Writing It Down Before You Forget

Have you ever created a fantastic dish, or improvised on a recipe, and then gone back later to make the dish again and found that you can’t recall what it was you did the last time? This used to happen to me on a regular basis, and it took many years of forgotten details, before I was finally forced to acknowledge that my memory was not as solid as I seemed to think it was. I finally changed my ways a few years back when my employer asked me to recreate a dish that I had made for her a number of months before. Too embarrassed to admit that I couldn’t recall exactly what I had done the last time, I took to the stove, convinced that it would all come back to me once I got into the groove. Well, suffice it to say, my boss was not fooled and I ultimately had to fess up that I couldn’t remember what I had done the first time, and hadn’t documented it anywhere for future use. That is when I started keeping a recipe journal.

My recipe journal is hardly a pristinely organized collection of recipes, but rather a somewhat random, chicken-scratched assortment of notes and sketches written in a plain, spiral bound notebook, and it would surely be illegible to most other people.

Most of the journal is written in my own culinary shorthand and chances are if it wereunearthed a hundred years from now, it would take both a linguistics and a culinary specialist to make any sense of it at all.

Sometimes I just jot down a list of ingredients, as I tend to do with sandwiches and salads, as quantities are fairly simple to gauge. At other times, I am more specific about writing down what I did step by step, but then also add to that a list of ingredients or techniques to try with that recipe the next time I make it. Still other times, I add simple sketches to the book, so that I can remember not just what went into a dish, but how I presented it as well.

I also leave some pages at the back of the book blank so that I can note recipes from cookbooks that I want to try or to write down ideas or ingredient combinations that I want to eventually play around with.

If you decide to follow my advise and start your own journal, I would also advise that you write down the recipes or thoughts when they are fresh in your head, because I promise you, details will start to slip away almost immediately. And on that note, I need to get back to my journal and jot down a few things from tonight’s dinner before I forget.

Featured Culinary Schools

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America , Online (campus option available)
  • Its first location, in Paris, officially opened its doors as a culinary school in 1895.
  • Teaches students by having them spend significant time in the kitchen practicing precision techniques.
  • Provide hands-on training from instructors who are certified, master chefs.
  • Offer flexible schedules and online programs.
  • Has 30 schools worldwide, spanning 5 continents, including 17 campuses in the U.S.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
  • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
  • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
  • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Offers more than 150 self-paced, career-relevant programs that are connected to a supportive 24/7 online community of students and faculty.
  • Profiled in many publications such as The Boston Globe, Fox Business, and  Inside Higher Ed.
  • Nearly 25,000 graduates each year.
  • Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
  • Founded in 1890 in Scranton, Pennsylvania    
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses