To the delight of many family researchers and genealogists, some states have designated October as “Family History Month.” The month-long observance is meant to bring families together in a kind of family reunion to remember loved ones, tell their stories, and celebrate current family traditions.
So why not make a family cookbook in October to celebrate your own family history during Family History Month? A family cookbook can become a precious heirloom full of rich details about the past. You may also discover more about relatives you’ve known personally, and some you’ve perhaps only heard about.
While making your family cookbook, consider including a family tree with photos. Not only does it fit the Family History Month theme, a family tree makes it easier for subsequent generations to trace their ancestors, all while enjoying their relative’s favorite recipe. In this regard, a family cookbook can fill in many gaps.
And, as odd as it may sound to some, there is nothing untoward about including a photo of a relative’s final resting place. (Hopefully you can include a portrait of the person as well.)
Family History Month may seem short time, but it is entirely possible to create a complete family cookbook in one month simply by using cookbook-making software. (One I know well is Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software.) Ask family members to contribute to the family cookbook by submitting several recipes, along with a story about the dish, such as why it became a family favorite and who was the cook who made it famous within the family.
Your family’s unique history can also add richness to the family cookbook. Was there anyone famous (or infamous)? Is there a special heritage to highlight? Some family cookbook makers even record oral histories from relatives and burn CDs or DVDs to include with the recipes and stories.
A family cookbook isn’t only about the older and passed-on members of a family. The kids should also be involved. Maybe they can contribute recipes that they enjoy creating and eating. Many family cookbook-makers prefer to segment the family cookbook by having a special section just for the kids. However, I feel the kids’ recipes should be mingled with all the others, in true family style.
Whatever your choice of theme or design for making your family cookbook, there is plenty of time in October to get a move-on making your family cookbook in conjunction with Family History Month. At the end of the month, you just might have a cherished keepsake that will be enjoyed for generations.