The modern recipe collection (geek approved)

by Jax on October 24, 2012

I used to tear pages out of magazines with recipes I fancied making, or even ones I didn’t that just looked delicious or inspirational.
This habit resulted in a ridiculously high pile of scraps of paper that was completely user unfriendly as I could never remember what I’d saved and if I could then I couldn’t find it (well, at least not without searching for an hour or two). I always intended to stick them into a scrap book or something marginally more useful, but never quite got around to it.

Scansnap ScannerThankfully I was saved by a really great boat friendly portable scanner and the PDF. Now all of my recipes are neatly stored on the computer (it took a while to scan the back catalogue admittedly), I can search by keyword, annotate electronically and easily add to my collection, which although enormous is perfectly manageable.

I have getting close to 1500 recipes. Who needs that many recipes? Not me, but who cares?! I’ve probably made less than 100 of them, and the ones I’ve made more than once are probably in the low 10s, but at least it’s not a collection that takes up space and gathers dust. I don’t need to cart recipe books around the world with us (although I’ve still sneaked a couple on board) and can search my database by ingredient according to whatever I might have bought fresh that day, and as they are already downloaded I don’t need an internet connection to be able to search.

My main sources are The Guardian for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dan Lepard, Felicity Cloake (her ‘Perfect’ column is genius) and Angela Hartnett, and The Observer for Nigel Slater (his book Appetite is one of the few I allow myself to have on board, it’s been around a while, but it’s a great read as well). I also like Joy the Baker’s blog, Joy the Baker which maybe more of an acquired taste (sometimes pushing quirky to the limit), but her photographs make everything look so damn tempting and occasionally I’m inspired to make something like her Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos.

This weekend I’ve been salivating over the October edition of OFM (Observer Food Monthly). I’ve saved recipes for Arroz Negro  (which I’m unlikely to make unless I can find cuttlefish ink Nigel Slater  – and unless there’s someone around who’s more appreciative of seafood than the geek), and Nigel Slater’s Baked Mushroom Rice  which I can’t wait to try.

I’ve also kept the lists of winners of the OFM awards of 2012, if we’re lucky enough to end up nearby on our trip round the UK next year there are some I’d like to try (shhh! don’t tell the geek).

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