Top 3 Ways to Save Family Recipes

When it comes to saving family recipes, most families have no argument about saving the best of the best. But what if Auntie Bess was a terrible cook? Are families morally bound to save even awful recipes that no one really wants?  That being said, what about the recipes of a not-so-favorite family member who made everyone uncomfortable with her constant complaints about inadequacies in a not so perfect world? Do you think the curmudgeon’s recipes deserve a place in the family cookbook anyway?

What goes into the family cookbook — whether recipes, biographical sketches of recipe-contributing relatives, or photos of the prepared recipes — is of concern only to the family, which has to follow the heart in these matters. There really is no right or wrong.

There really is no right or wrong about how to save and utilize those family recipes, either. Many options exist, of course, and by popular demand here are my top 3 ways to save family recipes:

Binders are one of the top ways to save family recipes. Some recipe collectors like to glue their family recipes and recipe clippings to lined notebook paper pages. Other recipe collectors like to use a cookbook-making software (such as my Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software) to print the recipe pages, formatted in either half or full page sizes. They then hole-punch the pages, and insert them into a binder, complete with a matching cover and customized divider pages. Binders are easy to update (especially if spills make it necessary).  Also, the recipes will stay flat when a cookbook stand is used to prop the recipe binder at an angle while cooking.

Cookbooks are another top way to save family recipes. When I mean cookbooks, I’m thinking of a spiral-bound family cookbook that can be produced at the local print shop or print-on-demand vendor directly from cookbook-making software. Depending upon the number of pages, the family cookbook might be bound with a coil, comb, or perfectly smooth (see my earlier post on binding cookbooks).  Family cookbooks are most memorable it they include photos and stories about the cooks and recipes featured in the cookbook selections. In my opinion, family cookbooks are true treasures that should be created, preserved, and handed down to future generations of a family.

Recipe boxes are a third top way to save family recipes. Recipe boxes hold a mystique and intrigue for most children, and even many adults. Recipe boxes come in two convenient sizes ready for 3”x 5” or 4”x 6” recipe cards. Some recipe collectors tape or glue their family recipes to recipe cards. Other family recipe collectors prefer to copy recipes by hand onto the card of choice. Still others will use cookbook-making software to format and print family recipes on fancily-designed recipe cards to match the theme of the recipe card box. Whichever recipe card method is preferred, as long as the family recipe card collection is used it will keep the food memories fresh for a very long time.

I have no űber favorite way to save family recipes (except for the cookbook-making software part of the equation). The great thing about Matilda is that you can achieve all of the top 3 ways to save family recipes by inputting the information just once. You can print recipes to fit in our great binders, then the next day print them out on index cards to make recipe cards for a recipe box. After that, you can choose to print the family recipes in a formatted cookbook. Versatility is my middle name!  P.S. You can even choose to delete the curmudgeon’s recipes in the second edition.

Happy Cookbooking,


About Erin Miller

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