12 July 2015

It’s Time for Christmas in July - Day 12

Family Cookbook

Almost every family has a treasured, favourite recipe or recipes that have been handed down through the generations. A great way to ensure that the recipe and the family history aren't lost is to make a family recipe book.

This is a project my mother-in-law Pat has been talking about for years. Lots of the recipes she uses were taught to her by her mother and mother-in-law and they are firm family favourites. The problem is only she has the recipes, and most of them are stored conveniently in her head. We plan to create a family recipe book and include all these recipes, especially the Christmas pudding because no one else can make it. No one else has the recipe and if anything were to happen to Pat, then a favourite part of our family heritage would be lost.

Creating a recipe book isn't something that you can do in a couple of hours. This is a project that requires planning and consideration.

Start by making a list of all the recipes you want to include in your recipe book. Then you'll need to decide on the format. Will it just be a recipe book or will it have space for family history? Will you include stories with the recipes, such as why Granny's Johnny Cakes were the best ever, or the secret to Aunty Mary's Beef Casserole? Will there be space to add other recipes? And will you leave space for comments and notes to be added later on? How will you decorate it? And what about a cover and binding? And is this your personal project or would you like some other family members to help you?

You can use Word to create your Family Recipe Book or you can buy software designed specifically for this project. I've looked at a couple of programs available and really, while they were relatively cheap (under $40) Word will let you do all that they offer.

Don't forget the illustrations. A nice way to decorate and illustrate your recipe book is to include family photos and favourite sayings and traditions sprinkled throughout the pages. A visit to your local library should supply a wealth of inspiration.

The size of the finished book will determine the binding. You can get binding done at office supply shops and printers for a reasonable price or you can put it in a display folder or a ring binder with a personalised cover. There are dozens of ways you can bind or present your Family Cookbook, look at the recipe books on your shelves if you are stuck for ideas.

Again this is a large project, but one you could easily do by yourself. Just remember that it will take time.

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