Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Family Secrets

Pat’s post on Mille Fiori Favoriti about cookbooks and the passing down of family recipes (and the extent to which some people go to keep their recipes secret) reminded me of my family cookbook projects a few years ago.



My parents constantly received calls from me, my siblings, all our relatives, and many friends about various and sundry recipes, so I helped them create a family cookbook for them to give as Christmas gifts in 2001.



I won’t go into all the details involved in producing the recipe collection. The point is this was a project we did together. I cherish that memory.



My mother-in-law loved the project. In 2004, we gathered her family recipes to make books for her to give as gifts, too.



One day while visiting my husband’s family, my mother-in-law made potato chip dip that was the exact recipe as used by my dad. I asked her how she got my father’s recipe and she said, “I really think it’s mine.” I suspect this was one of those recipes shared around the military community since both our families were military.



The only thing I would change about either book is to use family photos instead of generic pictures.



Now that my parents are gone, it is a blessing to have these documented family recipes. I can’t call them anymore to ask, “How much was I supposed to put into this?” I wish I could.

14 comments:

Ali said...

Your Dad's chilli recipe made me laugh. What a wonderful gift you helped them create.

meggiecat said...

I wish I could call my mom too. "Wait, Mom, I forgot to ask this". I keep waiting for the missing her to ease but I don't think it will.

meg said...

What a wonderful memento. I think family cookbooks are just the best, and already it's started to dawn on me that some of these recipes won't always be a phone call away. Maybe I'll manage to put one together for our family in '08.... Thanks for the inspiration (as usual)!

Rosie's Whimsy said...

This, again, is a wonderful idea. I should put together a book like that for my daughter of my mother's recipe. It would be a special item to pass down the line :-) Rosie

happy zombie said...

This is so wonderful and what a fabulous idea!

meg said...

What a wonderful idea, especially since our parents & aunties are aging entirely too fast :-S It's also a super heirloom to past on to the one's who didn't get to meet them.

Colleen (Not Quite Vintage) said...

I put a similar cookbook together after my Gram passed - I am constantly referencing it and hope to update it with some of Mom's recipe's really soon. Thanks for the reminder.

Cat said...

My Mom recently gave me her family recipes and I also found a book I had of hers where she wrote her deli (we owned delicatessens back when)recipes and I managed to convert them to smaller batches. LOL that was fun considering it was like a gallon of mayo LOL. She put the recipes in lovely binders and had Staples color copy the lovely floral pages. I just picked up some Rose bordered paper to print out more recipes to put in the book.

Hugs!!!

Thimbleanna said...

Your book looks beautiful June! I love doing family recipe books. I did one for all my cousins a few years ago and I really enjoyed it!

Storybook Woods said...

June, what a beautiful way to keep memoirs alive. Clarice

Pat said...

I'm really glad you thought of doing that, June, and I'm sure you cherish those recipes!

I did something similar when my son got married -- I collected all our favorite family recipes and family photos that were related to food and celebragtions and made a recipe scrapbook for his bride-to-be. I asked her Mom to contribute her family recipes and copies of family photos too.
I even made up some blank pages for the new couple to add their own favorites as time goes by.

It was a wonderful surprise for my son and daughter-in-law, and they use it all the time.

I guess I learned from my experiences that it is better to share than keep recipes a secret! :-)

Hugs, Pat

Jane said...

I am currently working on family cookbooks for shower gifts for two cousins and a future sister in law. I am going to use blurb.

ellen said...

Yes,I would love to be able to call my mother for a recipe. I would love to call her for anything.
You have a lovely blog. Thank you.

calamitykim said...

I was just looking at those machines on Sat after our bike ride- we had to go to the office supply place and I pointed the binders out to Fred- $99. at Staples! On my list- he asked why do you want one and I said, all sassy: so I can make journals with the album covers! OK he said- I'll see what I can do. Now with your recipe idea- the boat might actually float! My Son would probably love something like that! What a nice memory.xxxooo kim