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Interview with Cathy

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I was checking out some Y-group recipe exchanges and I stumbled across a lady

that really deserves recognition for her efforts to preserve recipe history! 
Her name is Cathy and she has been on a long journey trying to preserve estate 
recipes and many other recipes in her collection. We just wanted everyone to know 
that she totally rocks! And if it wasn't for people like Cathy and other recipe 
preservationists, we wouldn't have a chance to preserve such rich heritage on 
Recipes! We interviewed her, check it out! 
- Wikimanager 13:21, 13 Apr 2006 (PDT)

Recipes Wiki Interview with Cathy Edit

  • Please give our readers any other information you would like them to know about you, these recipes and the blood, sweat and tears involved in your journey. - Robert

My name is Cathy. My family and friends call me Cat. I live in Dallas, Texas. I have been here since 1970. My early years were spent in Virginia (where I was born), Florida, Michigan and Ohio. My father was career Navy thus the reasons for all the moves. We ended up in Dallas, Texas after his retirement. I love Texas and am proud to call it home. I can't imagine myself ever living anywhere else although I do love to vacation in Lake Tahoe and could see myself retiring there. From the time I was age 12 or so, I always liked to help my mother in the kitchen. I always enjoyed chopping fruits and vegetables, helping with the cooking and even enjoyed setting the table. Since there were five kids and my parents, I never learned to cook smaller portions, to this day, even after 26 years of marriage, I still cook in large batches, but that's OK my husband and I don't mind leftovers. My collection of recipes, though very laborious and a very long journey that is still continuing, is fullof blood, swetand tears AND most importantly all done out of love. I have thousands of dollars invested in my collection but I would do it again and again and again. Cathy

  • Please tell us what inspired you to start preserving recipes?- Robert

Around the time I was age 15, I became real interested in cookbooks, cooking magazines and would prefer reading about cooking and how to prepare food then I did reading novels or watching movies. By the time I was married at age 22, I had purchased several cookbooks from book clubs, bookstores, etc. I never could part with any of my cookbooks after I took possession of them. I was given several from various family members and friends along the way and from there my collection grew and grew and grew and is still growing. Sometime in the mid-1980s I really became interested in collecting and preserving older recipes. I started visiting estate and garages sales and was amazed at how many people were willing to sell off family recipe collections and cookbooks. I have been known to walk into an estate sale, ask what they want for all the cookbooks and recipes in the estate and been told $20.00. Wow, when I walk away with 100 or more cookbooks (many very old) and a collection of somebody's handwritten recipe, I just don't understand how somebody can walk away from that history. Cathy

  • Give us some stats... how many recipes have you preserved? From how many estates and other resources? - Robert

I attend every estate sale I can (to date I have purchased recipe collections and vintage cookbooks from 144 estate sales, mostly in Texas). I also frequent flea markets, consignment stores, garage sales and live auctions. Dallas is full of half price bookstores so I'm a regular there as well. It's amazing what you can find for little or nothing. I have even purchased classics in very good shape for $0.25 or $0.50. My best find was a copy of the first edition Joy of Cooking which looked brand new. It was on the shelves of a Half Price Bookstore last November. I got it for $1.25. That same book sells for hundreds of dollars on various auction sites. I have found many treasures like that over the years. My most recent find was one of the first edition White House Cookbooks (white cover) dated 1887. This book is covered in plastic and has no scuffs or marks anywhere. I purchased it at a consignment store for $3.00. To date my cookbooks collection consists of 8,000+ (not including the ones I purchased this past weekend) and my individual recipe collection (self-written, inherited or estate purchased) is over 4,000,000 and I have at least 100,000 more to add from recent purchases.Cathy

  • How long did this take? - Robert

After 25 years of collecting and several years of having recipes in boxes, I decided to organize them. I started out by sorting them, weeding out duplicates and spent five years (with the help of a bunch of people I hired to help me get this done) typing these recipes. Cathy

  • Has anything interesting happened as a result of your efforts to preserve these recipes (funny stories or anything else interesting)? - Robert

I have had several offers to buy my collection and/or turn over the rights to the recipes for others to sell wherein I would be given a commission. This isn't an option with me. I spent years collecting and only want to share. I do occasionally put a CD together for charitable events. Cathy

  • Tell us about your experience (negative and/or positive) with your attempts to share these recipes via the internet with other people (I hear a few groups booted you for contributing too much! LOL!). - Robert

I just learned about recipe groups a few weeks ago. I signed up for several (approximately 45) like us recipe fanatics do. I began posting 20-25 each day and met so many nice people. I was asked to leave some of the recipe groups because they only wanted a few posted at a time, which is OK, I respect others wishes.

Well welcome to Recipes Wiki! Feel free to post as much as you wish! - Wikimanager

I started my own recipe group (catsrecipes@yahoogroups) and am posting 20-25 recipes there on a daily basis (unless I'm tied up too much with work). I am posting these recipes on other recipe groups on Yahoo as well. I always try to provide the information of where the recipes comes from and when it was originated along with any other notations on the recipes. I have met so many nice people and gained additional recipes just in the short time being on the recipe groups. I had not idea these groups were out there. I'm so thankful I found them. I was selling Ebooks on eBay for awhile I had put together approximately 100 Ebooks (i.e., cheesecake, cookies, pies, pork, pasta, etc.) butthe listig fees got too expensive so I decided to just continue organizing and finding ways to share with the public. I have put together 3 recipe CD's over the last 5 years containing several thousand recipes. I sell them to raise money for charity. I sold my first one on eBay after 911 and raised several thousand dollars for the charities that eBay was supporting. I sold several hundred copies of my second CD for the victims of Katrina. I really feel good when I can help others. I sold a few hundred copies of CD 3 at craft fairs and church bazaars in my community to raise money for the animal shelters and to feed disabled and senior citizens, two charities that I hope to volunteer at full-time when I can retire. I love cooking and delivering food to people in need and my animals (3 brat cats) are my babies. I actually have a partner programmer writing a special program for us which will contain the entire database and will be searchable by ingredients on hand, recipe type, recipe title, etc. Everyone will be to add or delete the recipes they don't want from the database. When that is accomplished, we are going to sell the software and give away the recipes. Cathy

  • Do you plan to continue adding to your collection? Or do you think you have enough recipes? - Robert

Is there any such thing as too many recipes? LOL. I will always add to my collection. I can see me adding 40 years from now.

  • What format have you preserved these recipes in? Would you consider adding your collection to Recipes to share with the world?- Robert

Right now the recipes are in word format. After my partner completes our program, they will be in a searchable database. I will be happy to contribute to Recipes Wiki on a very regular basis, submitting recipes and their history, etc. Cathy

  • If your data was wiped out for some reason, would you do it all over again? - Robert

Absolutely. No doubt about it. Cathy

  • Any advice for other recipe saviours?- Robert

Get those recipes out of boxes and drawers. Get them preserved. Twenty years from now our loves ones will want to know what we cooked when we were younger. Cathy

Great advice Cathy! Keep up the good work! Wikimanager 13:24, 13 Apr 2006 (PDT)

See also Edit

Cathy's Recipes on Recipes Wiki

External links Edit

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