Your Family Heritage Recipes
Within your circle of family and friends are you known for making a special dish, the dish you are always asked to bring to a family gathering or a social get-together? I remember interviewing a blind 90 year old lady who told me that she was known as ‘the cream puff queen’ of her small South Australian town and that she had baked and filled literally thousands of these delicious little bites of cream-filled choux pastry.
Why not create a Family Recipe Book by inviting all members of your family circle to write out their ‘famous’ recipe and to email it to you, to be compiled into your family heritage cookbook. Ask them to add a photo of themself and to add an accompanying story associated with the recipe – perhaps about how they came across the recipe or how the recipe has been handed down through their husband’s family. Suggest they try recalling when they first tasted the dish, how wonderful the kitchen smells while it is cooking and other associated memories.
You can then copy and paste each recipe and add it to the collection before categorising them into a specific order – soups and starters, main courses, desserts, cakes and baked goods etc. If you wish to give copies of the recipe book as gifts, print off multiple copies of each recipe and place them in a plastic folder with plastic sheets inside. This way the recipes can be wiped clean of any blobs or splotches while cooking.
The important thing is to make a start and to get all family and friends involved with your unique recipe collection, as often the family favourite dishes reflect your cultural heritage and have been passed down through several family generations. Collecting the traditional recipes also provides an ideal opportunity to encourage grandparents and other senior family members to talk about their earlier days and to recall such tasks as churning the butter, making each meal from scratch (no freezers or microwave ovens), preserving fruit and vegetables for winter and collecting eggs from the chook yard.
These family recipes are part of your family heritage and should be preserved and passed on to younger family generations as part of your personal legacy.
We have done this for a family reunion, and it is amazing how the recipe book is still being used after 10+ years and some of the entrants have passed on. The story that goes along with the recipe is especially valuable.