Home made family cookbooks

So, I finished the bathroom yesterday WOOOHOOOOO! But, I commented at this cool blog  that I would write about a great (cheap) gift that helps to preserve a little family history that often gets lost in the shuffle.

My mom is pretty crafty. She's always making something. About ten years ago she started putting together cookbooks of family recipes. She included old family recipes from her side of the family and my father's side. She also included more recent recipes that were often brought to family get togethers and recipes that people were just "known" for.

She collected recipes, printed them, placed them in clear cover sheets, and put them in a binder with dividers. These became Christmas presents to everyone in the family. Here is an example... this is a dish that my Grandma Lowe used to make every Thanksgiving morning. It is DELICIOUS-- so good that you will eat too much and not want lunch... or dinner....

For each recipe, she included where it came from also. Now, we will never forget it (as if we could anyway =)) and we will always have this recipe. Our children will have it; their kids will have it. And, although they didn't ever get to meet my Grandma Lowe, they have this little bit of her.

Mom included sections called
Appetizers and Misc (the Misc includes things like home made play dough and slime-- things my mom is known to make);
Main Dishes, Salads, and Vegetables;
Cookies and Desserts;
Pies and Cakes;
and Preserving. (the Preserving is a section on how to can, dry, and make various things like salsa and pickles).

I LOVE my Nea Cookbook (just pretend you understand why my mom is referred to as "the Nea"--- it is a long story that won't make a bit of sense unless you know my mom, haha... and then, it still might not)

A few years ago, I decided to do this same thing for my husband's family. His mom has always been called "Nanny" so this book was "The Nanny Cookbook". As I was going through my stuff, I found this little jewelry box from when I was little and it had a few of these little clippings/sayings in it. I thought it was a cute addition to the cover.

This was a bit tricky to make. I didn't want anyone to know I was doing it. So, every time we knew his parents would be gone, we'd head to their house where I would write down recipes from her recipe drawer as fast as I possibly could as Dustin stood guard at the window watching for them. Luckily, she had notes on most of them so I was able to know where they came from.

Here is one of my favorite recipes that I added. Marie is Dustin's grandma-- his mom's mom. She passed away a few days before our wedding. We actually went straight from her funeral to our wedding rehearsal. (if you know much about us... you realize that the last week of May is a rough one for us for a variety of reasons now....) The last time I spoke to Marie was a few days before our wedding. She told me that she wasn't going to be able to make it to the wedding, but that "you have my number one". I made this before Marie passed away, but this recipe is just... SO Marie :)

I copied this word for word. It was written out by Marie. Note the milk measurements. I still laugh when I read it. If you have never made squash pie, how do you know when you have enough?  Although you probably don't know Marie, little details like that make this even a bit more special. That is exactly how Marie talked and exactly the type of directions she gave. When I see this, I can hear Marie talking. 

Though it does take a little bit of time to get the recipes together and then type them, this is definitely a great gift idea. I am also glad that Mom put all the recipes in a binder with sleeve protectors. That way, I can be the messy cook that I am and just wipe the pages off if/when I splatter/spill/slosh/dump. But, it also allows room for additions. One of these days, I want to put both of mine together into one big book and add all the recipes I've collected along the way.

Mom also included in the front of her books a few pages on helpful tips. Things such as ingredient substitutions, measurement equivalents, pressure cooking times and temps, safety tips, baking tips, and common baking problems and questions.

I should have blogged about this sooner, but hopefully if you want to put one together, you have enough time to get a really great start.

Mom mentioned the other day that she wants to put together one on home made spa treatments and home made cleaning recipes... so, there may be more blogs about these in the future!

PS~ There are computer programs out now that help you to organize your recipes. That would be a great way to do this. Then they would all look uniform and tidy! One of these days.... :)
Since I am writing about cookbooks... and since I just heard this news yesterday, I want to add a bit of information.....

There is a support group in our area for parents who have lost babies through miscarriage, still birth, and infant death. Their website is http://www.consolingparents.com/. They are a wonderful organization. We had not heard of them until we lost Lane. They gave us a teddy bear and Lane has the same teddy bear with him right now. I love knowing that we have that SMALL connection and we both often sit in his room holding that teddy bear. They do great things for people who have gone through this awful, awful, awful experience. Although we have not attended any of their support meetings, I hold this organization close to my heart and try to help them any time I can. 

I copied this straight from their site....

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Consoling Parents we are asking for your help to publish a cookbook for comfort and healing. Consoling Parents is celebrating its 30th anniversary! In honor of all the families supported by Consoling Parents over the past three decades, we are inviting you, your family and friends to share memories and recipes of comfort in a special cookbook. 
Cookbooks will cost $10 each and will be available in time for the holidays, with net proceeds benefiting Consoling Parents support group activities.
Guidelines for submitting recipes:
  • Each recipe must fit in with the theme “Comfort and Healing Through Recipes.”

  • Each recipe must be submitted in honor of a child, family member or friend who, although no longer living, made an impact on your life.

  • Submit your name, information about your honoree and your recipe, including information on ingredients, amounts, pan size, cooking times and temperatures. 

  • E-mail recipes to cookbook@consolingparents.com

    *****They wanted 100 recipes, but only have about 60 right now. The website states that recipes were due in October, but they have extended this deadline. They hope to have enough recipes to get the books printed and distributed at the Walk To Remember next fall.

    Recipes do not have to be in honor of a lost baby or child. It can be for anyone who is no longer with you but made an impact. And, yes, my grandma's breakfast souffle is one that I submitted :)******

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