Royce Shook

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Preserve Family Recipes, The Easy Way

The following was written by Bill Rice. Bill Rice is the founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. His site is worth a visit.

Think about your favourite family gatherings. Often the event was memorable because of the people there, a special location or the wonderful bounty of food being served. Our food traditions are apart of the fabric of our family traditions.

Traditionally collecting of family recipes has often been on handwritten note cards in a recipe box, hastily scribbled on napkins during family gatherings or jotted in lovingly preserved notebooks, yellowed with age. Like everything else it touches, the Internet is revolutionizing family-recipe gathering.

Today, with computers and online publishing systems, family cookbooks have emerged as an easy sharable way to help preserve family memories and food traditions for future generations. There is nothing like seeing a recipe from a family member that you remember or even never met, but whose recipe is still used today.

Recently I was looking through my grandmother’s recipe box and came across a recipe for Scottish shortbread that was attributed to my Great-Grandmother May Ann McDougall Peatie who was born in Scotland in 1883. This recipe was lost to our family for many years but is now part of my family cookbook so everyone can enjoy these traditional Scottish shortbread cookies.

Here are some tips for creating your own family cookbook from

· Go through your recipes collection and pick the most meaningful recipes that make you remember a family gathering or event that it was served. Remember quality over quantity.

· If you don’t want to do it all yourself, invite other family members to contribute their favourite recipes and food memories. It’s fun to see what others remember most about past family gatherings.

· For those recipes that you never wrote down because you made them so many times you knew it by memory, make it again and this time write it down step by step as you make it.

· Measure the ingredients! Even if you use a "handful" of something, take a handful and put it into a measuring cup and write it down before throwing it into the pot.

· Remember to write personal notes about why this recipe was important, who gave it to you or any special memories of meals that it was served.

· Including lots of photos is also a great way to make your special cookbook and help preserve the special memories.

· When your cookbook is complete, be sure to share copies with all your family members. Your own cookbook makes a great personal gift.

Remember, behind every recipe you love is a story you want to share and a family cookbook makes that sharing a lasting heirloom.

Preserve Family Recipes, The Easy Way

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