Last weekend, I purged my recipe file. I have this big green file folder that I use to store recipes. For the past 5 years or so (okay, maybe 10), I have been collecting recipes that looked good. And stuffing them into the file folder (organized into categories, of course. Sort of.) And I thought about it recently and realized that if I were hit by a bus tomorrow, Emma would go through that file and instead of thinking fondly about the great family dinners we had, she would think, “Look at all these recipes that don’t even sound familiar.” So I decided to purge. This requires getting honest with yourself about what you’re never going to do. Kind of like going through your closet and getting red of anything you haven’t worn in a year. And here’s what I purged:
1. Any recipe for sorbet, ice cream, granita, sherbet, popsicles, or anything found in the frozen treats section. Easier to buy it. And probably better.
2. Anything that requires pounding something with a mallet.
3. Crock pot recipes for anything that is not intended to be served mushy. Because it always ends up mushy.
4. Anything that contains both chocolate and noodles.
5. Anything that has more than 10 ingredients. (Unless a) it’s for a special occasion and b) I’ve already made it so I know that it’s worth it.)
6. Anything that contains both fruit and meat. (I make an exception for apples and pork. Yum.)
7. Anything that has a jello-like consistency and isn’t jello. Like aspic.
8. Cold soup. (I know that some people like them. I don’t.)
9. 10 recipes for variations on “chicken in peanut sauce”. Because I have one that we all love and who needs more than one way to cook chicken in peanut sauce? Ditto for chicken enchiladas.
10. Candy. There are lots of professional candy makers who can make it better than I can. And that whole candy thermometer thing is a pain.
I got rid of about half of my recipes. In all honesty, I probably could have gotten rid of 3/4. But it’s a start.