Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Having versus using

I had a Bon Appetit subscription for a year in 2007. I enjoyed reading the magazine, but never seemed to actually make any of the recipes. I collected each issue and put them in a cute magazine holder from Ikea. And there they sat, alongside my cookbooks and Cooks Illustrateds (which I use regularly). I think something about the glossy pages and not being able to quickly find a recipe that had any resemblance to something I had in mind to make prevented me from every consulting them.

A few weeks ago I realized that these magazines were not doing me any good sitting prettily in a box. I decided to take them apart, the way I do with my Real Simple every month after reading it. It took a few days, stealing snatches of time before bed or while watching 30 Rock on Netflix Instant, but I went through each one and cut out (well, tore out) any recipe that looked like I might actually make one day. I then filed each one in my recipe binders, which I video blogged about here.

Since then, I've made two recipes from those magazines and they both came out amazingly. I know it's easy to find a recipe for almost anything you want online, and I do that often, but making a recipe that I saved out of a magazine is somehow more of an adventure for me. Now I have more room on my bookshelf and it gives me pleasure to know I'm using the Bon Appetits instead of just having them.

Lelah Baker-Rabe is a Los Angeles-based professional organizer. To discuss your organizing needs, call her at 818.269.6671 or email lelah@lelahwithanh.com. Sign up for Lelah's News, a once-monthly newsletter.


  1. It's a shame that Gourmet magazine was discontinued in favor of Bon Appetit. I've always felt like Bon Appetit cuts too many corners in recipes (i.e. relies on pre-made stuff, like pie crusts etc.).

  2. I loved Gourmet, too, and was sad to see it go. It was a good reminder that if you want something to stick around, you have to support it, because I hadn't bought an issue in several years.