Keeping a Kitchen Journal
By Rachel Paxton
I know, I know, you're thinking a journal for the kitchen?
It seems like the busier we get the more forgetful we are. And
getting older has something to do with it, right? Whatever the reason, a kitchen
journal can be a useful tool for keeping your home and family running smoothly
on a day-to-day basis.
Did I mention journaling is fun? It is! Find a notebook to start
your journal. You can decorate it yourself with stickers or cut-out pictures.
Make it into something you look forward to writing in.
A kitchen journal is for making notes to yourself when you're
meal planning, cooking, or when a creative thought pops into your head while
you're doing something else.
One thing I use my kitchen journal for is recording my family's
food likes and dislikes. I've been married for almost eight years and you would
think by now I know what kind of cereal my husband likes. It's not so much the
ones he likes, as the one he dislikes! Then when you add in our teenage daughter
and my teenage step-daughter who doesn't live with us and comes and stays with
us from time to time, I'm finding it almost impossible to keep track of who
likes what. This is also useful for family members who visit and eat at your
home. They will be impressed that you remember what they like/dislike and that
you plan your meals around their tastes and/or food allergies.
Use your journal for recording new ideas for and keeping track
of your kids' school lunch menus.
Create a list of which fruits and vegetables are in season, and
when prices are lowest so you can watch for good deals and prepare your meals
around the seasons.
Kitchen journals are also great for when you're experimenting
with a recipe. When you change the proportions of a recipe or make an emergency
ingredient substitution, make a note of it in your journal. You can also use
your journal to write down new recipes you want to try or make a note of where
you saw a recipe you want to come back to later.
When you have guests or are entertaining friends or family make
notes of things you tried that went well or things that didn't go well that you
want to remember not to try again (like the salad that didn't set long enough in
the refrigerator before you were ready to serve it).
In addition to keeping track of favorite foods, make a note of
your family's favorite recipes. When your children grow up and go to college
and/or get married, you can compile their favorite recipes into a keepsake
cookbook or recipe card box for them to take with them as they start their own
Try incorporating a kitchen journal into your daily
routine and see for yourself if it helps keep you more organized. Once
you get started you'll discover many ideas of your own to record in your
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, mom, and owner of several home and
family web sites. For scrapbooking, card making, gift- giving ideas, and
more family memory-making activities, visit