Saturday, May 14, 2011

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

Recently I ventured into territory where my organising skills are not always welcomed. My husband’s desk. He had asked me to find his watch. To my horror one of the drawers wouldn’t open because it was jammed with notebooks not lying flat inside. I took it upon myself to very generously, and quickly, tidy the drawer before he was due to arrive home and catch me in the act :-)

I recognised the top notebook as one that he had used in a previous job for menu planning and writing down recipes. I opened it and discovered that a lot of the writing was beginning to fade, due to the age of the notebook. What a sad loss it would be to lose all that valuable information, especially for one day when we have our own restaurant; it will be an excellent resource.

Again to my horror, I realised that all of the other notebooks in the drawer were also recipe/menu notebooks of his. He has only been a fully qualified chef for 4 years, and yet he has managed to fill 8 or 9 notebooks (all fading) with barely legible, scribbled, and utterly amazing creations.

This is an excellent example of how small jobs quickly (or slowly) turn into very big jobs. I will now begin the somewhat daunting task of going through each notebook to type up each recipe carefully, so that Shane will have them far into the future. Thank goodness I discovered this now and not in another 4 or 5 years...

This is one of Shane's degustation menu's

Tasks that need constant attention, such as typing recipes, or de-cluttering the kitchen bench, are best done regularly. If you set aside an appropriate amount of time to keep on top of the task (2 hrs per month, 5 mins per day; whatever it might be) small tasks wont get the chance to grow into big, overwhelming jobs. A little effort regularly will help keep things in order long-term.


  1. I look forward to the day when you have that restaurant and you use those note books, or the typed versions of them. I'm sure Shane will love them being organised and legible.

  2. You are very brave Sandy to venture into Shane's desk/drawer. I steer clear of Steve's study as much as I can! Haha! Credit to him though, he gets spurts of inspiration to tidy and get organised; otherwise it's break-neck stressful and frustrating when it comes to tax time at the end of financial year. Good luck on typing those recipes up! I remember salvaging a large stash of grandma's handwritten in PENCIL knitting instructions and idea where they are now that we've moved countries
    : (

  3. A suggestion, can they be scanned into pdf files, easier then typing them all. BTW found your blog through down to earth.

  4. Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much- what a great idea!! I'm embarrassed to admit I hadn't even thought of it. We do actually have a great scanner that I've barely used- what a great purpose for it. Thanks so much for visiting, and for potentially freeing up hundreds of hours for me ;-)

  5. I can just see all those recipe's beautifully neat and typed! How kind - and great organisation. Lovely to 'meet' you!

  6. I can relate to this--after my husband's grandmother died I spent most of my spare time for the next year deciphering old, faded (and sometimes illegibly written) recipe cards, typing them up, and eventually putting together a cookbook for the family. It's so true that it's better to do it regularly--and before they start to fade!

    (Found your blog through Down to Earth--I'm excited to keep reading here, I can always use organizing tips. I have good organizational intentions, but not always good follow-through.)

  7. Love your blog, got invite from Down to Earth...what a mammoth task in front of you, but it will be soooo worth it in the long run....keep up the good work.

  8. That will be a big but no doubt rewarding job!
    I did a recent post on how I began to tame my recipe and menu planner:
    It's come a fair way since then and has been a great help especially during the latter stages of this pregnancy.
    All the very best with your new project!
    Lusi x

  9. Hi Helena,
    what a beautiful and special thing you did by typing up your husbands grandmothers recipes. Something that special will be treasured through many generations- I would love to have something like that passed down in my family! Thanku so much for sharing that story with us. Best wishes xx

    Hi Lusi, thanks for the link- Im always needing new recipes :-) interesting that u home school your kiddies- i look forward to reading about your experiences. Xo kind regards