Why all the information on the back of the recipe cards?

26 Jul

I got a question from a reader that I thought I’d share in case anyone else wondering about the same thing:

Q:  I was wondering if you could explain or show the back of one recipe card. I am having a hard time understanding what the back is for and why would you need it if then front recipe shows what you need.

Thanks for asking!  You can see an example of what I’ve named my “ingredient summaries” in the planning pages section (a drop down tab if you look under “Create Your Own Book” at top).  There are four main reasons why I’ve included these on the backs of my recipes:

#1:  Cooking Water.  For most freeze dried/dehydrated ingredients I also need to store cooking water to rehydrate it with.  After going to the work of storing all this food I’m not going to leave this detail up to chance — I want to know for certain that I have enough water to make up my meals.  The best way I’ve found is to add up how much water is needed per recipe and include this on the back of the recipe card.  There are two water totals I keep track of.  First, I figure out how much water is needed per ingredient for one recipe .   Secondly,  I record the total amount of water needed to make the recipe multiplied by all of the times it’s going to be made.  That first total (x1) makes an easy reference for when I’m ready to make the meal and I need to know how much water I need for it.  The bigger total is what I’ll be adding into my inventory.   By putting all of this on the back of the card it’s clear and easy to read.

#2 Overall ingredient totals are all in one place.  These are the totals in the 2nd column (“x5” in my example).  The sense of having these is all about inventory.  If I decide to completely throw out a certain recipe it’s easy to subtract and if I want to increase a certain recipe it’s easy to add more.  I like keeping this information all together with the recipe it goes with.

#3:  Double Duty recipes.  Many of my recipes play a part in my plan as both a 3 month recipe and a long term recipe.  My 3 month recipes use fresh vegetables, ones that store well or that can be frozen, as well as fresh/frozen dairy products.  My long term recipes use the dehydrated and freeze dried vegetables, powdered milk and powdered eggs.  This difference in ingredients is something that gets noted on the back of my cards so that I know how much of which ingredient needs to be stored for that recipe based on the number of times I’ll be making it as a 3 month and also as a long term.  Trying to note all of this on the front of the recipe card (and making sure it makes it to my inventory list) gets too messy– it’s goes on the back of the card.

#4: Conversions.  I’ve got a lot of recipes that are every day recipes converted into food storage recipes (by substituting long term ingredients).   The backs of my cards for these recipes are important because I’ve listed all the substituted ingredients and converted amounts on the back where it’s easy to read.  With so many ingredients being traded out for long term ingredients it’s hard to fit it all on the card neatly and again then I have the totals added up for my inventory and tracking.   I wanted to make the directions and amounts especially clear and easy to read in my food storage cookbook so that if needed I could hand the book over to my husband (or one of my older kids) to make and they could understand the directions and make the meal if I wasn’t able to.

Hope that helps!

2 Responses to “Why all the information on the back of the recipe cards?”

  1. Prepared Teacher July 27, 2011 at 3:33 am #

    Ner, ner, I feel like a dork. I totally did not see the planning page tab! Now I get it! Thanks

    Oh yah! I am on my way with the binder. I got the stuff I needed and yesterday my daughter ( age 7) was helping me get it ready for recipes, she wanted to help today but alas she had other things ( habitats) to learn while I wrote up and placed recipes in the binder. It is a great thing when our children are eager to help with food storage.

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