Use these tips to preserve and pass on precious family recipes.
A family recipe is like a time machine. One taste instantly transports you back to a time and place in your life when food brought family together. It could have been a picnic, a holiday celebration, a family dinner -- or maybe the recipe brings you back to your mother's or grandmother's kitchen. These tiny time machines not only provide information on foods your family has enjoyed for generations, but they have the potential to create memories for generations to come.
That's why it's vital to collect these recipes before it's too late, says Jillian Phillips, a family recipe collector. Phillips recently went in search of her mother's Czechoslovakian cookie recipe. "I didn't even like the cookies until I couldn't have them anymore," she says with a laugh.
But preserving memories isn't the only reason to collect family recipes, says Pat Cornett, a food writer and former docent of the Longone Culinary Archives at the University of Michigan's Clement Library in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Family recipes are important documents in the genealogical sense," she says. "They preserve a personal part of our heritage and our pasts."