My mom is a great cook and so is my mom-in-law. The main difference between the two of them is that my mom doesn’t use recipes and my mom-in-law does.
And do you know what happens when you use recipes? After cooking for a while, you tend to acquire a lot of them. And after a decade or two has passed, most recipe boxes start to overflow.
I distinctly remember one day as a new bride when I saw Steve’s mom get a recipe from her collection and noticed that she had not one, but two recipe boxes stuffed to the brim. I thought to myself, “I don’t think I will ever have enough recipes to justify having two boxes. But if I ever do, I will know for sure at that point that I have become a real grown up.”
Well. I just want to announce to the world at large that the time has come.
I have owned this little number for ten or fifteen years and up until a short while ago, it handled my treasured recipes pretty well.
And then one day while I was valiantly endeavoring to wedge a recipe card back into the box’s overstuffed insides I thought, “Oh my. I believe the time has finally come for me to need a second box. And that means that I am definitely a real grown up!” (insert moment of silence, here)
However, it turned out not to be as easy as all of that. When I started looking for a second recipe box, I found out that they are not easy items to locate. And the ones I did find were dreadfully expensive-- $20 or more. And as a card carrying member of People Who Love Thrift Stores, I absolutely refused to pay that much money for a humble, basic box filled with absolutely nothing.
But then? One day I was meandering through a Goodwill store and came across a wonderful find. A brand new recipe box! With brand new recipe cards inside! For only three dollars! (insert many exclamation points here)
I happily took my purchase to the counter and babbled merrily away to the clerk about how happy I was to find this box because my first box was overflowing and I needed a second box but I didn’t want to pay the ridiculous price that a new box cost and yet I really, really needed one and wasn’t it wonderful that I had found a lovely box—brand new, mind you—that was beautiful and sturdy and now I could go home and separate my recipes between the two boxes and finally be a real grown up! And everything!
Well, actually I didn’t say all that. But I did rhapsodize rather rapturously as I paid. (insert image of patient store clerk’s face here)
I came home and introduced the boxes to each other and they seemed to like each other right off the bat. The old box welcomed the new box very graciously and offered to showed her around the place. It was a happy moment for all involved.
I looked. And looked. And then I looked some more. And I was almost ready to give up in abject despair when a thought hit me. A good and creative and wonderful thought.
I thought of these little guys, these little sticky thingies that don’t cost very much at all.
My last step was to divide up all my recipes between the two boxes and then label each end of the box so that I could remember which box held which recipes. Because I always forgot. Because I am almost fifty. (insert ancient, aged Becky face here)
The very moment I got those two boxes divided and reorganized, I felt an unmistakable mantle of maturity settle upon my shoulders. I just can’t tell you how great it feels to have finally arrived in the land of real grown up-ness.
So. That’s my story. Now, how about you? Are you a one-boxer, a two-boxer, or maybe even possibly a three-boxer? (I’ve heard that three-boxers exist but I’ve never personally met one.)
Or do you store recipes in a different way altogether?
One of my main problems in the recipe storage area of life is when I find a recipe that I like in one of my many cookbooks, I have trouble remembering which book it was in when I want to make it again. How do you organize your “non-recipe boxed” favorites?