew I had? LOL
On November 21, 2010 at 7:33 am
Holy Cow CindyP, you are so organzied. I’ve tried to tame my collection of papers, cards and recipes but have never managed. They’re in drawers, binders, stuffed inside cook books etc. Perhaps you can give a lecture on “suitcase” organization 101. I love it. I’m sure each time you open that suitcase memories flood back. Enjoy.
On November 21, 2010 at 7:59 am
Canned Quilter says:
I have the twin to your recipe suitcase except mine is brown : )
On November 21, 2010 at 8:25 am
What a great post! I love your recipe box! I too have recipes that I recognize by the paper or the splotch on the paper. Thanks for starting my day with a smile.
On November 21, 2010 at 8:37 am
LOL….and I thought ‘mine’ was bad!!! Love it!!
On November 21, 2010 at 8:39 am
Miss Judy says:
That’s a neat idea. I have a suitcase for loose photo’s, now I am soooo going to get one for my recipes! I have recipes tucked in the most unlikely places. Just the other day I found one in my coat pocket. I must have grabbed it last winter when I went to buy the ingredients.Thanks for the idea.
On November 21, 2010 at 8:40 am
You can find these old suitcases at yard sales for $1 most of the time! And it is in no way organized. Every time I look for a recipe, it becomes re-UNorganized! LOL!
All of my loose recipes used to be in a HUGE drawer in my buffet, but I organized my waxed paper, aluminum foil, etc into that (they used to hang out in the pantry any old where), so I pulled one of my suitcases out of the closet. It’s full, I will be graduating up to a trunk soon.
I have several throughout the house, trunks, too. I have a huge trunk full of photos…that takes a day when I’m looking for an old photo. I have a stack of trunks and a suitcase in the living room as a table. One of them holds all my tablecloths and cloth napkins.
@Dede — those table legs are actually from an old sewing machine cabinet. I built a box on top to house all the gloves, hats, etc. It sits right inside the back door so they’re dropped in there instead of everywhere else.
On November 21, 2010 at 9:21 am
Sorting recipes is my perennially fall task. I have never conquered the beast but sometimes I fool myself into thinking I almost have it under control. My latest brain child was to take all this loose paper and look for only the family favorites for the holidays. Got a 3 ring binder and labeled it “holidays” and all the stuffing, dressing, Christmas cookies, turkey and sides I only make at this time of year are in there. I guess if the rest isn’t so organized I’m not going to worry. But it’s a start and that matters.
Happy Holiday and just wanted you to know I am an everyday reader of your blog and books.
P.S. I have the same Kahula receipe except mine calls for 100 proof grain alcohol. Put it with heavy cream and it tasted heavenly.
On November 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm
All this sounds too familar. i started collecting recipes when I was 18 with the idea that someday I would make every thing I had collected. Who was I kidding? I have purged some of my stash, but not all. Now the internet just adds to it.
On November 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm
I have a ton of recipes that I have tried to tame. In fact, I have tamed them in the past, but it takes them about 2 seconds to revert to their wild state, so I have pretty much given up trying to tame them anymore.
On November 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm
CindyP you are organized! At least there’s only ONE place for you to look! I have a binder of “favorites” in the pantry with “favorite cookbooks” (which seem to fill more and more of the shelf!). There’s another folder of “frequently used” recipes in the cabinet by the stove. Then, there’s a shelf of cookbooks (that survived vicious purging before the move)in the den….and an entire folder on th computer…..I forget where I should start looking….
On November 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm
I love those kind of recipe ‘boxes’! They tell stories – I have one that is actually a box that holds a crazy amount of recipes, notes from my grandmother on the back of old coupons, etc. So much fun to look through!
On November 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Geez…I almost made the comment that this post was a “re-run”, then I realized it was from *your* site that I read about a week ago!!
On November 21, 2010 at 7:39 pm
CindyP, that’s not a recipe box . . . that’s a memory box! What a great thing to have stashed in your kitchen 🙂
On November 21, 2010 at 10:39 pm
Yesm Yes, Yes, Who wouldn’t LOVE this pretty red bowl. It would match me kitchen prefectly. I would lovingly make delicious food to eat with it. It would make me think of you often. My favorite Thanksgiving item is the stuffing. But, I HAVE to have cranberries with it too. My family favorite is called giftas. You cook the cranberries acording to the package. Then layer it in a clear bowl. A layer of cranberries, a layer of whipped cream with sugar added, a layer of crushed graham crackers, then repeat the same 3 items. It is pretty and wonderfully GOOD!!! mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
On November 22, 2010 at 11:29 am
CindyP…I can so relate to “knowing” what you’re looking for by what the paper looks like or the writing, etc…I do that with my recipes in my recipe boxes all the time! LOL 🙂 I yank a handful out & give the box to my mom & tell her what color card/paper its on & who’s writing to look for…it’s a great system for us girls.
On November 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm
My recipes are everywhere as I am organized-challenged.
I have 3 recipe boxes, 2 school folders, a recipe journal, several notebooks, and one of those plastic tubs that slide underneath your bed filled with loose magazine clippings and handwritten recipes.
I keep my most treasured and used recipes in one wooden recipe box my Baba gave me.
On November 23, 2010 at 6:47 am