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Monday, November 23, 2009

Recording Our Past III. . .

Maybe I should call this post Recording Our Present for Our Future Generations, and an easy and fun way to do that is with our recipes.

Gather family recipes and make a family cook book. I've did this twice, once in 1996 and then again in 2005. I wish someone had did it many years sooner.

Sometimes it's hard to get everyone to cooperate, but then the ball starts rolling and you get lots coming in.

You can have them professionally printed, but I didn't. I simply typed them and printed them out on my computer. In addition to putting the name of the contributor of the recipe, I also wrote down their relationship to my grandparents. Such as:

by: Janet (Woods) Smart

In my 1996 cookbook, I typed the title page, a page with the pictures of my grandparents and gr grandparents and a page with our family tree printed on it. These recipes were gathered from the descendants of my maternal grandparents. The recipes from our first cookbook is on my genealogy page here.

In 2006, in addition to recipes from living family members, I asked everyone if they could remember recipes made by their parents, grandparents, aunts etc. They could submit them in memory of them. Such as:

by: Janet (Woods) Smart
Granddaughter (in memory of
Aunt Goldie)

I got a few older recipes that way. On those recipes, I also put a picture of the person it was in memory of.

This information kind of made it more personal. Also, throughout the book I typed in tidbits of food memories from our past.

I told about apple butter making down at grandma's when we were kids, how grandma used to teach people how to can, how we made homemade ice cream from new fallen snow, grandma's old time stack cake and other food related memories. I've been told by some family members that those written memories was one of their favorite parts of the cookbook.

Here is a sample page:

The front of the book has a picture of my grandparents in the middle:

I guess you could put them on a disc and distribute the disc to everyone, but I'm a little old fashioned and I like hard copies. I like to have a book to hold in my hands.

So whether you get them done professionally or do it on your own, consider making a book of your family recipes, you won't regret it. It will be a cookbook treasured and used forever that will become an heirloom passed down through the generations.

Do you have a family cookbook you would like to tell us about?


  1. Janet-this is a wonderful idea. One of my friends is doing it for her children for Christmas this year.

  2. No, I don't. But I've always wanted to make one.
    Maybe I can get to it this year and have it ready for Christmas next year.
    And I'll be going back to your recipe page. Some of those look delicious!


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