Back when they first got married, Rosenstrach and her husband used their dinner diary to plan meals for the week ahead, which made shopping easier and more efficient, and took away the nightly headache of figuring out dinner at the last minute. Now that they are better at improvising, she just records what they ate after the fact. Fourteen years and 4,500 dinners later, she has a catalogue that makes it easy to figure out family favorites, which was useful while writing her cookbook.
I will go on record to say that never in the history of cookbooks has it been so easy to pick a line-up of recipes that were destined to become keepers: I just looked at the ones that showed up month after month.
You may not be quite so diligent, but having a record of the meals you have cooked and enjoyed is not only useful, it also creates a different sort of family memento, one we find quite fascinating.
Read more: You Should Keep a Food Diary (Heck, This One Became a Book) at Bon Appetit
Do you keep a dinner diary?
(Image: Jenny Rosenstrach/Bon Appetit)