Tag Archives: organizing

Purging the files

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.

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Filed under Cooking, Family, Uncategorized

Molasses and salsa

September makes me want to get organized. To throw things out. To find out how many jars of molasses I have in my cupboard and put them all together. (4. I have 4 jars of molasses in my cupboard. All of them open. And I have 4 bottles of Worcestershire sauce, 8 jars of salsa, 4 large containers of Crisco and more bottles of vinegar than I can even count. And cumin. Man, do I have cumin.)

But I digress. (Maybe it’s been a few Septembers since I organized the kitchen cabinets.)

September makes me want to go through closets and get rid of things that don’t fit anymore. (Don’t fit the kids anymore, I mean. Of course, everything still fits me.) To get rid of the mountain of papers in the office. To organize and fold. To clean that utility closet that still sort of smells like the cat died in it  bad.

I’ve long thought that the Jewish calendar, with the New Year in September, made so much more sense than the random January 1 date in the middle of winter. (Of course, I realize that it’s not winter everywhere in January. Typical American-centeredness, I know.)

September, with its cool (er) nights and low (er) humidity (okay, on some days), gives me energy. The start of school makes me feel like it’s a new beginning. Like the world is full of possibilities. Like anything is possible. Like this is the year that I will get organized and stay organized. Like this is the year I will write songs, and write in my journal every day, and talk to all the people I care about on a regular basis.

Yep, this is going to be that year.

And in the meantime, just let me know if you need any molasses.

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Filed under Family, Gratitude