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Oct 7, 2009 02:54 PM

How do you store your family recipes?

I am curious where everyone stores or keeps their favorite recipes from family and friends that they have collected over the years?

What do you like or dislike about the mehtod that you use to keep your recipes? How can it be improved? Thanks for imput ;-) !

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  1. I had my recipes in labeled file folders in a file cabinet. I now use a program and I print the recipes like a cookbook. Neat and tidy!

    1 Reply
    1. Recipes I know I want to keep - I've tried them and they're worth making again, or they're family treasures - go into page protectors and are kept in three-ring binders. Recipes I've not tried yet go into a file folder "to try soon"; if they're keepers they end up in the binder for permanent storage, else they get deleted.

      The beauty of using the page protectors (get archival page protectors) is that if you've received hand-written recipes you can keep the original source, and you can pull the page out of the binder for use in cooking with no worries about staining the recipe as you cook - just wipe off any spills or stains from the page protector.

      It's such a pleasure to read favored recipes from my mother, father-in-law, and grandmother, all deceased now, in their own handwriting. Brings back lovely memories.

      6 Replies
      1. re: janniecooks

        I purchased a clear zip up folder at Walmart and put all of my favorite recipes in it. That way I can put the recipe I am using on top of the pile but still in the folder without worrying about splashing my inredients on it. It works great.

        1. re: HotMelly

          Yeah, I used to do something similar but got tired of having to leaf through the pile of recipes. The page protectors allow you to use both sides: I don't put lots of recipes in each one just one or as many as will fit neatly so as to make a two-sided page. Allows you to easily categorize the recipes (I use dividers with tabs for each "chapter") and you can easily flip through the binder like a cookbook - which in fact is what it is, my personal cookbook of favorites.

          1. re: janniecooks

            Thanks! What a great idea! Is there anything that you would improve about the way you store them?

            1. re: koshergourmet

              My mom actually made a family cookbook for me and my sisters a few years ago for Christmas using a method similar to janniecooks. She typed up a bunch of old family recipes and then printed them out and used the page protectors to put them in the binders. I can only imagine the time it took for her to go through all the recipes and type them but now they're stored electronically and can be easily reproduced if something happens to the cookbook. My only complaint is the binder is getting too full! I need a second one. The original recipie cards were divied up amongst us and included with our books in some recipe card holders I think she bought at Michael's or a store like that.

              1. re: koshergourmet

                It gets improved all the time! i started with tabbed dividers with numbers, and a front index - not flexible enough and too narrow. Switched to those tabbed dividers where you insert tabs that you type or write on, which is great because I can easily change the category (or chapter) name, add new ones and remove those that weren't so useful. And no need to update a front index.

                Now mind you, my book is not a thing of beauty, but what I love about the sheet protectors is that I have a uniform size, I can easily insert a typed sheet, a page torn from a magazine (and insert something different on the back side), I can glue smaller cut-outs from magazines to a piece of 8x11 paper and easily add/subtract content. And expand into more binders when another is filled.

                I also had to switch dividers from the paper tabbed to acetate/plastic tabbed because the paper dividers weren't wide enough, so if you try this system keep that in mind. The tabs need to stand out from the pages, of course, to find each section easily.

                My system works for me because it's so flexible, and I now know exactly where to find that recipe I cut out of Gourmet magazine back in 1992! And everything stays clean since I can pull out the page I need from the binder for cooking. The binders are stored on the shelf with the rest of the "real" cookbooks.

          2. re: janniecooks

            I just switched to the "page-protector" method and I love it. I know what you mean about the handwriting; I have a bunch of handwritten cards from my mother, whom I lost two years ago. It's bittersweet to see her handwriting.

            I can print out recipes from the internet and they slip right in; newspaper clippings get taped to an 8.5x11 paper and slipped in.

          3. If the recipe is short enoughk, I write it on an index card and put it in my cardboard recipe box (covered in sun & moon paper). I underlined the titles of my grandmother's recipes in pink and my aunt's recipes in green. There's not much from my stepmother, but what there is, is underlined in yellow. Unfortunately, the recipes have grown too numerous for their shoebox-sized box, so now I'll need to subdivide! Longer recipes get written out on notebook paper and go into 3-ring binders by category, which is also where all printouts go. These are also continuously growing. I am a bit overwhelmed by the amount of space all this takes up, but it's waaay too late to try and copy it all onto a disc (I'd still need to print it out to cook it anyway). I think my system could be improved by moving it (and myself) into a real house-- like that's gonna happen! LOL

            1 Reply
            1. re: CookieWeasel

              I have recently compiled the family favourite recipes on and had 10 copies printed for all the siblings, aunts etc... Im waiting to receive them so lets hope its good :)

            2. In a temperature controlled vault.

              1. Honestly? Crammmed into a small plastic box on recipe cards usually in the person in question's handwriting, which is a bittersweet joy to see when they're gone. Along with some old clippings from magazines etc. Also have my mother's cookbooks with a lot of recipes stuffed between the pages (she really only used a couple of books, the Five Roses - Canadian flour company - cookbook prime among them) which I am planning to go through once we move and the box is unearthed from its place in the closet (the loss was too new when it was stored away).