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E-reader as recipe box?
Old 09-04-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
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E-reader as recipe box?

I'm finally coming into the home stretch with my kitchen cabinet selection! The last item on my checklist is somewhere to put the cookbooks. Or perhaps I should say somewhere to keep the recipes, because lots of them are on photocopies or index cards. Up until now they have lived in an untidy box in a closet near the kitchen, but (a) this wasn't very convenient, and (b) there isn't any closet near my new kitchen.

I wondered last night about buying an old Kindle or Nook from Ebay and using it to store the recipes. It's compact and probably less expensive than customizing a cabinet to add a bookshelf. My question is, if I scan the old photocopied recipes, or type them into my computer, will an e-reader be able to display them, or can it only display complete e-books? Even if the latter, I could self-publish my recipes as an e-book, and upload that, could't I? Any idea how well an e-reader would hold up in the kitchen environment?
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:56 PM   #2
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You can definitely display a text document or a PDF on an e-book reader. If you get a Kindle, you can even email the documents to yourself and they will show up on the Kindle, free of charge. Or use the old-fashioned way with a cord attached to the computer.

When I'm reading my Kindle in the bath or at the beach, I put it in a Ziploc bag which allows me to do so worry-free. If you were making something messy I would suggest the same for the kitchen. Heaven knows my baking books are always splattered with stuff!
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:05 PM   #3
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I'll be interested to see how others answer this. I've toyed with this idea, but form some reason I like having that piece of paper or index card on the counter. There's something nostalgic about it, particularly if the recipe is hand written by a now deceased relative.

Plus, I am the world's sloppiest cook, so I'd probably dump a whole stick of melted butter on the e-reader first time I used it....
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #4
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It's so exciting to hear that your new home is coming together! Hint: photos of the new kitchen would be great!

I currently store all my cookbooks in one shelf of an upper cabinet. This is not as convenient as the open shelf I had designed into my last kitchen. However, increasingly I find interesting recipes at Allrecipes, which I access on my iPad. The app is very well designed for visibility while cooking. I simply use the iPad cover to stand it on the kitchen counter (which has lots of space). When I am using a recipe from a cookbook or magazine, I use a book stand. Either way, that makes it easy to read the recipe without getting it smeared.

I have never used an index card system, and I don't have too many handwritten recipes, but one way to deal with loose recipes would be to photograph or scan them into an iPad, perhaps as a PDF. I like the bigger screen and would not use an e reader for this.

Here's wishing you happy cooking!
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:41 PM   #5
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We do not use it much, but we have a shelf that is hinged to the bottom of one of the cabinets... it swings down and is at an angle so you can lay a book or e-reader on it and see it easily...


This is similar to ours....

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Old 09-04-2013, 02:41 PM   #6
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I've scanned all of my frequently used recipes and put them in Drop Box.

When I want to make brownies, for example, I just pull up the PDF on my iPad and bake away. I have individual folders in Drop Box for my various recipe types.

I'm also a messy cook so can wipe down my iPad screen when something gets on it.
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Old 09-04-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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I'll be interested to see how others answer this. I've toyed with this idea, but form some reason I like having that piece of paper or index card on the counter. There's something nostalgic about it, particularly if the recipe is hand written by a now deceased relative.

Plus, I am the world's sloppiest cook, so I'd probably dump a whole stick of melted butter on the e-reader first time I used it....
This is also my approach. It feels good; and there is too much technology in my life already for me to add technology to something that works and feels good the old way.

Ha
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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I use Evernote, based on a suggestion here. I just put them in as I make the recipe. Some of those old paper copies are getting pretty dog-eared.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumDay View Post
I'll be interested to see how others answer this. I've toyed with this idea, but form some reason I like having that piece of paper or index card on the counter. There's something nostalgic about it, particularly if the recipe is hand written by a now deceased relative.

Plus, I am the world's sloppiest cook, so I'd probably dump a whole stick of melted butter on the e-reader first time I used it....
This is also my approach. It feels good; and there is too much technology in my life already for me to add technology to something that works and feels good the old way.

Ha
There's something in that, haha. But almost all the recipes I have are just photocopies from books, things I've printed from online, or in my own writing. The few that have nostalgic associations with one or other of my parents, I can keep in hard copy in addition to scanning them into the e-reader (if I decide to get one). I don't think I have any recipes from earlier generations, though there are photos and other papers associated with remoter ancestors. My mom & I have our work cut out for us getting those in some sort of order, as soon as we get over the hump of moving/unpacking/remodeling.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Two suggestions - anything you scan, try to get it in an editable format. Then you can easily add notes and updates. OCR software to do this can be finicky, but maybe if an image is all you can get, then include it in a word processing document so you can add notes above or below? It might be easier to find similar recipes on line, and copy/paste those, or save as pdf.

Back them up!

I'm finding that recipes are much easier to locate on my hard drive than in a stack of books. Esp if you have a good indexed search tool (like Spotlight in the Mac, or Recoll in Linux, not sure of the Windows equiv) - then you can search on any word in the document, instead of just file names.

-ERD50
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:04 PM   #11
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I use Evernote, based on a suggestion here. I just put them in as I make the recipe. Some of those old paper copies are getting pretty dog-eared.
I believe evernote has an app specifically for recipes. Might be worth a look.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:20 PM   #12
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I also use Evernote to organize my recipes. The search function is really powerful.
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Old 09-05-2013, 11:25 AM   #13
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I don't use recipes. There is only one of me living here, and I remember the recipes that I like best. That is not too hard because I have been preparing those recipes for years, and besides most of the food I prepare is simple and healthy. On the rare occasion when I want to try something new (doesn't happen often!), it is usually something from the internet. So, I just place my laptop computer or iPad on the kitchen counter and go for it.

kyounge1956, how exciting that your kitchen is coming together like this! I think that no matter how you decide to deal with your recipes, you will have such fun cooking there. I wouldn't buy an e-book reader or iPad just for recipes, myself, but if you already have one then it might be fun to use it for that.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:09 PM   #14
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Two suggestions - anything you scan, try to get it in an editable format. Then you can easily add notes and updates. OCR software to do this can be finicky, but maybe if an image is all you can get, then include it in a word processing document so you can add notes above or below? It might be easier to find similar recipes on line, and copy/paste those, or save as pdf.

Back them up!

I'm finding that recipes are much easier to locate on my hard drive than in a stack of books. Esp if you have a good indexed search tool (like Spotlight in the Mac, or Recoll in Linux, not sure of the Windows equiv) - then you can search on any word in the document, instead of just file names.

-ERD50
That's a smart suggestion. Right now I'm using an aged computer (I packed the power supply for the newer one in the wrong box and heaven only knows how long it will be until I find it) with a correspondingly outdated browser. I will have to wait until the newer computer is up & running to verify, but I believe the version of Adobe or Preview or whatever can add annotations to pdfs, and I remember for sure that it can drag pages from one pdf file to another, so it will definitely be possible to add annotations & updates, even if I just have a scanned image of the recipe itself.

I got an email this morning that the replacement part is in, but I had to go to the Apple Store to order it and that's 40 miles from here. I asked if they could deliver it straight to the house but that request fell on deaf ears. I find that our county transit system has an express bus on weekends that goes straight to the mall the Apple store is in, so I think I will take a little bus trip on Saturday to pick up the new power supply and then I'll be good to go.

If this old iMac wasn't so large, I could just keep it on the kitchen counter for recipe storage, but what with the microwave and the crock pot already designated to sit on the counter, I don't think there will be enough space for it.

As for the requested photos, I have only taken a few--I wasn't actually living here until two weeks ago. They will show up eventually, but first I need to get the loose ends tied up, like filing my income tax. I submitted an extension in April, but now that I am in the house and will have my most recent Quicken file available for updating next week, there is no longer any excuse not to get it in.
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Old 09-05-2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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I don't use recipes. There is only one of me living here, and I remember the recipes that I like best. That is not too hard because I have been preparing those recipes for years, and besides most of the food I prepare is simple and healthy. On the rare occasion when I want to try something new (doesn't happen often!), it is usually something from the internet. So, I just place my laptop computer or iPad on the kitchen counter....
I just used my iPad mini to use an online recipe last week and loved it, especially being able to enlarge it so I could see it from across the counter (a regular iPad or laptop would be even better). And DD's MIL loves to cook but is not at ease with written English, so she likes online video recipes to cook new things. Pretty cool use of a computer in the kitchen.

Sounds like you're settling into your new digs, kyounge, if you can find the countertops!
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #16
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I believe evernote has an app specifically for recipes. Might be worth a look.
It's Evernote Food and it will automatically take recipes from Evernote and organize them for you.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:55 PM   #17
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I entered all 20 or so of my recipes into Living Cookbook for the PC a couple of years ago. I was able to export them and import into MyCookbook for Android. Looks like that should work OK, though I'd like something a little better formatted. Should work for some eReaders based on Android. I'm sure Apple has something like it. Anyway, check an app store and try out a few to see if they work for you.
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