Here’s an inexpensive Christmas gift idea

retrochick.JPGIvy says:

The recipe I used for the candy cane cookies came from my mom’s recipe box. Normally, I would have called her and asked her for the recipe, but things have been unusually busy this week- even for this time of the year. So I went to Mom’s house while she was at work to get the recipe. When I opened her recipe box, I was surprised. The box itself is in terrible disrepair and the recipes are fairly disorganized with little newspaper cutouts and big mimeographed papers and everything.

My mom’s hard to shop for. If she wants something, she goes out and buys it. She has enough disposable income and time to do this, so come Christmas time, shopping for her can be hard. I asked her what she wanted for Christmas and she told me she wanted some kitchen dishrags. Gee, Mom, could you pick anything more exciting?!

So I know now what I am going to get her for Christmas. The dishrags she asked for, but I’m going to buy her a new recipe box and recopy all her recipes, especially the weird clippings and stuff so she has a nice, neat recipe box. This will be inexpensive, but a great surprise for my mom.Perhaps your own mom or grandma is hard to shop for- if so, check out their recipe box, they just might need a new one.


  1. Amy on December 16, 2007 at 11:36 am

    I love this idea and it is a great gift for the person who has everything! I use photo albums with the pockets for storing my recipes, it works really well for me!

    Thank you for the great idea!

  2. Carol on December 14, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    I have two huge 3 ring binders full of internet recipes in the plastic covers. It works out wonderful.

  3. Mrs.W on December 14, 2007 at 5:01 am

    Hahah… I don’t even have a messy card-box. I have a stack of papers piled next to my cookbooks, made up of internet printouts, handwritten sticky notes, recipes on backs of receipts, recipes torn out of magazines… you get the idea!

    So you have a good idea, but I have to agree with Sare. Try this. Copy everything and put the recipes in an organized 3-ring binder in plastic page-protectors. Then she can have an easy-access binder for her favorite recipes that wipes clean. Extra page protectors would be good, too… so she can add more recipes as desired.

    Now if I could only put that idea to practice in MY kitchen!

  4. Carol on December 13, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    I was given last year for Christmas a book of recipes from my family. My sister requested recipes from everyone in the family. There were recipes in from family both past and present. And what I cherished most are the ones that are hand written by my loved ones that aren’t around to make those tried and true recipes.

  5. Stephanie on December 13, 2007 at 5:52 pm

    I think it is a wonderful gift! Want to organize mine? Please! 😉

    I do like Meredith’s idea of preserving some of the hand written ones. Those will have a lot of sentimental value someday.

  6. Margolis on December 13, 2007 at 5:08 pm

    Sounds very thoughtful!
    I got my mom a new, pretty address book a few years back and it took her a few years to get her stuff copied over to the new one (WHY??! “it’s so pretty – don’t want to write an address unless I’m sure it’s there to stay” “Mom, that’s why it’s a mini 3 ring binder – people change!”).
    about the dishrags: I learned how to knit and I knit the same thing over and over and over again: Dishcloths (we call them in our neck of the woods). They are so practical, but also pretty, that my sis and mom and mom-in-law love receiving them – my mom offers to pay me for them!! No, I tell her, and knit faster. She’s given me so much, the least I can do is keep her in dishcloths!

  7. Badbadivy on December 13, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Sigh. I was afraid I’d get a response like this. Once I’ve copied all the recipes from Mom’s box, I am going to put the box back and she’ll have the original. I’m organizing it with the same tabs she has in her box, only alphabetizing the recipes. For my mom, I know she will appreciate it.

  8. Sare on December 13, 2007 at 4:41 pm

    My sister did that with my mom’s recipe box, and now we can’t find anything in it! Used to be you want the bulgoggi recipe? It’s in the front next to the green clipping. Carmel Corn? Yellowing card with the sticky up corner. I could go on like this. Now? You have to shuffle through every stinking recipe. Ugh!

    At least color code them or something, the standard division tabs were simply not enough in our case. Even my sister who did the spiffing up is at a total loss when she opens that shiny, well organized, uniform blah box.

  9. Meredith from Merchant Ships on December 13, 2007 at 4:18 pm

    That’s a good one! Cleaning and organization are two gifts I am always ready to receive : )

    I am digitizing our family recipes by putting them online–much cheaper for my extended family’s sake.

    Perhaps, if you have several older cards written in your mom’s handwriting, you could scan them in while you’re at it. There’s nothing like seeing a blotched and corrected recipe card in a loved one’s handwriting.