Sep 17, 2010

Clean Desk Mission Week 8: A recipe for disaster

Hi, my name is Terry.

I am recipes.

Like most addictions, mine started out innocently - a magazine would have some yummy-looking concoction, so I'd clip out the recipe. It helped justify the expense of the magazine. I'd also scribble ingredients and instructions from television segments onto bits of paper, tear off recipes from the backs of boxes and bags and canned foods.  Bit by bit, my collection of untried recipes grew, and grew...and grew.

I've never limited myself to just one kind of recipe--I'm into main dish, pasta, dessert, breads, cookies, soups, appetizers...if it looks or sounds good, I want that recipe.

Friends unwittingly fueled my addiction by copying their recipes for me when asked. Soon, I was furtively clipping out recipes from magazines in waiting rooms.  Ever wonder who ripped a half-page out of the magazine article you're trying to read in the doctor's office? People like me, that's who.

And then came the Internet. Suddenly I had unfettered access to every recipe in the world. At first I'd try to remember where I saw a particular recipe, but that rarely worked. (In the pre-Google era, retracing my steps was nearly impossible.) I tried bookmarking sites, but that quickly became a tangled mess, too.

So I started printing out recipes whenever I came across one that sounded good.  Print, print, print.  So easy.  A victimless vice (unless you count the trees sacrificed to make all that paper.)  But now I have this bulging file of yet-to-be-tried recipes.  This doesn't include my "keepers" or the hand-scribbled notes and recipe cards from friends that are stashed here and there and everywhere else.

To make matters worse, my trusty accordion folder recently got snagged on a drawer and ripped open; now it barely holds anything.  It's time to make some sense of this chaos.  Armed with some sturdy 3-ring binders and sheet protectors, I will bring order to this mess. 

(Please don't ask me about that teetering stack of family photos in the hall closet, or all the digital images waiting to be printed; they make my present crisis look like child's play.  But they will have to wait until I get the recipe monkey off my back.)

Happy organizing!