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My recipe book

on February 26, 2013

“I’ve recently started going through all the torn-out, handed-down recipes that have accumulated like a great snowdrift of scraps in my cupboard”

…is what I would write if I were not my mother’s daughter. I believe I’ve mentioned before that she is the queen of organisation. So in fact, my recipes are mostly stacked in a tin, apart from the ones I use often, which tend to get lost in between my actual recipe books, and are stained and torn and, in places, illegible. Of course, some were already illegible to anyone but me to begin with, scribbled on the backs of envelopes or old bills. Others are print-outs from Pinterest, and still others I got from my mother when I left home, on neat cards in a proper recipe box, with tabbed separators. Everyone has a recipe cupboard like this, right?

Well, in a spate of organisational vim, I have decided to go through them, discarding the ones I know won’t wash with my family  – nothing will persuade The Engineer to eat fruit curry – and cooking all that remain to see which might be worth retaining. And then putting them all, or at least the favourites, into a neat photobook complete with meal-plans and shopping lists. I ought to point out that, should this endeavour succeed, I will be more organised even than my mother. Chances are it won’t get that far, but at least I’ll have fewer pages frowning at me as I flip past them in search of old favourites.

As I type, I’m slightly light-headed with red wine fumes from the Beef Bourguignonne simmering in the kitchen. We recently watched Julie and Julia, but it honestly is the first recipe I felt was worth keeping out of my grandmother’s old church-fund-raising book. This particular recipe is from the 1979 version, but some go right back to 1911. I’m not sure I’ll be doing any of those though, as they tend to require items such as suet, which is hard to lay your hands on in Switzerland.

The beef was going to be for dinner tonight, until I remembered that the Engineer is out for dinner. And as we have guests tomorrow, and there isn’t enough beef for 6 (or is there?), I’ll be blogging about it at some point later in the week. Hopefully it is a dish that is happy to sit, half-completed, in the fridge for a few days. But if not, then it is certainly not a recipe adapted to our household!


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