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One Index for all the Cookbooks we own

FlavourGirl_'s picture

I have a lot of cookbooks (although not over 200 like some of you) and have been trying to think of a way to create one index for all of them. I thought maybe utilizing a scanner and a database program might work. But even this would not be an easy process. Any thoughts?

dixie_'s picture

(post #53681, reply #1 of 7)

Eve, I hope you can come up with a good way to index cookbooks because I have been thinking of a way to do this for years.
•I have done this with my Fine Cooking Magazine articles (and others) that I want to reference at a later date. Put them on a spread sheet program (I used Excel)- Keyword, volume number, page, notes, etc. Any recipe I
b really
like goes into
i my cookbook.

Surely some of us could come up with a good organization program. I will think about it after income taxes.

Juli's picture

(post #53681, reply #2 of 7)

This wouldn't help with those who have 200 cookbooks but you could just go low-tech and copy the indexes of all your books, put the indexes in a single binder (maybe even separated by type of cooking -- Italian, low-fat, baking, etc). Mark the indexes with the name of the cookbook / magazine. Not your most perfect way to go but at least you'd have everything at your fingertips for practically no cost, and very little investement in time/effort until something better came along.

SLEWIS's picture

(post #53681, reply #3 of 7)

In the words of a past boss....keep it simple. I have a wooden box with tried and SUCCESSFUL recipes listed by catagory (meat, poultry, vegs, etc. The key is that if the recipe makes "the box" it was a good one. I also have a section of menus that have worked out well. Next to the listing on the index card is what magazine or cookbook it is in.

Chiffonade_'s picture

(post #53681, reply #4 of 7)

As one of those with the 200 cookbooks (and the shakes every time I get a cookbook catalogue), I typed my index in WORD...but you can do it in Excel. It doesn't have to be a monumental beast with number of pages and number of chicken recipes, etc. Mine consists of Title and Author (you might add subject like Italian or Bread).

I type 100 words a minute so it wasn't too intimidating. The
i worst
part was sitting on the floor in front of the bookcases handwriting the list off which I typed. After a while my handwriting was nearly
i indecipherable.

hwy102's picture

(post #53681, reply #5 of 7)

Have you started this project? I have lots of cookbooks, plus a file box full of clippings, etc. Instead of typing out the entire recipe, I simply made myself a little database (you could do one in Word or Excel - make a "table") in which I entered the name of recipe, and key ingredients and also it's LOCATION - name of file folder or name of book. I have found my system most useful with recipes I pull out of magazines, etc that I think I'd like to try, but never do because I'm stuck in a rut. So when I'm looking for inspiration, I just go to my index and there's a list to remind me of all those clippings!

Rebecca's picture

(post #53681, reply #6 of 7)

I just got Mastercook 5.0, thanks to all the recommendations on this forum (thanks all!). It is PERFECT for this project. It is the main reason I got MC5. I don't put the whole recipe in...I do put in title, ingredients, source info, notes, categories, & time to make. Basically, everything except directions. This takes very little time. By using MC5, I can do searches based on ingredients, cuisine, "easy", anything really. Can print shopping lists, too. Copying recipes from this site right to MC is easier than copying to my own document file & then the recipe is part of the database right away.

You can even use it as a database program for info other than recipes (the "cookbooks" are really just files full of information = "recipes" make up your own categories, BTW). I have MSAccess which is a great program if you need nuances & heavy-duty DB stuff but MC is a decent, basic DB.

GMARTS's picture

(post #53681, reply #7 of 7)

I have to agree with Rebecca. I have Mastercook 5.0 from Sierra after having had Mastercook's 1.0 through 4.0. You have unlimited cookbooks, each one capable of holding 12,000 recipes. I have seen the basic version at Sam's for $19.99 and the Mastercook Suite featuring 3 or 4 Betty Crocker Cookbooks for $39.99 with a $20 rebate at Sam's. I am in the process of making a cookbook with all of the Fine Cooking recipes.