Do you have a home-made cookbook or recipe collection?
My grandmother took the time to write out all her recipes by hand, of course. Many of the earlier ones are nib and ink. Over the years she tucked them into an old parchment book. They are falling apart, mostly unreadable, but very treasured.
My mother has a mish mosh of recipes. Some handwritten on lined paper in biro, some typed copies from a mimegraph – those my age may remember the purple ink that was never quite dry, and often smeared so badly we couldn’t even read the sentence. And the smell! As years progressed she added magazine cuttings and these days, she sends me recipes via email.
Mother in law re-writes the spaky’s childhood favourites onto cutsey notepaper and send them to me
in the vain hope that skipper will remember what a wonderful cook his mother was and forget about my abilities for posterity.
Mine is a clutch of memories. Ones I gathered in my childhood in my grandparent’s hand, my parents hand, my childhood schoolgirl girl scrawl. Pages ripped from magazines, odd cards kept from subscribed ‘collections’, smeary newsprints from papers of years long passed.
I have a large, fat journal given to me as a Christmas present a few years ago. (Oddly, it features a 3 dimensional coconut tree on the cover, not very ‘cookish’). It’s drawcard, however, is that it contains about 1000 A4 size blank pages in a lovely quality ivory paper, and bound by a lovely leather. So, I forgave the coconut cover and began handwriting my own recipes and family favorites in there years ago. Stupidly, when I began the book, I didn’t think to create categories or divisions so lemon butter is nestled above Thai fish cakes, and adjacent to green beans with pork and chilli.
I also have a huge plastic folder from Kikki K that contains neatly organised sections and categories. They house clear plastic sleeves, and each sleeve holds the magazine cut outs I have taken the time to sort from the aforementioned clutch. The rest, probably 200 or so torn offerings, huddle together in a basket waiting to be rediscovered for the potential they showed when they were first ripped from their initial resting place.
My dilemma is now, whether or not to house them all in one place.
I have been leaning towards removing the Kikki K inserts and pasting them into the big book.
TFM has his opinion. “I like YOUR recipes in the big book, mum”, he says. “Just have a book and a folder”.
I am not sure.
What would you do? Or, what do you have?