3 Reasons Collecting Family Recipes Really Matters

Let’s look at why collecting and saving family recipes in a family recipe book really matters.

In the scheme of things, young people may think collecting and saving family recipes might not matter as much as the results of the local youth soccer game, or the latest Wii release. 

In reality, collecting family recipes and making a family cookbook are important ways to connect the generations and get to know people you never knew. Family cookbooks are a great way to understand why you have a sweet tooth, or favor pickles instead of salty, crunchy foods. Like it or not, your eating habits are passed down, and passed forward, because eating is not a Web “experience.”

Here are three reasons why collecting family recipes in a family recipe book really matters:

1. CONNECTION TO THE PAST
Collecting family recipes in a family recipe book means we can reminisce about the good old days. We can laugh about the crude way foods were prepared, such as cooking over a fire or inside a fireplace, and marvel that our ancestors actually survived without disinfectant. (Can you imagine how many of us city folk would go hungry if we had to go out and catch and kill our dinner?)  Collecting family recipes is a way to remember where we came from, whether across the great plains and deserts, or across the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans. Collecting family recipes also is a good way to understand and accept ourselves through people we have never met, whose lives and personalities have had a direct impact on our own.

2. CONNECTION TO THE PRESENT
Collecting family recipes in a family recipe book means we can appreciate what our ancestors would have really appreciated. How much more fun is it is to make an old-fashioned-style cake using modern ingredients and methods! We can appreciate our modern kitchen tools — microwave ovens, convection ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, electric mixers, blenders and food processors, instant hot water — all marvels of the modern electric age. Collecting family recipes also gives us the opportunity to keep in touch with our living family members, and to become close friends with even distant relatives.

3. CONNECTION TO THE FUTURE
Collecting family recipes in a family recipe book means we can communicate over the ages through a lasting artifact (our family cookbook) about our time and place in the world. We can say “we were here, and this is how we prepared meals in the family tradition,” to future generations. Collecting family recipes also is a way to communicate about ourselves, what we like and dislike, and share indispensable nuggets of wisdom accumulated from actual life experiences. (That alone should make us immortal.)

One more thought: In 10,000 years, when archaeologists uncover the rich buried cities we have left, their excavations will unveil a treasure trove of information about our society. Family cookbooks will most likely be among those artifacts (especially those with laminated pages).  Grin.

Happy history, and cookbook making!

Matilda

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