This is a really special project for me. Something I've been thinking about for some time. Something which I hope will be in my possession for years to come. Hopefully something which will be treasured by my children and their children. Not that I like to put pressure on myself or anything ;-)
Basically, since my final year at university, it is fair to say I've been obsessed with cooking and all things food-related. I have a massive folder full of printed out recipes and magazine tear outs. It looked neat at first, but I can't say it's aged very well. It barely ever sees the light of day. It's become too massive, too bulky, too messy. I had it organised with alphabet dividers (A to Z), with the main ingredient being used for filing purposes. Only things can get a little complicated when you speak more than one language. It's not all apricot/ abricot you see. What happens to the likes of strawberry/ fraise? What happens there? Do I just put it all under S, or F? Seems a bit of a waste of time to have to trawl through two sections of the folder when I'm only after one ingredient. Anyway, you get the idea, it wasn't working. And then there's the other folder. The one where I've put in lots of random magazine cut outs. Calling this one a mess is the understatement of the century.
So I did a bit of thinking. Quite a bit actually. I think I even enjoyed having my little thinking cap on, made me feel Arty you see. I can't draw to save my life. But in this instance, I've been able to scribble down how I'd like things to look. I've even got a little notebook out of our ridiculously large stationery collection, and declared it The Inspiration Notebook. Somewhere for me to jot things down, make notes of ideas, possibilities, inspirations. But I'm digressing, back to my recipe dilemma and new found solution. I wanted to work with an easy concept, something cute, something easy to use in the kitchen (no point having a great big old folder that takes up all the space on the working surface), something that I would look forward to flicking through.
So, want to see what I came up with?Well, I prepared 5 little notebooks. Why five? One for each season plus one for miscellaneous recipes (those that are season-less) of course! And I've got a rule for those recipes that do make it into the notebooks. They have to be tried, tasted and liked by me. None of those "ooh this looks nice I'll keep it for a rainy day". No no no. It has to have convinced Boyfriend and I that it is indeed yummy, and made it into the I-want-to-eat-this-every-day-for-the-next-month category. Ok I'm exaggerating a little here, but you get the idea!
Off I went to a major supplier of all things stationary, purchased 5 little notebooks (don't you love the little ribbons to tie them up?!) and some photo corner things. I had this idea of making simple paintings of symbols representing the seasons. It soon became obvious that using coloured pencils would be a lot easier. I still managed to preserve the idea of a cycle of the seasons by positioning said symbols in a circle. I'm aware this may not make much sense, so have a look!
These can be removed and changed as I please, and I quite like that. Some I've embelished, others have been left plain. I wasn't too sure what to draw for the miscellaneous book, and I can't say I like what I did very much, but it'll do for the moment, until I come up with something better (maybe you have an idea or two?).
A page in the Inspiration Notebook is currently full of recipes that need to make it into the recipe books. Easy things, it doesn't have to be something fancy. Take for example mackerel pate. My life just wouldn't be the same without it. All you need is a smoked mackerel fillet, some cream cheese and lemon juice and BANG, magic happens. Trust me, it's true. But it's not necessarily obvious you see, fashions come and go, and this is definitely one thing I want my children and grandchildren to be enjoying. I love food, it brings such joy, such happiness. I can't imagine such moments being lost and wasted. Now's the time to get recording.