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.

Browse Culinary Arts Schools & Colleges

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
            Show more [+]
            4 Program(s) Found
            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
            Show more [+]
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
            • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
            • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
            • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
            Show more [+]
            2 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
            Show more [+]