I've probably killed a tall tree or two over the years, printing out recipes from favorite websites like Epicurious, Food52, the Food Network, etc. I've also been socking away pages of recipes clipped from magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Cook's Illustrated, Real Simple and others.
Until recently, I kept all these recipes in a big, fat, three-inch thick heap, stuffed inside an old Cook's Illustrated magazine until the magazine came apart. Then one day, I could no longer stand it. I pulled the recipes out, went through them one by one and downsized the pile to make it more manageable. Bye-bye recipe for cassoulet. I might order cassoulet at a restaurant, but clearly I'm never going to make it. So long, recipe for dark chocolate chunk sea salt cookies. We've got enough cookie recipes to carry us through the afterlife.
Some of you are going to say, "You could have scanned all the recipes on to your computer and made a PDF file to share and access on the computer or print out.'' You're right. I could have. But that would have taken even more precious time. Now I have this recipe file right where I want it: on a shelf, in the kitchen -- in its own sort of portable document format.
For my next recipe project, I'm looking into ways to digitize all or parts of my mother's and grandmother's recipe files. Each contains hundreds of recipes. Several kind souls have volunteered to assist with this. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the Comments section, below.