The stories that start out with, "I have this friend..." usually refer to the story teller. That being said, I have this friend - who decided one afternoon to get organized.

Truth be known I, uh she, decided to make a German recipe which produces these wonderful fried dough wonders, filled with hamburger, onion and spice mixture that can feed a small army. Kind of like the pasties the '49er miners would take with them into the bowels of the earth.

My sister gave me this recipe and I make them every so often especially on weekends when I don't want to decide what's for dinner. Just pop a few Fleish Keikle in the microwave, grab some ketchup and voila - dinner! Back to the organizing part.

So in my zeal, early one morning I made Keikles, having to start early because they take a while. I got the little puffs of goodness done and was putting the recipe back in its designated place.

Just where is that designated place I referred to? Is it a neat, tidy box? Everything filed in order? No way. It's my 1975 Betty Crocker cookbook that has the honor of holding all my recipes. My collection of recipe cards also includes magazine tear outs, slips of paper with hand-written notes, that Fleish Kieckle recipe on a piece of notebook paper that is yellowed with age and spotted from years of sitting on the counter becoming covered and sticky with flour and eggs and whatnot.

That cookbook is so stuffed to the hilt it looks kind of like a chicken that has been shaken and is all ruffled. Its feathers are sticking out every direction all askew and rumpled. If Betty, as she is known to me, were ever to be dropped, Heaven forbid, there would be a scattering of years of life affirming, time tested goodness spilled everywhere.

I won't say my book is as important as my Bible, but it holds a near and dear second.

I saw a commercial that tried to talk me into buying a little machine that sits next to your computer. You scan your important papers through it and magically you can organize EVERYTHING you can imagine into your computer.

I watched with a little interest and as I opened up my Betty book I thought about that scanner and how I could become neat and tidy, scanning and organizing until there would not be a shred of paper to my existence left anywhere in my house.

Then reality smacked me up alongside the head. Really I thought?

Scan Grandma Machacek's Molasses cookies recipe, hand written by her, into a machine then get rid of the original? What about mom's Fairy Pie, English toffee or Fishhouse punch recipes? I would no longer need to turn to page 151 to make Gingerbread boys, the page marked with the clipping from cousin Mutts' Czech recipe for these wonderful, fruit filled pastries called Kolace'.

Nope, can't do it. There are just some things that are built over years that turn out messy, out of control, without having the slightest bit of organization to them except in the eye of the beholder. Am I alone in this? I doubt it. Will I stop adding to my book O' yumminess? Never. Are you getting hungry too?

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Share you thoughts and opinions at itybytrina@yahoo.com