I have been collecting recipes since I was in high school. Over the years, I continued to tear pages from women magazines, loot recipe cards from the supermarkets and purchase cookbooks.

Folders of tear sheets, cook books in both hard covers and paper backs versions, and recipe cards filled one whole cupboard.  My culinary library even includes my mother’s personal handwritten notes from cooking classes she attended when I was very little.

A few years ago, I decided to digitize these folders of recipe tear sheets, as part  my personal paper-free movement. That was when I realized that even if I were to cook one recipe every day for the rest of my life, I was never going to cover the entire stash.

Culinary irony

Despite my library of recipes and cookbooks, I don’t cook well. I get by following recipes, occasionally.

It is clear that the volume of my recipe stash does not guarantee my cooking skill.

Delicious hoards

Collecting recipes makes me happy.

I harbored hopes of savoring delicious meals and hosting great dinner parties. Bringing home pieces of culinary wisdom from my vacations were just another way to extend fond travel experience.

The reality is, I don’t have the time to cook.

Further personal reflection on my behavior reveals a deeper reason behind my recipe-hoarding.

Source of my cravings

Regular home cooked meals were never a big part of my growing-up years. As a widowed parent of four kids, my mother had neither the time nor the energy to cook.

As such, I craved home-cooked meals and family gatherings. Always having home-cooked food at home meant comfort, love and security. Apparently, it was my unmet psychological needs manifesting physically.

Start savoring life

I now initiate family gatherings where I serve up new dishes and there are always pre-cooked food in my fridge. It helps that I am blessed with a helper who simply loves to cook.

Over the last few years, I have stopped collecting things and started living my desired life. Today, I no longer feel the urge to buy cookbooks.

Understanding my unmet psychological needs and addressing them was all I needed to do.

Perhaps that’s just the recipe to live well and be happy.

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