Can't Take It With Us: Binder of Unmade Deliciousness.


A decade ago, my performance in the kitchen wasn't much to talk about. I loved to bake, but dinner on the table was usually something microwaved or advertised with a big, white, personified glove. (Was anyone else bothered that it only had 4 fingers? Or was that just me?) Takeaway and the closest drive-through were my personal chefs and that's the way it stayed all through my first marriage and beyond.

It wasn't until I moved to Georgia and started my new life as a stay at home wife and mother that I realized I needed to embrace my role as the sole provider of sustenance and step my food game up by about a bajillion. I turned to my childhood domestic hero and subscribed to Martha Stewart Living. Then it was Real Simple. Cooking Light. Better Homes & Gardens. Good Housekeeping. Southern Living.

My mailbox was filled with ideas and know-how every month and I religiously read each cover to cover before carefully tearing out whatever recipes seemed interesting or doable. If you follow along over on Instagram, you'll know that I have attempted to win my husband over with food for 16 years now. Becoming proficient in the kitchen was all part of my master plan.

And so began my Binder Full of Deliciousness. It's half stuffed with those recipes torn out of magazines all those years ago. Then there are all the computer printouts, hallmarks of an early Pinterest account. My untidy scrawl is everywhere...notes in margins, tried and trues written out, and (bless it) proof that I once was keeping track of how often I made something so as to not repeat it too often.

This was obviously before I was 4 kids deep, but wasn't I sweet with all those newlywed ambitions?

And so the collection has grown. I canceled all the subscriptions a few years ago because there just isn't time to read a magazine cover to cover these days, plus the internet provides 29 ways to make toast, so it feels less necessary to have recipes delivered to my mailbox monthly when I can have them in my hand within seconds.

Some recipes are ingredient splattered and no longer glossy. Some look like they were ripped out yesterday. Some I'm wondering what in the actual hell I was thinking.

By the time I was done, there was a healthy amount headed for the trashcan and a decent amount left to live another day. I'm now making an effort to tackle each of the remaining recipes to see if they really are worth keeping. I'm also considering giving up my Binder Full of Deliciousness for a much more pared down (and bus-friendly) recipe card box. I'd go digital if I didn't hate having the screen turn off right in the middle of me trying to look to see if I have all three pages of Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon handled.

Much better.

Tell me! How do you keep all of your recipes? Do you like having a picture to accompany each recipe or is old school handwritten the way to go?