Sunday, May 02, 2010

Recipes - a call for help

I vividly remember sitting down with my Grandma Cronk one afternoon and thumbed through her collection of cookbooks. We are talking COLLECTION! At the time I had no idea the wealth of knowledge - concerning nothing but cooking - that occupied shelves and shelves in her house. This one particular afternoon, she guided me through some of them, I wasn't that impressed at the time - until now. If I could snap my fingers right now, I would be in my Grandma's kitchen, sitting at the table, reading random old cookbooks right now. It was a history lesson, a lesson on the real roles that we embark on everyday - how to feed ourselves and the ones we love.
The single cookbook that I wish I could get my hands on was one that was from The Great Depression - I think - or was it just a really SIMPLE cookbook. I am talking how to cook anything and use it all. I won't  go into the bits and pieces that are slipping my mind, I just would love to get my hands on it. Grandma - that afternoon left a big warm spot in my heart for cookbooks.
I have my very own shelve devoted to cookbooks. I do pour over the Internet daily to find new recipes, ideas and inspiration but it will never - EVER - replace a hard bound cookbook in my house. I am one of those geeks that might be know to read cookbooks before I go to bed..... 
I am running into a fatal flaw in my cooking adventures in the kitchen. I love to have dinner parties, I am saying that people come over ever weekend for food and drinks. I want to keep it this way and have a life outside my kitchen and potlucks get kind of old after a while. So, I try recipes here and there, new exciting things, out of cookbooks (I seem to trust my blogs more because they usually are a bit more honest when critiquing a recipe and it is such a community that no one that I follow would throw out for everyone to see *gasp* something that tastes really really... lame!) and they are horrible. Guests have been faced to "enjoy" a new baked chicken recipe and really bland appetizers. BLAH! I don't waste my time, money and energy making something that tastes like nothing or something that needs a cup of ketchup or any condiment to hide the flavor and I want people to come back.
I want quick time tested recipes that I know are crowd pleasers. Is this too much to ask?
So - what do I do? I need some way of archiving my recipes - a recipe box! If I could just get my hands on my Carol's (my fault for never being there as her last belongings were being divided up among family and friends - but if someone has a few cookbooks of hers that they  have no interest in, I know of a great home for them!) recipe box - that would save me all the work.
I am making my own recipe box. A collection of my favorite recipes, handwritten on paper, in the kitchen and the go-to for mid week dinners and the BBQ that needs a few sides, not to mention the perfect chocolate chop cookie and toffee recipe for the moments of weakness.
What do you do to keep up on all your favorite recipes? I need some ideas!