Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thrifty Gifts - Recipe Collection

It's amazing to consider how much our celebration of holidays is tied to particular foods. For example, I know this week's Thanksgiving celebration will include my mom's cranberry relish. Half the family doesn't even like it, but Thanksgiving just wouldn't be the same if it weren't there!

Keep your family's traditions alive by collecting holiday recipes and publishing them in some form. The simplest way would be to just recopy them onto recipe cards. If you're giving this gift to several people, you may want to type them to print in some kind of book form. Use a 3-ring binder and plastic sleeves, or a printer could laminate the cover and spiral bind or comb bind it. Including photos of family holidays over the years, or recording people's holiday memories would make this something to truly treasure. If you have great-grandma's hand written recipes, by all means include a copy of the original, perhaps with the recipe retyped underneath.

My mother-in-law was a great cook, but she almost never worked with written recipes. I tried to get her bread recipe once and the directions included things like "just add a handful of this, and a little bit of that, and you know you'll get a good loaf when the dough feels right." Hmmm... If your family's favorites are only available in this form, your assignment during the upcoming holidays is to cook alongside this person and record some recipes. Your recipe collection may not be ready to give this Christmas, but you'll have the beginnings of a fabulous gift for next year!


Molly Koop said...

This is why I'm heading to my mom's house to make her fudge with her. "Just keep adding butter--somewhere between two and three sticks" didn't work for my last batch. :) I did beat it until it lost its gloss, but the butter left a nasty yellow "crust" when it set. Great idea!

Daniela said...

We put together a family recipe book several years ago, and I know it is still used by many of us. What a wonderful idea to add photos of family get-togethers. We never thought of that, and now some of those treasured persons are no longer here. This year starts a new tradition: photographs of the gathering!