Saturday, February 20, 2010

organized chaos...

If you have checked in here before, you've probably heard me mention my OCD tendencies.  I live in a clutter free house (which is not the same thing as a clean house).  People who visit marvel at the fact that I am able to pull this off given the fact that I live with three children, a man and a dog.  I find it really hard to free my mind up to work with lots of "stuff" around.  It clutters my brain so I do my best to keep the "stuff" to a minimum not let things pile up.   The fact that I'm about to move for the 5th time in a dozen years probably has something to do with it as well.  That said, I alone am responsible for the recipe mess pictured above which takes up one entire drawer in the kitchen.   This culinary mash-up of main course, veggie, appetizer and baking recipes has taken on a life of it's own.  When I got my first place in SF many years ago I tried using a recipe box but soon outgrew it (and it was never really organized anyways).  I then toyed with the idea using a binder which I could store on the shelves of my rapidly expanding cookbook collection (that never materialized).  So now, all these years later, I keep my recipes in an entire drawer in the room where real estate is most precious just like my mother did (let's not go there...).  I think of this drawer as organized chaos which I use to sharpen my mind (like a crossword puzzle or soduko).  I know that Nana & Poppy's granola is on orange construction paper, the grilled romaine salad with caper dressing is on newsprint and Mom's vegetable stir fry is on yellowed paper with faded handwriting.  As I sort through the pile looking for one thing or another I am reminded of friends, family and time well spent in the kitchen.  As I took the photos for this post I pulled out the recipes for shaking beef , italian white bean soup  and gnocchi with oxtails (the white bean crostini mentioned in the article is phenomenal as well).   What will you be cooking this weekend?

6 comments:

Dyche Designs said...

It's like a memory box but in a drawer. Think we all need one of those. :0)

the nest said...

Me, I strive for and admire the low clutter, but have not yet mastered it, alas. All my loose recipes are tucked into a recipe journal whose pages are blank and whose binding is broken from all the papers; I love flipping through them to find the one I'm searching for and being reminded of my sisters, my mom, etc. too.

On the stove this weekend: Winter Veg Chowder from Veg Cooking for Everyone, that yum cinnamon bread from HeatherSmithJones, and maybe a quiche... oh and popcorn to nibble while watching the Olympics! :)

Beth said...

so funny your blog just reminded me of something. so when i was in elementary school my mother & i moved from one rental to another. she left a bunch of my childhood things there. when i was 18 & my mother was already sick i had to move out of the 2nd place by myself basically. by the end of it was over it & like my mom, left the rest of my childhood things (which i really regret now, but at 18, what did i care). my mother had the same drawer of recipes and i left them as well. what i would not give for that drawer now.

artslice said...

Wow, sounds like a gold mine in that drawer! I will be assembling my expert 'snack platters' which consist of goldfish crackers, apple slices, raisins and sometimes Ranch dressing. My kids want to eat that more than any other food I actually labor over in the kitchen. Sad, huh? :)

For hubby and me tonight... enchiladas filled with green chilies, onions, garlic and yams. Yum!

tangled sky studio said...

dd-yep. complete with spatters and notes to self...
annri-i know your binder is filled with love and yumminess! your zucchini chocolate chip muffin lives in my drawer and is a favorite (and isn't heather's bread a wonderful addition??)
beth-oh how i wish you had that drawer back to. food can evoke such powerful memories because it involves all of our senses (and our heart).
brenda-the snack platter can change in time but how yummy your own dinner sounds!

Ester Kiely said...

My cut-outs get stuck into a seasonal cookbook diary I have about 20yrs but I'm running out of blank pages to use! It's a mess and I'm the only one who knows where to look....but hey somehow we all get fed every day so it works!
On the other hand, just did a clear out in one room today and have about 10 bags leaving the house for recycling, donations and rubbish....ah space to breathe!