• One must be a fox in order to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten off wolves. Machiavelli Niccolo

Start a Family Cookbook



Compiling a family cookbook is a fun and very rewarding task

Compiling a family cookbook is more than just collecting recipes everyone loves. It’s a lot of fun to talk to family members and learn about the dishes they love and about them. It’s rewarding to know that once you’ve compiled your cookbook, you've preserved several generations of memories, and made them permanent.

You’re a family historian and this is just one more facet of your heritage

If you’re a family historian, like me, you know that history is everywhere, from the wars fought to the meals cooked. History may be full of the tales of men and their deeds, but their mothers and wives were also busy.

Family cookbooks make wonderful gifts

My first family cookbook was a Christmas gift. It was something I worked very hard on, and something everyone really appreciated. Your family will, too.

There are a lot of children in the family, and you want to compile a cookbook for the next generation

If you have a large family with a lot of youngsters, gather their grandparents and great-grandparents and preserve all their stories and memories now. Those kids probably won’t be all that interested in history today, but someday, it will be truly priceless. Don’t forget to ask the little ones what their favorite dishes are!

Your phone bill is getting outrageously high, constantly making long distance calls for someone’s recipes

I have an aunt who calls Mom often for the recipes she misplaces. I make long distance calls myself for cooking advice. It gets expensive!

You have wonderful cooks in your family, and you want to celebrate that

Having wonderful cooks in the family is a reason to rejoice on its own. You can celebrate every one of those cooks by adding their recipes to your heirloom.

Your family’s ethnic identity is becoming more and more absorbed into the American Melting Pot, and you’re afraid that it will disappear in another generation or two

So many of us have a rich ethnic heritage. But as we disperse and move away from home, that ethnicity becomes more and more diluted. Before another minute passes, record all those ethnic recipes and customs; preserve them for generations to come.

You have a family reunion coming up

This is a great time to invite family members to not only bring their favorite dish, but also their favorite recipes. Many family reunions feature the dishes that family members are famous for. Make sure you get those recipes, and bring your cookbook to the next reunion!

You or another family member has inherited a recipe collection that is getting very fragile with age

If you are very fortunate, you have acquired a collection of recipes from an older family member. They’re probably getting pretty fragile. Preserve them now, don’t wait until they’re unreadable... go, shoo!

Family and/or community cookbooks are a wonderful way to raise money for charity

Do you have a cause you believe in deeply? Perhaps you’d like to contribute to disaster relief. Many of the cookbook publishers are set up for fundraising, and have lots of advice to help you earn as much for your cause as you can.


Success stories

Sharon Hudson

Dec 18 at 16:02 pm
Mom and I put one together