Tips to Find and Share Old Family Recipes

By Diane Haddad

Food takes center stage at the holidays, when many families enjoy old recipes passed down from grandmas and great-grandmas. Occasions such as Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas and Kwanzaa are ideal times to gather up family recipes, find out relatives’ memories about the dishes, and share them.

Collect and share old family recipes with these guidelines and our Preserving Family Recipes Value Pack:

  • contact relatives near and far and ask them to contribute their family recipes, or their favorite memories of foods they ate on special occasions
  • Host a potluck dinner or family reunion. Invite family members to bring their favorite dishes, along with the recipes, to a holiday dinner or reunion.
  • Take a picture of each relative along with the dish he or she brought.
  • Ask relatives what they remember eating on special occasions, and for their memories of the dish.
  • You can create a simple recipe book with recipes, stories and inserted photos in Word. Make copies at a copy shop (where you can have it spiral bound if you want). Or use an online photo book service; many of which have pre-designed templates especially for creating recipe books.
  • You also could create recipe cards (using a template such as this) and give them in recipe boxes.
  • Invite family members over to cook together. It’s a nice way to learn a special recipe from the expert and/or teach it to the next generation. Take photos or record the process. If you need help with old measurements, get our free, printable conversion chart (it’s pretty enough to double as frameable kitchen art).
  • If you don’t have family recipes, books like these and these about ethnic and historical cooking can help you learn about what your ancestors probably ate.

The Preserving Family Recipes Value Pack gives you a nicely discounted price on our From the Family Kitchen book plus video and written lessons on researching and sharing your family’s food history. Get yours while they last in Family Tree Shop.