I am definitely more oriented towards paper and pen than to electronics. Which is why it was rather disturbing when twice recently I turned to an Internet search engine for help. Faced with a new cut of meat and an unfamiliar vegetable, a quick search brought up enough information and recipes to start cooking with confidence.
I am pretty sure the necessary data is somewhere on my shelves of cookbooks or in the bulging accordion files that I have filled with kitchen tips and recipes. But the computer was ever so much quicker. Therein lies the problem.
Since I am in the middle of a ‘de-cluttering frenzy,’ my supper related activity precipitated some soul searching. In my zeal to give away or throw out superfluous items I have been asking myself, “If we were to move, would we pay money to store or ship this?” That standard of judgment is yielding boxes filled with books and bags stuffed with clothing. But I never considered that technology just may have made recipe clipping obsolete.
You see, I have three accordion folders crammed with recipes in categories ranging from your basic “chicken” to “cooking with kids.” Most of them will probably never make it to my kitchen. I collect them even as I am aware of the statistical improbability that they will ever be used. For example, my husband doesn’t like brownies and my kids think Duncan Hines ones are great. Why then, do I have dozens of brownie recipes? I have no idea. I am not likely to ever try many, or even one, of them.
Then there are recipes that compete with frequently used favorites. I have two meatball recipes that fit my stringent cooking requirements: everyone likes them and they are easy to make. So, why do I keep cutting out more meatball recipes? Beats me. But I do.
Hardly a week goes by without some recipe catching my attention. I tear recipes out of magazines, clip them from newspapers and even print them from my computer. I clip at a faster rate than I file them. Filing them is, of course, quicker than actually trying them. If I can pull up dozens of recipes with one tap of a finger, what is the purpose of all this activity?
I don’t know. I do know that I’m not ready to answer that question yet. Right now, I can toss my college edition of Seneca or the skirt that has yet to come back into style into the Goodwill bag with aplomb. Perhaps one day my recipes might find themselves just as casually discarded in the recycling bin. For now, I will keep scissors at the ready and choose not to resist the siren call of seductive words like sugar, chocolate and ‘freezes well’.