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How to Turn Your Family's Cookery into a Family Cookbook

Updated on October 3, 2021

If you are a family cook, you can relate to the challenges of cooking the family's favorite foods and how everything else is hitched to the treasured recipes that have been in the family for generations.

Every family has exceptional recipes where the area of expertise lies in the cooking directions. Each recipe carries a noble story that combines a tradition of taste and family folklore.

Some are handed down from grandmother, mother to daughter, grandfather to grand kids, or mother-in-law to daughter-in-law, creating a long history of the family's cookery. But how do we begin to make a family cookbook? It could be both confusing and enthralling. But these are the kinds of things we would be excited to pass down to our children.

Here are tips to turn a family's cookery novelty into actual recipes:

Gather Family Specialties

Ask specialties from family members. If the family loves cheese dishes, gather up all your classic recipes that contain cheese. If it's baked decadents you specialize then like me you will do everything to find the olden family recipes of sweet rolls, sponge cakes, puddings, flans, jams, preserves, and other sweet indulgences no matter how far back.

Write down everything. Even grandmother's delicious "a-little-of-this and a-little-of-that kind of recipe -- put it in your cookbook.

Details are the best fine points. Write the ingredients used one by one along with measurement, shapes and sizes. Trace the simplest additions and substitutions, this way you are sharing the possibility of creating a refreshing variety of new-fangled tastes.

It will be extra special to include origin and what events or occasion a particular recipe is most requested for. Even the name of family member who discovered a specialty would add fun. Put photos and stories for a more personal touch. Dates and places of childhood recipe cooking memories will also make it look and sound memorable.

Include Humorous Episodes

You can even insert amusing and humorous cooking experiences like over-salted food that taste like sea, burnt meat roast yet "bloody" on the inside, or cake that has collapsed inwards (just like my cakes?...LOL). Even those recipes you think doesn’t make enough sense to even try are very worth showcasing.

When the cake has flapped, haha.
When the cake has flapped, haha.
At least, they're not fried!
At least, they're not fried!

Make It Cheerful

Admire everyone. Include the kids!

Have high regard for how family members responded to the cookbook project. Inject colorful pieces by asking kids to help create artwork for the book, take photos and that's it. The whole idea can speak well of the family's personality. Sort out special pages from seasonal and holiday dishes to the most requested. A table of contents will make everything easy to find.

Why not reveal the names of those who took the effort to make it a reality?

My niece, Janna, decorated this "Beautiful" birthday cake. Below are also leftover sprinkles which another Krizel created into something out of an idea just for photography, lol.

Cakes are fun to decorate for kids because they can explore lettering, shaping flowers, hearts... almost anything. I think you would believe me that every home cook or baker gets their own masterpieces doing things as they please.

Your Family Cookbook Should Tell a Story

A family cookbook should talk like your family. It should bear the legacy of ancestors and character built by them. Very old photos would be a great opportunity to share extremely rare black and white photo memorabilia. You can use color copies as background, a recipe over the photo, or a recipe on one page with photo next to the recipe. Make a collage using items such as dried herbs used in a particular recipe. Be fun. You're the author so whatever you say, goes.

The good old pages - photo by Life in Reviews
The good old pages - photo by Life in Reviews

The good old pages. Whether it's a worn-out hand-written recipe, clipped from the newspaper, or splattered pages from an old cookbook; binding them together beautifully ensures a keepsake of the family's collection of classic dishes that have preserved togetherness. Your family cookbook should be one way to tell this story.

Typically, we find old recipes from grandmother, and since mother usually just doesn't bother to write things down, those specialties are forgotten. Bring them back and keep adding to the list. Combine classics with modern. Your children and grandchildren will cherish your handcrafted family cookbook one day. It is very wholesome to reach back and bring special history to the present. You will not believe how amazing you are for creating a way to bring the family cookery into a real recipe book.


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