Sometimes on these snow-bound nights or weekends, if I don’t have a good novel or biography to read, I pore over my recipe collection.
Once upon a time, it was small enough to fit into a couple of three-ring binders. Now it fills at least half a dozen shoe boxes, roughly one for each of the years I’ve been (a) paying more attention to cooking, or (b) writing about food.
A day or so ago, Tanna over at My Kitchen In Half Cups asked what drew us to make a particular recipe. Indeed, what draws us?
Taste is one reason, of course. Over the years, I have been drawn to anything that combined apples and cheese. I have a fairly impressive collection of these, from Apple-Cheese Salad to Cheddar-Apple-Walnut Bread.
Recipes using pumpkins, cranberries, blueberries and limes are also well represented. So are sun-dried tomatoes and anything laced with thyme or basil.
Then, too, I think the promise of romance play a role. I went through a stage where I saved dinner recipes “for two,” hoping, I guess, to impress someone special with my culinary prowess.
My husband married me anyway. Now I’ve made some progress in the kitchen.
(The romance thing might explain some of the chocolate recipes I’ve got stashed away. Wait, no, chocolate needs no explanation.)
A few months ago, I speculated here that the promise of our potential also drew us to a particular recipe. I might, for example, have a ground beef pocketbook but secretly yearn for filet mignon. So I save that recipe, too.
But the reverse is true, too. For years I saved a recipe for pretzel salad. I never made it, but it drew me because it sounded so plebian, if you will. A Saturday night side dish, maybe. I hope I run across that recipe again some day. I’m no big fan of pretzels, but it still sounds interesting.
What’s in your recipe box? What trends do you see? I’d like to know.
The photo, by the way, is the view from my kitchen door.