Tattered Cookbooks are the Best

imageWell, maybe not the best, but here’s the thing….you’re used to them.  You can find recipes instantly. And the recipes have notations that are invaluable.  Like how many times you need to double the recipe for silage crews.  And if you want to do a triple batch, the exact adjusted amounts are written in the margins of the paper.


Who liked the recipe best is important so you can remember which kid/aunt/friend to make that particular recipe for the next around. Each recipe also had the original recipe person/author…give credit where credit is due.  My mother made sure I understood to ALWAYS credit whoever gave a recipe away!  And changes in cooking times are marked or maybe things like “DO NOT double this cookie recipe. It will NOT fit the mixer.”  Yeah, sometimes I forget that my Kitchen Aid mixer, which is a 6 qt. size, won’t handle Granny’s sugar cookie recipe when doubled.  Ask me how I know that…


Some 40+ years ago, I had carefully written out recipes on 5X7 notebook paper for a 3 ring notebook.  It worked great because I could write notes on the pages and add pages as I came upon great recipes to add to my collection.

Through the years, the notebook got kind of beat up.  I tried to be careful but sometimes that was hard due to a baby on my hip or trying to talk on the phone while throwing lunch together at the last minute.  So the pages got splattered, torn, frayed, soaked, faded and smudged.  And the holes on the pages got torn out. The paper was getting brittle and yellowed and everyone wondered how I managed to hold it all together. I was careful.  Very careful.  This was like a National Treasure and I couldn’t just toss it!!!!

My mom, my aunt and daughters-in-laws puzzled over how in the world I kept track of my quickly deteriorating recipe book. I tried to figure out how to fix the problem easily. I should also mention that the notebook that held my culinary treasures was falling apart.  As in the front and back covers had separated  so basically, the whole shebang was held together by the metal binder thingy.  Sad, but true.

What to do? What to do.  And then, one day I was looking for paper in my favorite office supply shop and the solution lay right there before my eyes!  Plastic sleeves!  Why didn’t I think of that sooner?!!!

I quickly purchased several packages, rushed home and carefully slipped the yellowed and stained pages into the sleeves.  Now I didn’t have to worry about turning a page and tearing it.  Now any splashes of milk or tomato sauce could just be wiped off. Now I didn’t have to RECOPY every page! Now my treasured recipes written by the hand of a dear, old friend or my mother could be preserved. Of course, there were some pages that were irredeemable, but they stayed in my book.  I can guess what that missing part of the page used to say.  Maybe. It’s  called “creative cooking”.  🙂

Then I found a 3 ring 5X7 notebook that had a clear cover sleeve.  Being the scrapbook page hoarder that I am, I had oodles of decorative paper to slip in that sleeve that made it look…recipe bookish.  Win, win! A worl problem SOLVED!!!!


AND, I found plastic pages that you can insert notecards in.  I had loads of recipes that friends have written on index cards on for me. If they were written on both sides of the card, I could get only 2 per page, but if only one side of the card had writing, I could get 4 per page.


One other thing I did to save me looking for a certain recipe…I got some of those plastic tabs that are sticky and will hold a small piece of paper to mark a specific page.  When I was cooking for hunters, there were recipes that I used every day. You would think I’d have them memorized but I didn’t thus the markers saved me lots of time hunting!

Ahh, life is good, is it not?  Now my mom and my sweet daughter-in-laws think I’m a genius…well maybe not.  But not only can I solve recipe book woes, I can pack more dishes into a dishwasher than any known granny anywhere!

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2 Responses to Tattered Cookbooks are the Best

  1. Teuchter says:

    That’s a fantastic idea for the recipe cards! That way they don’t get mislaid!! I have a lot of tattered recipe books – all with greasy marks and even the odd bit of ? stuck to them! 🙂 I even have a recipe book hand-written by my mom when she went to cooking classes as a young woman. That would have been back in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s! Once I unearth it from the boxes I still have in my storage area I’ll try to pass on some of the stuff out of it!


    • The Queen says:

      I had kazillions of those cards and now…there are ALL in one place. Trying to decide how to handle the recipe boxes of BB’s mom and Gram. Maybe you could make copies of those recipes for your kids? I’d love to see what you find!!


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