I am the first to admit that I have a problem. I am hopelessly addicted to recipes! I have 64 cookbooks, so many that I have to keep some in the kitchen and some in the office/spare room. I have about 11 three-ring binders with more than 70 recipes per notebook that are either family recipes or clipped out of magazines or newspapers. I subscribe to 4 food magazines, and really try to not subscribe to more.
There are so many recipes that I have never tried, but I feel like I will. It may be mad or delusional to think that I could possibly ever make all of these recipes, however in my mind it seems completely possible. That is why I hang on to my food magazines for quite a while, and find myself needing to go through them carefully to clip out potentially good recipes before I recycle them or pass them on.
In times past when a special food section of the local newspaper was delivered free every Tuesday because it contained advertisements for local supermarkets I would keep it for a quite a while, pouring over the recipes and food ideas. Then, I would faithfully clip out lots of recipes, and place them into plastic sleeves and into my binders. I do have to say I found a lot of treasures in that newspaper.
Although it may seem crazy to some, I think that even just having all of these resources for recipes turns on my creativity. At times, if I just look at the photos, or peruse the pages from time to time, and idea will pop into my head for a recipe I could create. I think the more connections and associations you can make with a variety of materials the more creative you can become. This idea is well stated in the book that I recently read titled: "Where Good Ideas Come From" by Steven Johnson. He talks about environments that help you come up with ideas and also actions you can take, like taking a walk that can inspire your next idea. I find that if I look at cookbooks and food magazines in my leisure time during other times, like walking around the neighborhood or driving in the car- my next recipe idea will strike me.
It is for these reasons and many more that I choose to keep all of my recipes, books and notebooks. Although I did a really big decluttering project in our home this past year, I find that it is okay to hang on to some things, like these books that spark my creativity. I can let go of extra sweaters or owner's manuals, but cooking and baking are in my heart, so I choose to keep those sacred books that inspire me onward. I look at each recipe as a beautiful piece of art waiting to be created and discovered.
If you love to collect cook books, recipe notebooks & more, let me know in a comment below. I would love to hear from you. You can also subscribe to my newsletter.