All Women's Talk

The Recipe Thing

By Lindy Tagged here at Toast by one Toastpoint for this meme, I am going to be good and do it promptly, for a change. It would be churlish to do otherwise, especially after asking others to participate in Something for Nothing (noodge, noodge); it is the least I can do. In any event, I have been thinking quite a bit about recipes of late, although mostly about how to write them better. Inspired by Shuna's techniques of recipe writing, I have begun to change my recipe writing a bit, both in Toast (for others), and also for myself.

One change I copied directly from Eggbeater is the listing of ingredients before quantities. I find this change very helpful when checking whether I have the ingredients on hand, as well as for assembling them prior to cooking. I also admire the recipes of Dorie Greenspan, who is notable for pointing out that which may appear alarming, but is actually not a problem or mistake. (eg. It doesn't matter if it looks like the batter has separated, and so on.) But on to the assignment at hand.

1.Where do you obtain the recipes you prepare?

Everywhere. Cookbooks old and new, other people's blogs,, old ladies and gents, friends, coworkers, novels, memory, and made up out of the whole cloth. I spend a disgraceful amount of time thinking about what to make next.

2.How often do you cook a new recipe?

Several times a week. Writing a blog has spurred me on to try new things. But I always did like to experiment

3.How do you store your favorite recipes?

I have a little bound book-I'm on my second one, where I handwrite a recipe if I'm sure I'll be making it again. Once I'm sure I will keep it, I put in on the next page of the notebook, number the page, and list it in my running index in the back. As you can see, I sometimes doodle,too. I got this idea from the redfox, my daughter, who started doing it herself while in college. She, in turn, was inspired by her friend A. So this was certainly not my own idea, but I've been quite happy with it for about 10 years now, and intend to continue into other volumes if necessary.

4.How large is your "to try" pile? Is it organized? How?

My "to try" pile is a looseleaf ring binder, of which you see a corner here. The tabbed sections have general categories, and each has an envelope where I stuff recipes and articles. Every once in a while, I go through it for ideas, and throw out things I've lost interest in. It's still pretty bulbous. I haven't gone to files, because I'm trying to keep from taking up more space. When I'm being realistic, I realize I will never make most of them, as I generally don't wait long to try a recipe that really sounds great. Often, such a recipe will never make it to the binder in the first place.

5.What is the oldest recipe in your "to try" file?

Dunno. They are not organized that way.

6.Are you going to make everything in the pile


7.Do you follow a recipe exactly?

I try to follow a recipe exactly if it is for a foreign dish, or something else I have never tasted before, the first time I make it. That way I know what it is supposed to taste like, before I vary it. Also, if I have eaten something truly fabulous, and been lucky enough to be given a recipe, my greed to re-experience the thing will probably keep me on track. That being said, the lack of one tool or ingredient probably won't stop me trying something, and I'm an inveterate taster-fiddler. And, of course, I frequently cook with no written recipe.

8. What is one recipe you are scared to try?

I have a lovely, handwritten copy of a family recipe for gingery potstickers from Winnie, who was a blogging by mail partner a while back. I love these, but the nature of the recipe is such that it makes many,many dumplings and is best done as a group venture. So I'm waiting til I can convince a cooking friend or two to participate, lest I get snowed under.

**I am to tag people as follows. Please note that this is meant to be entirely without pressure; I will not be in the least offended if you don't bother.

Tag at least one new food blogger**:
This food blogger is so new that she is not even public yet. When she is, if she has any interest in this, she can consider herself tagged. That would be you, J.M. -if you are reading this, you know who you are. Good grief.

Tag a blogger you have visited regularly, but do not interact with:
Nordljus, of the divine photos

Tag a blogger you visit all the time, and leave comments for:
anapestic- I know you're very busy right now, but at least you don't have to cook or take pictures for this. Only if you want to.

Tag anyone else you want
Want to be tagged? If your email arrives first, I'll tag you here.

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