Pass on a Family Cooking Tradition

In many households cooking is a family tradition. Both parents and children can get involved in creating a meal and the food then becomes a bonding experience. Also with many families the recipes are carried down from one generation to the next.

Perhaps some of the recipes aren’t even written down. They are passed on when a parent teaches their child how to make it. Without having these recipes written down some dishes may be forgotten, some recipes may be forgotten by the younger generation, and lost forever.

This is your chance to give your child or other family member a gift from your heart. Putting together a cookbook filled with your family recipes is easy and rewarding.

Your Family Cookbook

The first thing you should decide is how you are going to put this cookbook together. If this is a small project and you are only creating one cookbook you might want to consider purchasing an empty cookbook at the store. These already have the dividers in and you only have to write in the recipes.

Another option is to purchase index cards, index card boxes, and write or print the recipes on those cards. A drawback to this method is that the cards are loose in the box and can be easily misplaced if a person is not careful.

The easiest way is probably to type the recipes up and either put the cookbook together by printing it off, or sending your recipes to a company that will publish the cookbook for you. Either way you will have to type the recipes.

The benefit to typing the recipes is that you do not have to worry about your family members being unable to read a recipe or misreading the recipe and creating a dish that isn’t so tasty.

Oh, it said one teaspoon of salt! I thought it said one tablespoon.

If you have any equipment like accurate food scales or digital thermometers, now's the time to get precise measurements! 

Think about how much time and money you want to invest in this project and decide from there. The most inexpensive method will be to write the recipes on index cards, but the downfall is recipes can still become lost and a card box just doesn’t have that personal touch.

If you are printing recipes only for a couple of people, it might not cost so much doing it yourself. You wouldn’t want to print 20 copies on your computer though. Check the cost of taking your recipes to a copy machine and see how much that would cost. If you do not want to spend time printing things out and putting them together, then a printing company is best for you. This will be the most expensive method, but also the cookbooks will be the most professional.

Once you have decided how you are going to create this cookbook, it is time to decide what type of recipes will be added to the pages. Are you going to ask other family members to contribute? If you have a lot of family recipes to add, you may not want to put all of the recipes in one cookbook.

This could even end up being several projects. Start by creating a recipe book of deserts or something else that can be broken down into its own cookbook.

After you decide what type of recipes will go into this book, think about other things that you could add. What makes a homemade cookbook special is the personal touch that goes into it.

Consider adding family photos, menu suggestions, stories about the family around the dinner table, and anything else that will really bring this cookbook to life for the person you are giving it to.

If you have decided to collect recipes from all of your family members, you should still start in your own kitchen. The task of putting all of these recipes together in a cookbook can grow very large. Once you have successfully finished this part of the work, then talk to other family members about their recipes.

Once you have all of the recipes it is time to decide how they are going to be organized. Take a look at the cookbooks you have in your household. How are most of them organized? Usually, the recipes are listed by the category of food it falls under. Even so, this is your cookbook and you do not have to follow anyone else's guidelines.

You could also list your recipes by the name of the contributing family member. Be creative and come up with a system that will work for you and your family.

There have been so many times that I have heard my Mom say:

My Mom made great biscuits. I wish she had written down the recipe.

When I first got engaged I told my Mom the only thing I wanted was a cookbook with her recipes. Three years later I have 20 cookbooks but her cookbook is the only one that never gets put away.

I am constantly flipping through the pages and using the same recipes that she cooked for me as a child. Such a simple gift but it has become one of my most prized possessions.

Start working on your cookbook today.

These are great gifts for any time of the year, but they are even better for those in your family who are just going to college, moving away from the home, getting married, or starting their own family. These are the times in our lives when we step out of your kitchen and into your own. Don’t send your child empty handed.