“May I have that recipe?” How many times have you been asked that question at a family gathering? Maybe you’ve asked it yourself. You can publish favorite recipes in a family cookbook for the enjoyment of everyone in years to come.
Make the task easier by having a committee of family members to share the various tasks involved and keep things going smoothly and steadily. Choose a dependable person to be in charge of each part of the process.
The first step in publishing a family cookbook is to gather favorite recipes. Send an email or letter to every relative asking for recipes by a certain date. People need enough time to select and send their choices, but not too much time that they forget all about it.
For instance, ask for recipes from various food categories. You probably want to have consistency in how all the recipes appear in the cookbook. You can achieve that by providing a form for people to use in submitting recipes. Usually people expect ingredients listed first, then directions, ending with the yield.
Add even more interest to the cookbook by asking people to share any fun or meaningful experiences they have had in connection with a specific recipe.
Check out your favorite cookbooks and figure out why you like them the best. How are the recipes grouped? How are they listed within each group? Are there pictures? Then use those ideas yourself. Decide what format you want for your family cookbook. The most common way to organize is by category: soups, appetizers, entrees, desserts. But other options for a family project would be to organize by family units, or even individuals. You could also arrange the contributed recipes by holiday or season.
Be sure to include a Table of Contents and an Index in your family cookbook. People are more likely to use it if they can easily find specific recipes.
Check each recipe you receive from family members. Look for titles, list of ingredients, instructions and name of the contributors. Check for all the information you will need when making each recipe such as can sizes, baking temperatures and times, yield, and any other information that people may question. Proofread carefully! If the recipe lists that it needs 1 teaspoon sugar, be sure it does not say 1 teaspoon salt. You don’t want anyone to be disappointed with the outcome of any of the favorite recipes.
Print the Book
Determine how thrifty you need to be when it comes to the expense of having the book put together. You can choose an inexpensive end-product that has photocopied pages bound with wire rings or kept in a three-ring binder. If you want a professional look and don’t mind a more expensive book, use a printer.
The task of publishing favorite recipes in a family cookbook will be well worth it when generations to come can lovingly treasure their family’s special recipes and stories.