Most of the recycling that we do from the kitchen ends up out here in our Dirt Mixer. All those scraps and bits and pieces get put in the Dirt Mixer and after a few months they emerge as beautiful dirt ready for the flower pots or the vegetable garden.
What doesn't end up in the Dirt Mixer gets tossed into one of these:
All those boxes, newspapers, metal cans, recyclable plastics, and glass jars go into one of these handy bins. From these colorful containers the fancy contents get dumped into the special roller bin that goes out to the curbside once a week for pickup. Just like this:
We do our best to make sure everything that can go to the curbside actually makes it out there. Other things go to the Salvation Army, The Goodwill Center, or to a friend's garage sale.
There are, however, the Kitchen Recyclables that start and end in the kitchen. These are the real treasures!
The best of the Kitchen Recyclables are the recipes that have been handed down through the generations, sometimes in the script of the original cook, but more often scribbled on a piece of paper as the cook shows and tells us how to make that special dish in that very special way.
My Mom sent me off into the world well prepared to face just about anything. Before my husband and I left for the hills of Utah as newly weds, my Mom gifted me with The Joy of Cooking, one of her family's cast iron skillets, and the belief that I could do anything if I put my mind to the task. I still use that skillet, have passed on the cookbook to my youngest daughter, and still firmly believe that I can cook just about anything. I know that I can do it if I put mind to it and just keep trying till I get it right! An example of that is in the photo below. I have been trying for three months to make the perfect poor-boy bread. It has to have a thin, crackly crust and be airy and holey inside. This is what it looks like right now:
One of the other great gifts my Mom gave me was sharing her recipes . She would write to me in Salt Lake City almost every week to give me more ideas of what to cook. She had a lot riding on these letters - I was the daughter who never really cooked much, or at all, actually. After about the seventh grade I just concentrated on the eating part and left the cooking to someone else. By sending me recipes each week she kept me in touch with the daily life and customs of my home place, New Orleans. Not only that, but she also instilled in me the curiosity about the local foods wherever I was. I also learned to ask those local cooks to share their recipes and show me how to make the wonderful things that they cooked.
This is what my collection of recycled recipes looks like on an ordinary day, although it usually is NOT all over the floor like it is here:
I make the resolution every year to put them into some sort of order, but as soon as I start cooking all of that organization flies out the window! I made that same resolution this year - want to work with me on this? Let me know how you organize your recipes.