I baked a cake for my husband on Father’s Day. I’ve had the recipe since 2003; it’s the first time I’ve baked the cake. Fortunately, it was delicious and will be made again. Two weeks ago I baked some oatmeal cranberry muffins. Horrible, squishy, chewy little lumps. Muffins into the green bin; recipe into the blue bin. This is especially disappointing because I’d had the recipe since 2000.
In my defence, my recipe hoarding began long before I was a Professional Organizer. I’ve learned a bit about my own behaviours since then: If I don’t make a new dish soon after acquiring the recipe, the likelihood of my ever making it diminishes with each passing day.
I have a great system for storing my recipes and fortunately, each piece of paper takes up no more than 1 mm of space. Fairly unobtrusive. But regardless of how little space my recipes need, there’s no point having a folder full of paper I will never refer to. My system is rendered ineffective if I don’t maintain it. Establishing the system is the first step. Using the system is the second. But step three, ongoing maintenance, may be the most important of all.
So, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be getting reacquainted with the contents of my recipe folder. Old favourites will be returned to their labelled pocket. Recipes that intrigue me will be tried and judged. And those that make me think, “well, maybe . . .” will be immediately discarded. Because if I’m still on the fence, I’m never going to make it!