How to Create a Family Heirloom Cookbook

I have lots of cookbooks but my most favorite is one I created myself. I started it years ago and only the best recipes make it into that cookbook. It has recipes that came from my mother in law and some from my father. It also has some of my own that are family favorites.

Below is a picture of my family recipe book. It’s a little ratty looking and has been through years of use.

my recipe book

If I had to do it over, I would create something even more precious. I’d create a Family Heirloom Cookbook. I would use a pretty 3 ring binder type of recipe book with plastic sleeves to protect the pages. I still may do that in the future.

You can make your own which is a great idea if you are into scrap booking. You can also buy pre-made recipe books that you just fill in. Here’s a few great examples I found on Amazon. Just click on the picture to read more about them at Amazon.

Recipe Keeper

Not only are these cookbooks a convenient way to store your favorite recipes but they will be something you can hand down to future generations. Who knows, it could become a treasured piece of family history for future generations.

You can make it more of a family history experience by asking your family members (specially the older ones) to submit their favorite family recipe and if they want, maybe put a note about it with the recipe.

For instance, my lasagna is the best thing I make. I originally made it as a 6th grader in Home-Ec class. I have changed it over the years into a really yummy lasagna recipe today. But there is a cute story behind this dish (if you want to read it, go to this post: What is Your Food Legacy?)

It would be so fun to go through some of your extended family’s  recipes and read the story behind them. Maybe your mother might submit a recipe she used for the first dinner she made for your dad as a newly-wed. Or a grandmother may submit a recipe that was her mother’s favorite.

Can you see all the rich recorded family history this could create? You can even add a picture or other memento of the family member submitting the recipe.

If you want to be a real sweetie, you could make copies of the book after you have finished it and give it to other family members or friends. It would make a great gift too, for the young person just starting out their adult life in their own place, or a newly-wed.

Do try to use categories for you cookbook to make it easier to navigate and find things. By categories, I mean a category for appetizers, one for salads, one for soups, one for pasta, and so on.

Also, do use a 3-ring binder type of system so you can add recipes in the future. And protect your recipe pages with contact paper or plastic sleeves.

What do you think of this idea? Have you ever thought of making your own family heirloom cookbook?



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