About 5 years ago a great friend gave me a recipe journal as a gift. She had recently inherited her grandmother’s recipe journal. She knew that I record and cherish my favorite recipes and thought that I could also create an adored heirloom.
I liked that idea. I wrote all of my favorite recipes in and have maintained it when new favorites developed. However, with the frequency that I use those favorite recipes, that book has started to fall apart. The cookie section divider page hasn’t been attached for years.
And recipe collection has changed, most recipes can be easily found, re-found, collected, and shared online or in some digital format. I also have a lot of recipes cut out of magazines or printed out that haven’t quite made it to heirloom status, but that I want to save, tweak and perfect until they are ready to pass on to future generations. I’m good about keeping all of my recipes in the same location – which has meant everything got folded up and held together with a rubber band.
I finally got around to sorting this out using a household favorite: binder and sheet protectors. I have a standard sized three ring recipe labelled binder from Amazon that came with section dividers (I got this one in a different color, but any full sized binder will work, if you get one decorated for recipes, make sure that it is a standard binder size, many are slightly smaller, or you lose the easy of sliding in the paper right from the printer). I bought a pack of recipe card size sheet protectors for the smaller recipes or those already on recipe cards, and a box of “regular” sheet protectors from Staples.
The pages of the journal were already coming out, so I just tore them out and slid them side by side into the sheet protectors. I kept recipes that I haven’t tried and am not sure about in a pocket instead of a sheet protector to add a little extra inspiration to try it, and put one sided recipes back to back to save space.
If you like to print recipes out from online sources, this method of organizing is easy and very functional, and saves you from printing and reprinting every time when you can find the first one you printed. You don’t need the sheet protectors, you probably have an old binder and possibly dividers sitting around and just need a hole punch. But the sheet protectors will keep the recipes from being ripped or dripped/spilled on, plus it’s sort of fun (if you are into that sort of thing, which I am), looks and feels a little professional, and you can just shove them in there without having to poke wonky holes with the binder rings or a pencil when you can find the hole punch.
This could make a nice Mother’s Day gift for a certain crowd people (get it for yourself!). Get a pretty binder or finally throw out the contents of the Philosophy 101 binder in our attic and Sharpie on a nice design or glue scrap book paper all over the binder, and print out some of your favorite recipes. This could work for things other than recipes too- clippings for interior decorating projects, colors, crafts or design ideas from magazines or online sources. My kids have (and love) their own binders with sheet protectors for organizing all sorts of projects and ideas: magazines, magazine clippings, print-outs, writing, drawings, and lots of secrets. I’m guessing if I had to pass it on to them now, they’d dump my recipes and just fight over the coveted pocketed dividers.