Sunday, January 8, 2012

From One Extreme to the Next!

Ever since I started cooking I would watch the cooks in my life prepare meals....I would sit on the counter and take in every little detail of what they were doing.  One of those brilliant cooks is my aunt, Marguerite.  In her kitchen we have solved the problems of the world....one beer at a time!  No matter how old I get or how many mouths there are to feed in her house she is always a breath of fresh air no matter what craziness is going on in either of our lives.  We laugh, we share the stories of our days, we cry, we laugh some more, we inevitably finish each others sentences or say the exact same thing at the exact same time and without fail, we will get our beers mixed up!  It is a great compliment when people comment on how much we look alike, but the truth of the matter is that our outward appearance only scratches the surface of our similarities.  If there was a relationship that combined sister, aunt, best friend and captain of my moral support team, that would be Marguerite!

She makes dinner look easy...it doesn't matter what she is making.  She is the queen of delicious short cuts, random, yet pretty amazing ingredients, the type of relaxed preparation that makes me you forget a meal is actually in the process of being made.  Marguerite and I are more than simply a niece and her aunt, she is one of my best friends.  She has taught me the true meaning of loyalty, love, undying devotion and the realization that no matter how bad you think a situation may be you have to hold your head up high and give it your very best because no one can ask of you anything more.  

Marguerite has long been making dishes that I have loved!  She finds the most delicious recipes in all different arenas.  As so many of you can appreciate life keeps her from being able to sit down and organize the many recipes she has collected over the years so it is for all of these reasoning that I decided one Saturday to do something for her, something she would never expect but would completely appreciate!  I was going to organize her recipes thus to preserve and consolidate all the many treasures that I have loved for so long.  She gives so much to so many people and in this small way I wanted to give something back to her....it doesn't hurt too that I love a project!

If any of you, and I predict there are a few, have that box of recipes in which you simply shove new recipes or a drawer that barely shuts anymore for its contents are bulging at the seams, here is what I did:

* I assessed the situation to determine exactly how big of a project this was going to be....
  
It was going to be BIG!!  Here are some of the recipes I was working with:
 
Recipes on company letterhead, recipes with so many stains it is a little difficult to decipher the ingredient list...

 
Recipes on the backside of receitps from stores that are no longer in business (note that this receipt is from two months before I was even born!)...
 
Recipes on facsimile coversheets and the inside and backside of envelopes..

* Gathered my supplies:
Binder
Dividers
Plastic page protectors
Plastic index card holders

* Organized by category
Appetizer
Breads
Breakfast
Beef
Chicken
Pork
Lamb
Seafood
Pasta
Sides/Salads
Desserts/Beverages
Note: you can of course choose any categories you want but I have found that keeping it simple makes it a little more manageable.

* Separated by size
I separate them by the recipes that would need to go in 3.5"x5", 4"x6", or full page sleeve.
*  Threw it all together!!
 
 
All done...the box is EMPTY!!

Here are some of the animals at Marguerites that make coming over all the more enjoyable!
     
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