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God's Warrior

Create a Family Recipe Collection

Create a Family Recipe Collection

Elena's note:See "Martha Lee's Cookbook" at the following location.
and Martha Lee's "Family Favorites" Main Dish Recipes

This is a collection that she created for her family several years ago.)

(Preserving family recipes in a keepsake album is a wonderful way to show your mother, mother-in-law and grandmothers how much you love and appreciate them!)

Like Mom's home cooking....
Tastes like homemade.....
These are terms we use to describe food that's simply delicious. Sometimes even the smell of certain foods will remind us of a favorite taste we grew up with and evoke memories of the sweet aroma of a familiar kitchen and memories of Mom at the stove. Traditions like family dinners at Grandma's house are often among one's fondest childhood memories.
Whether your Mother was a great cook or a not so great cook, as a child, you probably spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen with her besides mealtime. You might have watched her make dinner, maybe you even helped with the cooking (or the clean-up) as part of your daily chores. Whether you love to cook or you only cook because it's something you must do to feed yourself or your hungry family, you probably learned the basics of how to cook by watching Mom. Many good cooks will proudly tell you they learned all about cooking in Mom's kitchen and some of their best recipes came from Mom. Though no chocolate cream pie will ever taste quite as good as Mom's, making one with her recipe is the next best thing.
If you don't have some of the recipes for your mother's or grandmother's family favorites, this might be a good time to get them. Whether her recipes are neatly hand-written and carefully filed, or her filing system is a stuffed kitchen drawer, chances are she'd love to share her kitchen mementos with you. Somewhere among the scraps of paper with barely legible ingredients, the clippings, well-worn booklets, package inserts and labels she's saved, you might even find recipes for forgotten old favorites.

Many of my mother's recipes were stored only "in her head". She'd tell you just how to make a pumpkin pie and exactly what to add to the salad dressing, but she measured by heaping cups, heaping spoonfuls, pinches and enough to make it look right, feel right or taste right. If your mother is one of those great cooks who only stores her best recipes "in her head", take the time to interview your favorite family chef, and create written versions of her recipes. Better still, if you live nearby, ask her to let you know when she's going to make any of the recipes you want, then make plans to spend some time in the kitchen with her. Record her recipes, learn her techniques, and make note of any special tips she has offer.

Recipes have long been passed from generation to generation by word of mouth or they were simply "learned" after watching mothers make them so often. Today we spend less time in our kitchens. Even children lead very busy lives. They don't have leisurely after-school hours to wander into the kitchen and see what Mom is making and, if they did, few Mom's would be there. Enjoying a weekday meal together is a rare treat in many families. I think it's doubtful that recipes will continue to pass from generation to generation by word of mouth or by daughters watching mothers cook. Make sure you have written versions to pass on to your children for even basic everyday recipes, those you might have learned from your Mom and other good things you cook without a recipe... their own favorite recipes from Mom.
God's Warrior

A Family Cookbook

A Family Cookbook

Do you have special recipes that your family truly loves? Why not create a family recipe book or recipe card file that you can pass on to your children when they are ready to cook for themselves?

The format would depend on the software you have and your ability to use it. You could create pages of recipes in MS Word, Works or any other word processing program, print them out and put them in a binder that you personalize. It could be as simple as a binder with a slip in cover that you design or, if you have crafting skills, you could cover the binder with fabric and add trim. Wouldn’t it be cute to cover the binder with fabric from your children’s favorite outgrown shirts or dresses?

You could also create recipe cards with a publishing program that you could print, cut and put in a recipe box. The actual recipe cards could be personalized and the box could be decorated with your child’s favorite colors. For example, if someone loves roses, make the cards with roses on them and personalized them just for her.
You can use this same idea to create a very special wedding or shower gift. Prior to the wedding or shower, contact as many of the guests as possible and ask them to send their favorite family recipes to you. Ask them to send along a comment about why this recipe is special and include that with the recipe. Collect them all and put them into a book or create recipe cards. Personalize it for the bride and you will have a gift that she will cherish forever.
God's Warrior

While family members are gathered to recognize special occasions, ask them for their favorite recipe. Put the recipes in a notebook and teach the "younger" generation how to do it right—including all the hints that do not always appear on paper.
God's Warrior

What kind of recipe-keeper are you? How many do you have? Corral like items together to see what kind of storage you need. For example, you may want to sort recipes by whether you’ve used them:

• “Tried and true” recipes that you’re likely to use again: a recipe box with dividers might be the ideal container for these, or a photo album that will let you slide the recipe into a plastic sleeve.

• Recipes you plan to try: grouped by type of dish (main dish, salad, dessert) or by main ingredient (beef, lamb, cheese), and each group placed in a labeled plastic page protector, or plastic zipper bag, or box, depending on the volume you have.
God's Warrior

When you save a recipe, try to use the same approach recommended under the section on magazines—labeling the recipe with the category where you will file it, and perhaps highlighting the ingredient or feature that caught your attention.
If your recipe box is overflowing or has papers sticking up out of it, your box may just be too small. If you're using a box that holds 3x5 cards, consider switching to a 4x6 box. Four by six cards are large enough that you can usually tape a magazine clipping directly onto the card, without ragged ends sticking up out of the box. You can even tape your 3x5 cards onto the new 4x6 cards to avoid rewriting them.
If you simply have too many recipes to fit in the box, you may want to cull out some. Alternatively, look for a box that holds more cards, or divide your recipes into two boxes. You might put desserts, snacks, and foods for entertaining in one box, and regular meat, poultry, vegetable, and casserole recipes in the other.

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