Tips for Family Recipe Scrapbooks
It’s reunion time again here in the United States and Canada. I can already taste my mother’s peach pie. I can’t tell you how many times I called my mom and said, “Mom, I just need your recipe for homemade pie and ice cream.” It’s been a slow build up of recipes over the years, but she gives in every time I ask her for yet another recipe.
Many of the recipes actually come from my grandmother who passed them down before she passed away many years ago. You know, I still remember baking oatmeal raisin cookies with my grandma, even though it’s been almost 35 years now since I had that chance.
Now that I have an adult son and daughter, my wife and I, who both love to cook, really wanted to pass the recipes on to them both. Many of these recipes that they grew up with and now that they have kids of their own, are just starting to ask. My wife also has a cookbook from her grandmother on her father’s side. It’s now too old and in tatters to be used on a regular basis, so it’s time to restore and update it.
So many wonderful memories of the kitchen…so many more that I have lost over time.
I wish the idea of a recipe album had been around when I was just a kid.
Recipe albums can be given to brothers, daughters, cousins, children or just about anyone. An 8.5×11 album works great here in the US and Canada and can be printed on any standard printer. They are large enough to hold a 3×5 index card, a few photos, and the journaled memories you create. You can also use an 8×8 scrapbook and have the recipes bound in a square format.
I think it’s a great mix to combine your photos and recipes. Digital scrapbooking templates are perfect for this. For example, combine a group family photo from your reunion at the beginning of the scrapbook with a signature page of everyone in the photo. It’s a great way to start the album before the index page. If you requested recipes from all family members present, put a photo of the recipe author on this recipe page with the recipe on the opposite page. I like to put a photo and a lined journal page for memories on the left with the recipe, instructions and photo of the finished item or cooking fun on the right.
Here’s another great tip I took from my wife’s sister…help your reader by having a shopping list at the bottom of every recipe or on the back of the recipe cards you use. You might also consider putting the actual recipe on one page of the scrapbook cookbook and placing shopping lists separately on the back or at the end of each section.
Note: While using recipe cards is great so you can pick them up and take them straight to market…my personal experience has shown that cards get lost from time to time. They also add bulk to what is already a hefty cookbook album. I found that having the list printed at the bottom of each page makes it easier to copy when needed and much easier to combine common ingredients for multiple dishes.
Another tip for a family recipe scrapbook is to create a bit of history with your recipes. If you are adding recipes that have been passed down for generations or from a family member who is no longer living, you may want to have the photo on the left, the recipe on the right page, and a bit more historical information about the recipe. author on a 3rd page with even more photos. Most scrapbooks are very expandable, especially digital scrapbooks, so there is room for multiple pages in a scrapbook.
If necessary, divide the family recipe album into volumes by type of food or side of the family tree.
Almost all cookbooks contain a measurement chart and a conversion table. Therefore, when creating a recipe album, it is a good idea to add this information to the back or the front index.
Aside from family reunions, recipe albums are the perfect gift for a new bride, especially if the recipe comes from her husband’s side of the family with his favorite foods he grew up with.
Whether the family recipe scrapbook is for you, for your family, or for a new bride struggling to cook for her new husband. The only ingredient that will be worth its weight in gold are the memories you store safely inside.