On the road to a simpler life, I recently cleaned out recipes. I don’t know about you, but I have way too many recipes. It seems that I must like the idea of cooking more than actually cooking. If I had someone to prep the ingredients and then to clean up afterwards, I’d cook more often. But on this day, I sorted through recipes, keeping only those I’ve tried and liked, some I’d like to try, and those old ones that connect me to another time and place. It was interesting to me how recipes and cooking changes in various ways over time.

I still have a traditional recipe card file, filled with recipes from friends and family near and far, and other various sources.

Recipes Box

I went through a Pillsbury recipe magazine phase. I loved getting the latest one at the grocery store in the checkout line. It was time to part with these beauties.

Pillsbury Cookbooks

I pulled out those great community cookbooks, so popular decades ago. I got some as gifts at my wedding in the early 90’s. I had some from churches and one from my former employer.  I even had one I treasured from Pella, Iowa, a hometown of a good friend.

Church Cookbooks

I don’t use these recipe books any more, even though some days I do crave a classic Jell-O salad potluck recipe. Did you have a few favorites, too?

As time progressed, I wasn’t using recipe cards and books as much. Enter Food Network TV. Eventually, I had way too many printed recipes, and lots of ambition to try them all, from my favorite Food Network cooking shows: Good Eats, Barefoot Contessa, and others. Now I also watch Pioneer Woman, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen, and simply save some recipes on my computer.

Printed Recipes

Have you noticed how ingredients have changed over time as well? A lot less cans of soup in recipes. A lot more interesting ingredients like feta cheese and even Brussel sprouts. I don’t even think I used the word vinaigrette until the last decade or two.

Have you noticed how mainstream it is for guys to be good cooks now, too? That’s a big shift in society from when I was young. I like it!

Using a computer to get access to many recipes is the latest convenience. And we use smart phones to look up a recipe in the kitchen or even in the market, too. Then I can see the ingredients while grocery shopping.

Martha Stewart Web Site

Later that same day, as I purged the recipes I was no longer interested in trying, keeping, or storing, I came across a variety of recipe cards. Does anyone use recipe cards much anymore for sharing recipes? Seems like many of us type up a recipe and send it in an email or some other more contemporary form of sharing something good to eat.

Variety of Recipe Cards

Recipe collections, however we keep up with them, are a gold mine of tasty goodness that we share with those we love in various settings, building traditions. A great part of our good life! What are your favorite recipes or sources for recipes?

Handful of Recipe Cards

Stay tuned for What’s Cooking? Part 2 in the weeks ahead.

Stay charming, my friends!

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