|This project can go from the very simple
and inexpensive to the more involved and very expensive. A year before
you want the cookbook as a gift, request recipes from family members.
Give them a deadline. About half of them will respect this deadline. The
others you may have to contact several times if you want this cookbook
to be a complete representation of your family. Men are encouraged to
contribute too. Decide if you want to do this simply by typing in
recipes on 8 1/2 X 11 paper, or if you want to format and work with 8
1/2 X 5 1/2 paper. Decide on your cover – a family picture is a good
choice or the old homestead, something with which everyone will
identify. Set up your cover on the size paper you have chosen and color
copy it at a place like Kinko’s then laminate it. If you want pictures
on your back cover also, do that at this time too. In your introduction,
write something of your family’s history, list the family groups and
relationships, include mini biographies, if you like.
When two cousins and I did a cookbook, we
wrote lists of our favorite things and included those in the book.
Perhaps that is a way to get to know some of your family members better.
Do you know that Great Uncle Bart loves to watch the sunrise each day?
Do you know that Aunt Hattie loves the smell of rain? Perhaps when the
contributors send in their recipes, they could also include some of
their favorite quotes. You can use those at the bottom of pages as
fillers. Encourage family members to write their memories at the top of
the recipes. Perhaps this is Great-Grandma Black’s pudding recipe, and
she served it every Sunday for dinner when all the family gathered
around her table. The younger generation needs to know these things. Do
you have favorite songs you sing when your family gathers? Include the
words to the song on the backs of the recipe divider sections. Perhaps
you are of Scottish ancestry and would like to include the words to
Scottish songs. Include poems that speak to you.
On the front of the divider sections, you
might want to include pictures of all of you from childhood to the
present. It is less expensive to do these dividers with black and white
pictures than with color, but we used color. Include a title page and
index for a more elaborate cookbook. If you use the 8 1/2 X 11 paper,
you can print a side then turn the paper over in the printer and print
the next page. It is then easy to take everything to a copy shop and set
the copier to copy both sides. I had to do mine the difficult way and
use the smaller size paper. First you have to sit with a paper cutter
and cut all of your sheets of paper in half. Then, after you have them
printed on both sides, you have to tape pages together to full sheet
size and copy one at a time to get a set that is printed on both sides
so you can then run a full size page through the copier and then cut the
full page in half to have the pages separated. This takes hours. I went
to the copy shop at 5 a.m. and was there until 9:30 a.m. One of the
employees asked me if he could go get breakfast for me! So, to make it
simple, you might want to do your cookbook on the full size paper and
use limited color pages. However, you can do everything yourself on this
except the binding. You will need to be very organized. Have the copy
shop put a coil binding on your cookbook so it is easier for the book to
lie flat. Friends and family alike enjoy these cookbooks!
Snapshots of the Family Cookbook
Note: One such project was done by
Charlotte Marie Alvoet Bleh Juarez
entitled "Stories and
Stovies" which was published on Electric Scotland.