Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Collected Recipes

So, over the years I've collected recipes here and there; some are exotic, some are for comfort food, others are recipes that my family made when I was young like one for my one grandmother's biscuits or the for my other grandmother's Banana cookies or my mom's Swedish Cardamom bread, mmmmmmm. (The Cardamom bread always without icing of course-ah, happy drooling)

[hmm, maybe I should make another batch this weekend come to think of it.]

The reason I bring this up is because I am cleaning out the binders at work (very slowly I admit) of old recipes that need to be reorganized, rewritten, and just generally tidied up.

I have also started in on the binder at home that houses most of the recipes that I have collected from various magazines, hand written notes, photo copies, printouts from online; you know those recipes-the ones that catch your eye with their gorgeous pictures (practically food porn when you think about it), their ever seductive siren songs of come hither, "I'm Beyond SIMPLICITY ITSELF To Make" or "I only take 15 minutes to whip up, REALLY I DO DAHHHLING".

[see what I mean about the "food porn", it practically begs you to make it]

I've slowly been coming to terms with the fact that I will not make most of these recipes ever.
(meaning pretty much anything involving eggplant-don't like it,
I just don't-sorry mom & dad)

A few of the reasons are due to normal life things like: lack of time and energy, some of the recipes just duplicate ones that I already have in other places, others hold no interest for me any more as my tastes change, a few are just far too bothersome (or involve far too many pots and pans-I'm all for one or two dishes used, period-especially if they are cast iron), still others are missing that certain je ne sais quoi that I want/need/demand from a recipe.

I've also noticed that many recipes don't quite measure up upon closer inspection, sometimes literally. I especially love the ones that list an ingredient and then don't use it anywhere in the recipe itself.

"Why did I buy this half ton Lotus root if it's not used in the brownie recipe at all?! WHY!"

Anyhow, I have decided that it is time to free myself from this excess that weighs me down. I've already done it with my actual cookbooks and though I still have far too many of those (I use many of them for reference and I am continually reevaluating my need for others), I am very particular about the ones that I've kept...for now that is.
[Alton Brown never fear-you, James Beard, and Rose Levy Beranbaum will always be with me]

There are several recipes currently in the binder that I will continue to keep because the pictures are truly beautiful or there's some nugget of really useful information that caught my attention plus-one must always have some potential treasure trove to dig into and discover that true gem that outshines all others.

Yes, the binder will continue on...but it will be lighter, "better...stronger...faster", and more thought will be given in consideration of the next potential recipe to be worthy enough to be bound into the tome of...Recipes...

[hmm, need to work on a worthy title for it. I will have to get back to you about that part.]

[and maybe it will have flames down the side]
*Light bulb moment*
Oh, or something with a Steampunkish theme-yeah...Steampunk...some copper, maybe a little brass, a compass would be a nice touch...
I can envision it now...
Steampunk Binder, here I come.


  1. For the bakery, are there rules about where you're allowed to find recipes? Must one create there own, or at least tweak one enough to be considered their own. Can you tote cupcakes as: "From the Martha Stewart Collection"? Or is that akin to plagiarism?

    I know that in education, the most common words heard are: "Can you make me a copy of that too." But I don't think that attitude stacks up in other professions.

  2. It's kind of a delicate area for most people to tread. There are so many recipes and designs that are so similar.

    Usually, if we are trying out a new recipe, we'll come across some similar ones and maybe bake a test batch or two and tweak away until we get what we want-mainly that it tastes good and doesn't fall apart when you look at it. When you've made any changes then it becomes your recipe.

    For decoration, we personally don't mess with trademarked characters because technically you have to have a licensing agreement with the character's company or use their pre-approved designs.

    Most of the time, these companies probably will never bother you but as the people who have been making unlicensed trademarked character pinatas found out, certain companies will come down very hard and sue them for sums of money that these people realistically will never have, and the companies usually win.

    There are ways to work around that and still make it look similar to what people want but it can be a very slippery slope.