Back in ye olden days, recipe storage and management was easy peasy. You just hand wrote (with your quill) recipes into a nice keepsake book, which was then ready to hand down to the next generation of cooks. Or you put book marks into your CWA cookbook – maybe with hand-written notes on the recipes about your modifications.

My mum had a great folder system that started in the 70′s – with dividers for different cuisines (I should add here that my mum was a librarian. She took filing to a new level).  She had all sorts of magazine/newspaper recipe clippings, with her hand written notes on her favourites. I loved reading through that folder over the years.

Roll forward to 2011 and my recipe management is seriously in need of some review. I need a recipe audit.  Maybe mum to spend a week sorting me out. I feel trapped between old school (handwritten with cooking stains) and new breed tech head (recipe databases with searches and fancy pants functionality). Some of my recipes are online, some are handwritten and cutouts from magazines, and some are in my cookbooks. Accessibility of recipes these days is so fantastic, but it does create a situation whereby you have so many recipes, you often don’t know what you have.

I am resistant to pooling all my recipes into an online repository – as I still enjoy cooking from food splattered cookbooks, and scraps of paper. Having said that I have a raft of bookmarks I refer to regularly. And I’m sure I will eventually get some sort of recipe database system going.

For now though, my “system” is this (nothing to copy here):

the bible

The book: I have a orange book with blank pages, that I intended to stick and copy recipes into. A bit like what mum had, but not as organised. But instead of actually sticking things in, the book has now got millions of pieces of paper shoved into it – making it a very cumbersome book to have in the kitchen. I know exactly where everything is, but it just takes one small person to knock it off the bench, and then we’re in recipe anarchy.


Bookmarks: Every time I find a great recipe online, I bookmark it. (I also print it out, and shove it in my orange book).

the big guns

Cookbooks: My favourites sit within arms reach in the kitchen, and the others in another room. One day I will have room to put all my cookbooks in the kitchen where they belong.

iPad in the kitchen: OK slightly risky, but often my iPad sits right in the cooking (and small person eating) line of fire. It’s pretty handy. I have one of those leather folders around it, that allows it to stand upright. Good also for boring moments when cooking, as you can have a bit of a surf around whilst you wait for water to boil.

Has anyone got recipe management totally sorted? I bet Martha Stewart has.