For those who love to cook (as well as those who love to eat), there is an indescribable joy in watching a recipe get passed down from generation to generation. Perhaps you grew up eating your grandma’s famous pierogi. Then one day, your father taught you how to make the pierogi. When your own children were big enough to help in the kitchen, you taught them to make the pierogi. And you know that years from now, future generations of your family will be cooking and delighting in those same tender dumplings. Family recipes should be cherished, and what better way to save them and share them than creating a family cookbook? Use the tips below if you’re wondering how to make a family cookbook.
How to Make a Family Cookbook
Collect recipes from family members.
First, you’ll need to gather all the recipes you wish to include in your cookbook. If you’ve already amassed a collection of recipe cards from the best cooks in your family, you’re ready to go. But if not, call or email your family members and ask them to send their best recipes. It’s up to you whether you want to restrict the cookbook to “family” recipes (recipes passed down through generations, recipes with a special meaning or story) or whether you simply want everyone to share their personal favorites.
Organize the recipes and add stories.
Once you’ve gathered your recipes, you’ll need to type them up (or copy and paste). Be sure that you use consistent formatting for a uniform, professional look, and include who contributed the recipe. In addition, if you know any fun or interesting details about the recipe, add them to the recipe page. How far back does this recipe go in your family? Did you always make these cookies for Uncle Scott’s birthday? Did Grandma Betty once use salt in place of sugar? These little tidbits will help the recipes and their stories live on for generations to come.
Gather pictures of the cooks, dishes, and recipe cards.
Do you have any photos of your grandpa kneading his famous pizza dough? Or your children and their cousins enjoying your delectable strawberry shortcake? What about recipe cards written by your Aunt Kathy, in her signature loopy cursive? Include photos wherever possible, and take pictures of recipe cards so that you can include them as well.
Create your cookbook.
When it comes to actually producing your cookbook, you have a few options:
- Binders or Folders: You could simply print the recipe pages yourself, punch holes in them, and add them to a binder or folder.
- Print at a print shop (FedEx, UPS, local business, etc.): To step up the quality of your cookbook, consider printing it at a print shop like FedEx. They can compile your pages into a bound book using whatever binding method you like (comb, spiral-bound, saddle-stitch, three-ring binding, etc.).
- Print a bound book: For a truly professional cookbook, consider using a book-printing service like Blurb or Shutterfly. It may take more time to put the book together, but you can customize every detail to your liking and ensure that all the pictures look flawless.
Give the cookbook to your family members as a gift!
When your cookbook is complete, share it with your family! Consider gifting it to every household in the family, so that everyone is able to enjoy and pass down the recipes.
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