I’m not much of a cook, but I do love to bake. And one of my favorite cakes is one my mother used to make around the holidays. It’s an applesauce cake made in an angel food cake pan. The cake is dense, heavy, moist and yummy! In fact, if I had a piece of it right now, I’d pour a cup of coffee and dig in.
Preserving family recipes is becoming a real interest of mine—and one I wish I’d started earlier. With a word processor and digital photography, whipping up a book of family recipes will be a snap. However, I want more than just a cookbook—I want accompanying notes about why the recipe is special. For example, my mom used to make a fancy breakfast roll to have on Christmas morning. I can remember the yeast smell as that bread rose and know that it’s stored in the “Christmas memory” part of my brain.
Another example is my cousin Sheryl’s memory of Grandma making homemade blackberry lemonade. I don’t remember that, but I’d love to have Sheryl write something about it and about Grandma. Wouldn’t a book like this be a great gift for everyone in the family?
Here’s my plan: I’ll contact family members, describe the project and ask for contributions. Once I have all the recipes and stories, I’ll print them off, then go to a local copy shop and have them bound. Depending on the type of binding, I can probably get them done for about $1 each.
I know I’ll include Mom’s applesauce cake and Grandma’s apple dumplings, along with those special dishes reserved for holiday meals: the lemon-banana-peanut salad at Easter, the potato salad for any big family event and my sister’s cornbread dressing for Thanksgiving.
If you’ve put together such a book, write and tell me. You may have found a better way to do it than I’ve planned.
For more ideas on making family recipe books, visit these Web sites:
• Preserving Family Recipes
• Keepsakes from the Kitchen
• Our Family Cookbook
• Creating a Family Cookbook