It’s family reunion time again here in the United States and Canada. I can just taste my mom’s peach pie already. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called my mom and said “mom I just have to have your recipe for your pie and home made ice-cream”. It’s been a slow accumulation of recipes over the years, but she relents each time I call for yet another recipe from her.
Many of the recipe’s are actually from my grandmother who passed them on before she passed away many years ago. You know, I can still remember baking oatmeal raisin cookies with my grandmother even though it’s been almost 35 years now since I last had that chance.
Now that I have an adult son and daughter of my own my wife and I, who both love to cook, really wanted to pass the recipes on to both of them also. Many of these recipes they grew up on and now that they have kids of their own, are just beginning to request. My wife also has a recipe book from her grandmother on her dad’s side. It’s too old and tattered now to use regularly, so it’s time it was restored and updated.
So many wonderful memories from the kitchen… so many more that I’ve lost in time.
I wish that the idea of a recipe scrapbook had been around when I was just a kid.
Recipe scrapbooks can be given to brothers, daughters, cousins, children or just about anyone. An 8.5×11 scrapbook works perfectly here in the US and Canada and can be printed on any standard printer. They are large enough to hold a 3×5 index card, a couple of photos and the journaled memories you create. You can also use an 8×8 scrapbook and have the recipes bound in a square format.
I think it’s a great mix to combine your photos and recipes. Digital scrapbook templates are perfect for this. For example, combine a group family photo from your reunion at the beginning of the album with a signature page from everyone in the photograph. This is a great way to start off the album prior to the index page. If you’ve asked for recipes from all the family members in attendance, put a photo of the recipe submitter on that recipe page with the recipe on the opposite page. I like to put a photo and a lined journaling page for memories on the left with the recipe, instructions and photo of the finished item or of the cooking fun on the right.
Here’s another great tip I picked up from my wife’s sister… help your reader out by having a shopping list at the bottom of each recipe or on the back of the recipe cards that you use. You might also want to consider putting the actual recipe on one scrapbook recipe book page and placing the shopping lists separately in the back or at the end of each section.
Note: While using recipe cards is great so that you can remove them and take them right along to the market… my personal experience has shown that cards get lost from time to time. They also add bulk to what is already a bulky cookbook scrapbook. I’ve found that having the list printed at the bottom of each page makes it easy to copy down when needed and much easier to combine common ingredients for multiple dishes.
Another family recipe scrapbook tip is to create a bit of history with your recipes. If adding recipe’s handed down for generations or from a family member that is no longer living, you may want to have the photo’s on the left, the recipe on the right page, and a bit more of history information on the author on a 3rd page with even more photographs. Most scrapbooks are very expandable, especially the digital scrapbooks, so there is room for many pages in one album.
If needed, break the family recipe scrapbook into volumes by food type or sides of the family tree.
Almost all cookbooks have a measurement chart and conversion table in them, so when making a recipe scrapbook album, it’s a good idea to add this information to either the back or the front index.
Besides family reunions, recipe scrapbook albums are the perfect gift for a new bride, especially if the recipe’s comes from her husband’s side of the family with his favorite dishes he grew up with.
Whether the family recipe scrapbook is for you, for your family or for a new bride strugling to cook for her new husband. The one ingredient that will make it worth it’s weight in gold are the memories you safely record inside.