I made a New Year’s Resolution to organize my recipes. Now this might not sound like much of a resolution, but I have about ten years of recipes to organize and it is a huge job.

It has taken me nearly three weeks into the the new year to even broach the task. I started this morning by putting all my boxes of ‘torn out of the newspaper and magazine’ recipes in a big pile on my dining room table.photo 2I honestly don’t know quite how I am going to do it. I have so many, I may have to weed through and discard all the ones I know I will never in a million years actually try.

Then I will take one of my trusty pair of scissors from my collection of a dozen, and carefully snip out the actual recipe from the page. I have three boxes and a recipe file. Also a recipe scrapbook.

Maybe I should put all the desserts in one box, the main dishes in another, Island favorites in another and then just put my most often used ones in the scrapbook.

Maybe I should get a few clear shoeboxes and use those. I could ‘see’ into them and at least check out the recipe on top to give me an idea of what might be underneath.

Of course I do have a Brother label maker, which has never been out of the box even tho’ I have had it since 2002. I could make labels. But since I have never used it, I would have to read the instruction manual first. It might be easier to just type up some words on my computer, print them out and cut out strips and glue them on folders.

The advantage of this, is that I could make the font in a large size and in color if I want. (Good idea). photo

Scratch the label maker idea. It is so old, it is probably obsolete anyway. The new ones are cordless, digital and the tape comes in many colors.photo

However I finally decide how to do this, I have one thing going in my favor. I do everything very fast. Once I set my mind to something I can accomplish it in less than half the time it would take anyone else.

This is why I could never in my life ‘work by the hour’. In one hour, I could do more than most people could do in four. I am not a procrastinator, but when it is a big job like this, I have to figure out where to begin before I just ‘jump in’.

I feel like the sailor in A.A. Milnes poem. The one who was washed up on a desert island and didn’t know what to do first.
The Old Sailor
by A.A. Milne

There was once an old sailor my grandfather knew
Who had so many things which he wanted to do
That, whenever he thought it was time to begin,
He couldn’t because of the state he was in.

He was shipwrecked, and lived on a island for weeks,
And he wanted a hat, and he wanted some breeks;
And he wanted some nets, or a line and some hooks
For the turtles and things which you read of in books.

And, thinking of this, he remembered a thing
Which he wanted (for water) and that was a spring;
And he thought that to talk to he’d look for, and keep
(If he found it) a goat, or some chickens and sheep.

Then, because of the weather, he wanted a hut
With a door (to come in by) which opened and shut
(With a jerk, which was useful if snakes were about),
And a very strong lock to keep savages out.

He began on the fish-hooks, and when he’d begun
He decided he couldn’t because of the sun.
So he knew what he ought to begin with, and that
Was to find, or to make, a large sun-stopping hat.

He was making the hat with some leaves from a tree,
When he thought, “I’m as hot as a body can be,
And I’ve nothing to take for my terrible thirst;
So I’ll look for a spring, and I’ll look for it first.”
Then he thought as he started, “Oh, dear and oh, dear!
I’ll be lonely tomorrow with nobody here!”
So he made in his note-book a couple of notes:
“I must first find some chickens” and “No, I mean goats.”

He had just seen a goat (which he knew by the shape)
When he thought, “But I must have boat for escape.
But a boat means a sail, which means needles and thread;
So I’d better sit down and make needles instead.”

He began on a needle, but thought as he worked,
That, if this was an island where savages lurked,
Sitting safe in his hut he’d have nothing to fear,
Whereas now they might suddenly breathe in his ear!

So he thought of his hut … and he thought of his boat,
And his hat and his breeks, and his chickens and goat,
And the hooks (for his food) and the spring (for his thirst) …
But he never could think which he ought to do first.

And so in the end he did nothing at all,
But basked on the shingle wrapped up in a shawl.
And I think it was dreadful the way he behaved –
He did nothing but bask until he was saved!


OK: I have done step one. I went though all my old recipes. I found some dating back to 1968. I threw out  two huge garbage bags of papers and still have lots and lots of great recipes. Some I would never make again as they have things in them that I don’t eat anymore, such as bacon.

I did find some interesting food ads on the back of some of the old recipes. Here is one I scanned from 1969. Thought you would enjoy seeing the prices. Unfortunately I couldn’t rotate it in my scanner, but you get the idea. I used to buy stewing chicken for about $1 each and make great chicken soup. Then I would cut up the boiled chicken and use it in chicken curry.