Family Recipes – The Ties That Bind

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Food has a way of bringing people together, especially family members. Do you remember that pot of steaming chicken and dumplings your granny used to make? How about the fragrance of homemade bread wafting through the kitchen? How did my granny make her famous stuffing for turkey or turn sweet potatoes into a gooey delight? It’s a shame to let family recipes go unwritten for future generations. This year I hope to start my own family cookbook.

Include All Your Family Members

Aromas and taste are our strongest links to our memories. Everyone has their own memory of their favorite food cooked by their mother or grandmother. Creating a family cookbook can give everyone in the family a chance to participate in an important family project. Your older relatives will be so pleased when you ask them to contribute one of their favorite recipes.

There is Help for This Project

There are a number of websites that can help you get started. On, prices start at around $20. The Great Family Cookbook Project asks you to specify how many pages, the number of books needed, and whether you will include photos before they calculate the cost. There’s also software you can purchase to make your cookbook really customized.

Where I’ll Start

I’m going to start by asking all the kids and grandkids their favorite homemade food. I’ll also make a list of more distant relatives to contact. Then I’ll round up photos to include. I love Pioneer Woman’s cookbooks. She always includes a photo of her family and a few notes about whose favorite dish it is or who gave her the recipe. I’d also like everyone to write a little note about their memory of eating their dish.

Email Will Make This Process Easier

Most of my relatives use a computer, so I’ll have them send me their favorite recipe by email. My grandkids can get their parents to help. I’ll have to get mama’s in long hand, but that’s okay because I love recipes written down by the giver! It makes you feel you’re so connected each time you look at it.

Who Got Granny’s Cookbook?

It just occurred to me that one of my relatives must have my granny’s cookbook. I’ll have to hunt that person down! I at least want a photo of it and of course some of the recipes. I’ll also take a photo of my mama’s “Betty Crocker” relic. It’s packed with index cards and newspaper clippings of her favorite recipes.

Got a Family Cookbook? Please Share Your Experiences!

I’d love to hear from any of you that have gone through this process. Share your photos with us on Facebook of your own family cookbook. This is ambitious for me so send me good thoughts. May the power of really good food be with you all!

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