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Sue Thornton
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My Mother's handwritten recipe Our family enjoyed this dish for many a holiday, and now I am asked to bring the same dish to my family gatherings!

Jeannette Van Houten of Union Beach, New Jersey said “food links you back to the moment in the kitchen when your grandmother, mother or grandfather let you sneak a taste.  It is the moments of love that we often take for granted.”

Would you like to make a unique gift for your family this year?  How about tackling the project of a family inspired recipe book!  This is something that all members of the family can be a part of by suggesting recipes that they remember as part of their childhood.

Food is the ingredient that ties family memories together.  When you think about family occasions from the past – holidays, birthdays, Sunday dinners, anniversaries, special events, and reunions – the memories you often want to preserve are connected to food.

Close your eyes for a moment and you can suddenly smell the way melted butter and sage wafting through the house hypnotizes you for an entire Thanksgiving afternoon until it’s presented at the table.  The stories told over the best ways to cook that harvest are part of your family’s folklore.  You knew exactly when to pick the corn, how to wrap a fig tree or the best ways to preserve five pounds of basil leaves.  The cookbooks you collected on vacations are functional home décor that remind you of journeys traveled.

Favorite dishes have become every reason we race to be together around the family table.  They remind us of happy times when we enjoyed each other’s company over home-cooked meals and conversation.  I remember that my Mom would bake a ham and have her homemade potato salad whenever we were all going to be visiting at the same time.  It became a joke about the ham, because she always said that we could have several meals from that one dish – lunch sandwiches or dinner slices!

A family recipe book could be a wedding gift to your daughter, son, nephew, niece, mother, father or other family member.  When deciding to do a family recipe book there are steps that need to be taken to ensure you have a book that is organized and functional.  Here are the steps:

  1. Organize your old recipe cards and cut outs
  2. Put them in categories such as:  meat, poultry, desserts, breads, etc.
  3. Scan all the recipe cards and cut outs
  4. Then create another folder for the stories and pictures of how your family enjoyed the various recipes.

I will go into more depth in my next issue on actually putting the book together.  Contact me at sue@memoriesbysue.net or call 469.544.9525 for more information[i].



[i] Parts taken from Flip-Pal.com/week 43 article

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