Monday, 23 December 2013

Recipes on the backs of envelopes

Every December I make a little album with a photo or two from each day, and a few words.  I love getting them out every year and putting them in a basket in the living room.  Everyone likes to look through them, and remember some of our favourite moments.



I put in all sorts of things from our everyday life, as well as special events.  A handful of favourite festive recipes are included, and I've been searching them out, as well as others.  It occurred to me this year that it would be lovely to have a book with just the recipes in them - it occurred to me after I spent ages hunting down each recipe that I wanted - they are all dotted around in different places.

I'm a real hoarder when it comes to recipes.  I have a box, a file and a plastic wallet, all stuffed with all manner of recipes, from magazines, library books, blogs and websites, from friends and relatives.  In fact, I really treasure the odd one or two that have been handwritten by special people.  I think that inherited recipes are wonderful.  To cook the same food as someone else keeps them close and carries on tradition.

But how to store recipes in the long term?  I'd like to be organised about it.  An exercise book?  A ringbinder?  A special notebook?  Oh how I love notebooks.  I'm giving it consideration.  And I'd love to hear how you keep your favourite recipes.  In the meantime, I have my envelopes and my stuffed plastic wallet.



The kitchen has been busy today.  A lovely way to spend a cold, wet, wild day.  I lit a candle, took a deep breath and started making a gingerbread house with the children.  We've got all of the pieces baked.  Tomorrow we'll be moving on to icing and construction.  And then I'll be washing the floor.  Wish me luck.  While the gingerbread was cooling I made the Christmas cake.


This is the recipe I always use.  It can be made just before it's needed, and it isn't soaked in brandy, which is a plus in my book.

On the tree today we have cranberry decorations, made at Slimbridge by the little people.



Very simple to make, even the smallest person can poke the wires through the cranberries and thread on the odd silver bead or two.  I love the decorations that are made with natural things.  And the decorations that are made by the little people.  After Christmas Slimbridge will be doing bird feeders with cranberries, and no doubt we'll be going back for that.  We're never away for more than two or three weeks.



Tomorrow I'm aiming to make a nut roast and maybe a yule log.  And then I think I'll be done.  Ready.  Ish.  So it only remains for me to wish you all the loveliest of Christmases and a very happy New Year.  See you on the other side.

37 comments:

  1. A beautiful, peaceful post. I really love the idea of putting together Christmas books each year, that sounds like a wonderful tradition. We keep all of our odd recipes in a ring binder. We cleared it out for the first time two years ago and threw away quite a few we didn't want anymore. The binder just wouldn't close either. I've been trying to slow down my collection rate with them, just to stay organized. I hope you have a lovely Christmas with your family.

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    1. I need to go through my recipes as well, and throw some out. It's one of those jobs that takes hours though, as I get sucked in to reading them all. I'll add it to my "to-do" list.

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  2. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  3. The gingerbread house looks such fun. And yummy..
    Merry Christmas to you all. J x

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  4. Merry Christmas to you & your family CJ. I hope it's a wonderful time for you. xx

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  5. Wow, those books are great for family memories. I wish I had done something like that.

    ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉
    *M*E*R*R*Y* *C*H*R*I*S*T*M*A*S*!*
    ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉ ❉

    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  6. The books are a lovely idea and your cranberry decorations look gorgeous.. sending Yuletide blessings to you and your family..

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  7. Hi CJ - that is such a lovely idea and wonderful tradition.

    Merry Christmas and the warmest of wishes for 2014.

    Nina x

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    1. Thanks Nina, I hope you have a very good year too.

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  8. What a wonderful idea - I might just copy it! I have a ring binder with transparent pockets in which I keep all my odd recipes and I did write a post once about my recipes and how they are scribbled on scraps of paper and old envelopes as well as cut out of magazines and so on but I can't find it now! I love using my mother's old recipes and even the splashes of cake mix on the sheets are part of the memory for me! Have a lovely Christmas.

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    1. I know what you mean about old recipes, lovely. It sounds like your pile of recipes is exactly like mine.

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  9. what a lovely record of Christmas memories x I have a notebook that I write my favourite recipes in, many in the last few years are from blog friends, and all the more special because of that.
    Wishing you a truly magical Christmas x

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    1. I like the idea of a notebook. I think it would be the easiest way to keep a track of recipes. There are several things that I make regularly, and I always struggle to find them when I need them.

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  10. I love your December albums, such a wonderful idea and so lovely to look back on. Sweet cranberry decorations too - I might have to try making some of those next year.
    Have a wonderful Christmas and New year. x

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    1. Thanks Caroline. I hope you have a lovely New Year too.

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  11. We scan any paper copies of things we want to keep including bits from magazines. This way we don't end up sinking below a sea of paper. I keep all my recipes in a computer database so I can index them too.

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    1. That's a good idea Sue, you sound very organised.

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  12. A lovely post and terrific photos, especially that last one.
    Thanks, and to you too. xx

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  13. I love the idea of your photo books, it must be wonderful looking back. The cranberry decs are sweet and the cake sounds yum. I made my Yule log yesterday and today it's just getting everything else prepped for tomorrow. Wishing you all a very enjoyable Christmas and best wishes for a fabulous new year xxx

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    1. Yule logs are my favourite, no doubt yours will be delicious. I hope you have a fabulous New Year too.

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  14. Recording December the way you do is such a lovely idea, I wish I'd done something like that when my children were little. Wishing you a very merry Christmas too.

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  15. I love your photo album what a wonderful idea :)

    I keep my recipes in a card index box. I usually write them on a scrap of paper first and then when I have changed the recipe to work I write it out. I do also have a pile of pages taken from magazines which could do with sorting through.....

    Hope you have a lovely Christmas :)

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    1. The card index box is a good idea. I like the flexibility of being able to alphabetise things. It's funny how those magazine recipes pile up isn't it.

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  16. This post brought me peace and a smile. I love how you describe recipes as things that allow us to keep people close to us. I feel that way about my Nonny's recipes. Merry Christmas to you and your family CJ!

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    1. Handed down recipes are such special things. On a par with jewellery and old photographs I think. Thank you for your Christmas wishes Devon.

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  17. Xmas is nearly behind... It is a beautiful post. I love your recipe notebook idea... I hope you had a wonderful time filled with love, joy and peace.

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  18. The cranberry decorations are lovely; I hope you're all having a great time

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  19. I have so many recipes clipped and shoved in a folder, it's a right muddle. I need to sort it all out! I love your idea of the December album - how wonderful to look back on that each year. x

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