3 Great Ways to Preserve Your Family Recipes
Every family has that one dish that everyone looks forward to at a big holiday meal. Family members can disagree on politics, sports, or any number of things, but when that certain dish is placed on the table for a family gathering or a holiday dinner, all those differences are forgotten in the joy of sharing an edible family tradition.
Family recipes are no less valuable than any other precious family heirloom, perhaps even more so, since each time they are prepared is a unique experience, and a chance to interpret them in a new way. Even if family members are spread out across the country, recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation make family members feel connected to one another, and to their heritage. Here are some tips that will help you preserve family recipes and honor those delicious traditions in your family for generations to come.
Make a Cookbook
Perhaps this is obvious, but few people actually bother to compile their family recipes in one place for preservation. Having an actual cookbook allows you to organize all your family recipes and store them in one easy volume which can be easily referenced and shared with others.
There are websites that allow you to create your own cookbook. What a great gift that would be to make a cookbook and give it to members of the family! For a low-tech option to preserve family recipes, you can print them out and put them in a binder, or you can store them digitally by typing them up and exporting them to PDF or ebook format. A nice segue to step number two…
Store Your Recipes in the Cloud
If your goal is easy access wherever you are, cloud storage is the way to go. Using apps like Evernote allows you to organize your family recipes by category, individual dishes, entire meals for specific events— really however you want, it’s totally customizable.
Another good option for digitally storing family recipes would be Pinterest, which is great because it is such a visual medium as well. Your Pinterest page can include photos of your prepared family classics and turn your page into a colorful work of art. You can even collaborate with other family members by creating a shared group Pinterest board.
In either of these platforms, try uploading scanned images of handwritten family recipes. Typing is efficient, but there’s something special, something more authentic, about seeing your grandmother’s pie recipe in her original handwriting.
The best way to preserve your cherished family recipes is to actually make them regularly! There’s no point in preserving all that information if you never put it to use. Keep your family traditions alive by picking one out from the collection on a regular basis, and make a special point to prepare family favorites every time a birthday or holiday rolls around.
Teaming up with other family members can also make it more fun. Let’s say you have some old recipes for a nice Italian feast. Call up your cousin and have them take care of the stuffed bread while you put together the fettuccini with the secret family sauce, and your sister can make your aunt’s cannoli recipe. Make it a collaborative effort and help everyone feel like they are contributing. The emotional connection to your family recipes will deepen each time you prepare and enjoy them with people you love.
With Mother’s Day coming up, it’s a perfect time to reach out to Mom and tell her about your desire to preserve your family’s culinary heritage. (The odds are she’s already ahead of you and probably has a lot of it stored somewhere herself!) Take some time together and compile all your family recipes together so you can ensure that these traditions will last for generations to come.
At Estevez Foodtown, we take family recipes seriously, and we love providing our customers with high-quality foods they can use to bring those meals to life. As a family-owned business, we understand the value of keeping traditions alive, whether it means preserving a family recipe or helping to feed the community and make it stronger by getting involved. Stop by today and see what makes us different.