It’s easy to create your own family cookbook.
In the past, pre-printed cookbooks used to be one of the main sources of recipes. The other source was passing the recipe from one individual to another on a 3” x 5” index card. What’s more, people had time to hand-write their recipes out in notebooks, creating a family cookbook to sit on the shelf along with their favorite recipe books.
Nowadays, things are not so simple, or organized! With less time to spare and more information available, many of us still haven’t gotten around to writing out those old family recipes – but have started turning to the internet to find ideas. That’s no bad thing – the web has many excellent recipe sites bringing an a vast range of recipes right to our fingertips. But of course, computers, tablets and smart phones aren’t too good around food or liquid – besides the risk of spillage, it’s not easy to scroll through the instructions (especially with a touch-screen device) when your hands are covered in flour! So, when it comes to putting these recipes to the test in the kitchen, printing off the recipe is still the best option. The result is we have a wealth of fantastic new recipes and ideas, but many of them end up scattered around the kitchen printed on loose pieces of paper with no way to organize them. Meanwhile the family cookbook, once shared through the generations, seems to be falling by the wayside – ironically at a time when preserving, sharing and passing on recipes has never been easier.
Maybe you’re someone who wants to rekindle the family cookbook tradition, or perhaps you simply want a tidier kitchen. Either way, with all these great recipes – whether it’s something your mom wrote out for you or from your internet research – you have a wonderful opportunity to create and maintain an organized collection of recipes that you can feel truly proud of. Instead of being overwhelmed by the all the print-outs you’ve kept, the scraps you’ve been given, and the bookmarks to more great recipes you’ve saved on your computer – you can collect all these favorite finds and bind them together to make your own, new, family cookbook.
Making a family cookbook that is customized to your family may be simpler than you think. First of all, place each of these printed recipes into a page protector. This allows you to wipe off the page if any food or crumbs should get on it during food preparation.
Pick out a recipe binder in your preferred color or design. This can be your favorite color, or it can be coordinated with your kitchen. You may choose a simple, plain binder which will allow your family to decorate and customize the outside of it with craft paint or markers. Many ring binders allow for a paper insert for the front, back and the spine, so you and your family might want to try drawing a design together. Alternatively you might prefer to select a more ornate binder that your family all will love.
The next question you may ask is how to organize the inside of the book. There are different ways to do this. Some may want to organize by type of dish such as appetizer, casserole, soup, stew, cakes, or cookies. Others may want to organize the book by what is contained in the dish such as having a section for beef, chicken, or pork. Using basic tab dividers which are made for binders, organize the cookbook in a way that will be easiest for your family. Some more expensive binders include pre-printed tabs.
Putting together a family cookbook is an activity in which the entire family can become involved. If you have children, they will enjoy decorating the outside of the binder and the dividers for the different sections. They also may enjoy helping to place the recipes inside the plastic page protectors. In the end, you will have a product that your family will use and will remember the joy of making.
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