Somewhat Strange and Tasty Collections I Didn’t Know We Had

My son collects things. He accumulates armies of knobby creatures that he makes scream and knock each other down. He’s obsessed with Legos. If he gets one set, he wants the entire line to complete his collection. He collects erasers. Just the plain ones that sit on top of a pencil. He lines them up, makes patterns with them, battles them, who knows. During his Cars the movie era, I can’t tell you how many times we patrolled the toy aisle searching for the elusive Tex Dinoco.

Now he collects names. Names of Harry Potter characters he reads that he scrawls in third-grade penmanship on lined paper, two columns, three pages front and back, and still going strong. Names of multihued tropical fish he reads about, likes, and dreams of one day owning as pets. Names of planets and their moons. Names of baseball teams and football players.

I have long wondered whether his quirky obsessions are normal, what it means for his future, and where on earth it came from. I can be a bit of a pack rat. My husband is a borderline box hoarder. But for years I’ve had no clues as to where his collecting insanity came from.

Then, as I tried to tame my overgrown pile of torn-out recipes the other day, it hit me like a swarm of cookbooks.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I like food. And I particularly like the challenge of finding a recipe to match whatever food I’ve recently inhaled and become infatuated with. Consequently, I’m a bit of a recipe hog. One could say I collect recipes.

Want to see my collection?

This vintage box holds my prized recipes that I use almost every day.

Look, there's room to grow!

These are recipes I want to try.

This doesn't begin to show my stack of recipes. Man, there's some good stuff in there.

And these.

Hmm. Forgot about these.

And I still need to go through these magazines to tear out the recipes I want to try because I know I will…or won’t…but just in case.

Some light reading.

I’ve been clipping recipes since around ninth grade. While my friends flipped through Seventeen and YM taking quizzes about kissing and fashion, I pored over Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart, learning about cake frosting and chicken potpies. It certainly explains a lot about my awkward teen dating years.

Before kids, I used to try three or four new recipes a week. My husband and I like variety, tiring of the same old casseroles and quinoa salad week after week. Then came two kids who like my cooking but not adventure. They prefer comfort foods, the same old thing every week. But it’s OK. It seems there’s plenty in my collection for everyone. Just don’t ask me where anything is.

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26 Comments

Filed under About Mom, Boy Stories

26 responses to “Somewhat Strange and Tasty Collections I Didn’t Know We Had

  1. LOL! I am exactly the same way however my collection mostly remains on my laptop. However I have a DIY idea that will get some of these recipes printed and sorted if I ever get around to doing it. At least once a week we try a new recipe and the bf is always skeptical but more often than not very happy 🙂

    • Oh, I didn’t even mention the recipes I have bookmarked from blogs! That’s for another post I guess. I have tried many times to come up with a system to keep this mess in check and it is just out of control. Once we try something and like it, I put it on an index card and it goes in my recipe box. Other than that, it’s chaos.

  2. I’m a collector too!! I would love to say the cookbooks, well actually cake decorating books, are mine but they are my husbands!!! He is the creative food person in my family. I collect quilting patterns, which is like recipes but each takes a longer time to get to. My sons are collectors too… we do Lego City!!! Worse than Tex Dinoco (we never found him either) we saw once but didn’t buy the truck that goes “I’m not a Mac I’m a Peterbilt”… I regret that still…

    • I have some cookbooks but not a lot. I learned early on to check those out at the library and copy what I liked because I never liked enough to warrant having the whole book. We did find Tex Dinoco. I stalked Target like mad. My son still pulls them out sometimes. And I too saw that truck you’re talking about. My nephew searched for it and did eventually find it. Sometimes the hunt for things is more fun! I have made a few quilts but have restrained myself from collecting fabric.

  3. I’ve been obsessed with recipes since I was little. I was always making my mom recipe boxes out of old tins and clipping an easy bake how-to every time I spotted one. Alas, it turns out I am a terrible baker (too precise!) and my family all prefers the same thing over and over…

    Pop quiz: what’s your favorite recipe right now?

    • I have to pick one?? I could never pick one. If my house were burning, I would try my best to grab my recipe box (after my kids and hubby of course).

      Things I make often: pizza dough, pumpkin bread, macaroni and cheese, tex-mex fried rice, risotto, garlic-shrimp pasta, chocolate-chocolate chip cookies. I could go on. Strawberry season is here. I will make jam this weekend. And jam bars. And strawberry mojitos.

  4. Wow. you’re as bad as me. I have attempted to take it to the next level though…Im using a free program called Evernote, typing them all in and then tagging (much like on wordpress) hoping to someday have them all in one spot. (yeh, right)

    • I should try to be more environmentally conscious and go paperless but when our computer died suddenly last summer, I would have had a heart attack if my recipes had been on it. I just can’t trust technology. I need to have that paper recipe in hand when I’m cooking too. How do you do that? That may be another issue of mine for another post.

  5. Thats the beauty – it doesnt get stored on your computer, it gets stored in one of those “clouds” and can be accessed from any computer….so like if I go back to WI to visit my parents, I can pull up my recipes from there with a pass word. What WILL they think of next !

    • Oh, that is nice! Thanks for the tip!

    • Just an FYI, I had all of my lesson plans in a “cloud” and the cloud was deleted (by a computer dufus who worked at our district). Fortunately, I had a backup cloud (really – I did not want to lose them) and I had them on my computer and I had them on an external hard drive and I have them on a blog. It would have killed me to lose all that work when some computer dufus made a decision to delete my “cloud.” My recipes are stored in a binder; it’s divided in sections and each section is filled with those clear page covers that I just stuff the recipe into. That works pretty well for me because I’m way too lazy to write or type out recipes.

      • Or to cut and paste them onto index cards? When I find the perfect way to store all of my recipes, I am going to write a post about it. It’s a hot topic evidently! Thanks for the tips.

  6. I love finding good recipes. Too bad I hate to cook…

  7. copycatmom

    I love your box with the collection of recipes. Makes meal planning that much easier when you can just pull from box! I think I may have to start a collection. I hate recipe books though! I find with the books, I like one or two things and it takes up space. I love to cook but recently have been bored with it. This inspires me.

    • I don’t care for cookbooks either. I usually only find a few recipes in one and then they take up all this space. I check them out at the library. I have a lot of recipes and I still get bored!

      • copycatmom

        Ever wonder if the authors/publishers have conspiring to only enter 1 or 2 great recipes for money? (I swear, most people say their recipe books have 1 good one. Pricey for one recipe) I think I will borrow this idea from you. I used to keep them on my phone which is great until you get a new phone…

  8. I was always a collector growing up. Baseball cards, sharks teeth, fossils, coins I wanted to have them all. Your recipe system makes me chuckle because I have the same thing. Except in my system I don’t have a neatly organized master recipe set that I can go to. I have to shuffle through the clippings etc to find that one yummy chicken dish. lol

    • That one recipe box is my tried-and-true go-to collection. Everything in it has been tested by us and I know we like it. But that’s not to say we’re not tired of it. I just cut the recipes from magazines and use a glue stick to adhere them neatly to an index card. Nerdy I know, but I used to do this during my lunch hour at work before I had kids! Now I do it when I can, and I’m behind. But everything is filed into a category. It’s just a much bigger recipe box than my mom had.

      My husband has a huge collection of baseball cards and my son has football cards, fossils. I’m sure there are more things I’ve forgotten. And random things like those erasers that drive me crazy!

  9. Thanks for a great post – wow, I thought my wife was obsessive with 9 recipe books, but you leave her in the dust! I guess you can never have too many recipes though, especially with little mouths to feed.
    Thanks again for a great article!

  10. I collect dust. Pretty readily too, I might add. Good thing dust doesn’t take up too much space.

    That’s a pretty rockin’ recipe collection. I have all of my mother’s mother’s recipe cards and cookbooks. I hear there are some treasures in there. Shame — I don’t even cook. I pull/pick/pluck/chop and eat.

    • Yes, it’s a nice collection. Thanks. Even so, I feel uninspired some nights. Like tonight. We had breakfast.

      I have a dust collection too. I’m thinking of selling it on Ebay.

  11. I have folders stacked upon folders filled with recipes which are on top of cooking magazines all precariously leaning against rows of cookbooks shoved in an out of the way cabinet in my kitchen.

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