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A Family Recipe Album - An Inexpensive Keepsake

Updated on July 4, 2017
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I have acquired a few skills along the way. If I am able to help someone else with these skills, I am more than happy to share.

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Family Recipes - A Great Gift On A Budget

Want to give a gift that is thoughtful yet inexpensive? Create an album filled with all your traditional family recipes.

I remember watching my grandmother cook. She never used a recipe or a measuring cup she would just eyeball the amount of flour in the bowl, add some eggs and then throw in a little of this a little of that. Somehow it always came out right.

If she was cooking a stew or soup, the ingredients would just get chopped and tossed in the pot. Throughout the cooking process she would taste and correct the seasonings by taste.

My mother would make a lot of the same dishes the same way. Both my mother and grandmother made what we called German pancakes or Grandma pancakes (because that's what we always got at Grandma's). These were not the stack of flapjacks with maple syrup which are served in most restaurants. Nor were they made in a pan with apples, the way the pancake houses make "German Pancakes". These were almost like a crepe but a little crispier. They were the size of a dinner plate. We would fill them with applesauce, jelly or butter and roll them up.

If my mother was explaining how to make Grandma pancakes, she would tell me to put the flour in a bowl, and then depress the center like a volcano and fill it with 2 eggs. Add the salt and stir slowly until it became a gluey paste. Then slowly add the milk stirring constantly to smooth out the lumps. Once it was the consistency of very heavy cream, it was ready.

Okay so it's 1 flour volcano to 2 eggs?????

This is the way the family recipes were passed down until.................

My Mother's Great Idea

One Christmas I opened a present from my parents and found a very pretty album. Inside were all the family recipes neatly typed.

My mother had spent the months before Christmas cooking up all the recipes. As she did it, she would measure each ingredient. If the recipe wasn't quite right, she would make it again for my Dad a few weeks later and correct the measurements. (Poor Dad, he had to endure eating the same thing over and over again.)

So now I had this beautiful book, with family recipes, including measurements, pan sizes, oven temperature and the number of servings it produced.

There were recipes for Maultaschen (Swabian Ravioli), Rote Grutze (a berry pudding), Rouladen (rolled beef) and Spatzle. Yes, I could have looked up these recipes in a German cookbook or online. However, there are so many variations, due to regional differences or just that families made them differently. It's nice to have the recipe from the way I remember the food as a child.

Personalize the Gift A Little More

My mother made the album for me before personal computer and digital cameras. Now, it would be easy to embellish the recipe with photographs of the food. Sometimes it helps when making a recipe, if you know how it looks when it is finished and have examples of how it is served.

Scrapbooking was not at the level that it is now. So it would be super easy to go to the craft store and get scrapbook paper with a cooking theme and print your recipe on that. There are also little scrapbooking embellishments that are sold in craft stores.


© 2012 Ellen Gregory

I love to hear your comments

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    • Camden1 profile image

      Camden1 4 years ago

      What a creative and thoughtful idea! I wish I had some of the recipes from my mom and grandmothers...especially the secret to my grandmother's biscuits!

    • PuttinUpWithSuzy profile image

      PuttinUpWithSuzy 4 years ago

      Awesome! My oldest daughter asked for some of her favorite recipes that I've always made not too long ago. So, I started a recipe "e-book" for her, and for my youngest when she gets older and out on her own. I also shared a recipe with my cousin last Christmas for my great-grandmother's chocolate pie because my uncle hadn't had any in a very long time and she was going to make him one.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Love the idea. I hope many people will be able to do this. It would be a nice keepsake to pass down through the family.