Sunday, November 14, 2021

Passing on your family recipes

It's Family Stories Month, so talks on kitchen tales (show and tell), share family traditions and recipes, Holiday Foods and Your Family History, Christmas festivities and family traditions, and talks on doing your family history. Its never too late to start collecting recipes and stories from relatives and writing them down.

If you are able to meet with family this Thanksgiving you can start by having everyone recall their favorite dish made by your grandmother or mother. See if anyone has any recipes.

Years ago, when I was home from grad school, I worked with my mother to copy her most memorable dishes (she would direct me to the specific cookbooks) and her recipe cards onto index cards. Now they would be scanned. Sadly, just ten years later I inherited her handwritten recipes. But I was able to use them for a family recipe book, photocoping the originals with pictures and memories.

My grandmother's written recipe and her picture with my mom as a baby is the bottom center page (photo). It is laying on an 1910 cookbook with a recipe for fudge written on a blank page by her mother (my greatgrand). To the right is one of the section dividers for the family cookbook, done by my sons in 2d and 3d grade (now 36 and 37).

Check out other places where recipes may be found - local newspaper, friends, community cookbooks. I was involved in several fundraiser cookbooks. Years ago I bought one done by our church during WWII (top right in photo), and was astonished to see two recipes by my paternal grandmother (who I had never seen cook).

So, you have compiled your family recipes, what's next? Scan or photograph and put online, or on word or publisher document. There are self publishing sites. Or just take to local printer to print and bind.

For smaller amount of recipes (~100, 68 pages max) you can make your own booklet with card stock cover. For years, I made them for a group of hearth cooks yearly gift exchange - pictured is one on Elizabeth Ellicott Lea, cookbook author, also one on Mrs. BC Howard and family. (and lemonade, pumpkins, Civil War bake ovens in the Capitol, and ...). Fast and easy with information, stories, biographies, images and don't forget the index.

Now to the talks ... with more ideas.

Nov 16 Tue 6:30-8 Sharing Our Roots through Kitchen Tales. “Bring a piece of your personal food history & share its story… photos, letters, kitchen gadgets, utensils, crockery, cutlery, aprons, cookbooks, gardening tools…” or just listen. Martie McNabb HERE

Nov 17 Wed 1:30 A Stranger in My Mother's Kitchen. Inherited her mother’s handwritten recipes (who was a head chef for 40 years), decided to make them to help process her grief. Celine Marchbank. Arts & Health Hub HERE

Dec 1 Wed 6 Why We Cook: Women in the Kitchen. “share your experiences in the kitchen, your family traditions, heritage recipes…” Lindsay Gardner author of Why We Cook: Women on Food, Identity, and Connection. one hundred women restaurateurs, activists, food writers, home cooks, and professional chefs. Culinary Literacy Center. Free Library of Philadelphia HERE

Dec 2 Thu 10PM Holiday Foods and Your Family History. “cover some of the stories behind holiday foods and how you can document your family's food history.” The Qualicum Beach Family History Society. Gena Philibert-Ortega. British Columbia CA$10 HERE


Dec 11 Sat 2-4 December Historical Tea: Warmth & Light. “Discuss new celebrations, discuss our own traditions, and enjoy some warm festive foods and beverages” DAR Museum HERE

Dec 16 Thu 2 Christmas festivities and family traditions. Mulled wine and chat. Glamorgan Family History Society, Wales HERE

Dec 17 Fri 1-3 Getting Done Your Family History Projects. “Topics likely to be discussed include recording and editing videos, writing and designing books for publishing, genealogy, DNA, family trees, old photo digitization, film transfers, interviewing, online storage, social media sharing, online family reunions, and the latest in technology.” Heirloom Films & Storybooks HERE

Jan 21 Fri 1-3 Getting Done Your Family History Projects. monthly. Heirloom Films & Storybooks HERE

Manuscript Cookbooks Survey HERE
Manuscripts: Medical and Cookbooks HERE
Manuscripts: Medieval, Renaissance HERE



©2021 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME

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