Family Recipe Preservation Methods, Cookbooks

The tradition of passing down family recipes is a time honored activity, however, in the last couple of generations this tradition has been loosing ground. If you would like to preserve your family’s favorite recipes to pass down to your children and grandchildren, there are several ways that you can collect and preserve these family treasures. This article will give you instructions on a few different methods of collecting and preserving your family’s recipes.

Family Recipe Preservation Method Number One: Digital Photo Cookbook

Items that you will need:

1. Computer.
2. Digital camera or camcorder.
3. Collection of family recipes.
4. Website. (optional)
5. CD or DVD.


1. The first step is to collect family recipes and photographs. Depending on how elaborate you want your digital cookbook, you may want to capture family matriarchs and patriarchs cooking their favorite dishes, or record interviews about family memories about recipes, meals, and the people who made them.

2. Using your computer, photo editing software, and word processing software, you can layout a digit cookbook with links to video clips, or have photos and sound files embedded in the document.

3. Upload the digital cookbook to your website, or burn it on a disc to share with your family and friends.

Family Recipe Preservation Method Number Two: Low-Tech Recipe Cards and Binder

Items that you will need:

1. Family recipes
2. Photographs of the prepared recipe, family photos, etc.
3. Recipe cards or card stock.
4. Three hole punch.
5. Clear contact paper.
6. Glue stick or rubber cement.
7. Color printer (optional).
8. Three ring binder.


1. The first thing you will need to do is collect your recipes and photographs.

2. Next you can print out individual recipe cards and glue photographs to the cards, or you can use Word or similar word processor to compose a page with the recipe, photos, and narrative and print this document out.

3. Stick the clear contact paper on the cards or document on both sides so that the recipe card or document will be protected from moisture, spills, and wear.

4. Three hole punch the document, or use a single hole punch for a recipe card. If you are using only recipe cards, you can attach one row of recipe cards on each ring of the binder. Or you can have the top ring be the narrative card, the middle card be a family photo, and the bottom be the recipe card (or any variation thereof).

5. Create a cover and spine for the binder and slip them in the plastic inserts.

Family Recipe Preservation Method Number Three: Self-publish Cookbook

Items that you will need:

1. Word processor.
2. Family recipes.
3. Photographs.
4. Narrative for each recipe.
5. Publishing options.


1. The first thing that you will need to do is gather family recipes, stories, and photographs that you will be using for the Family Cookbook.

2. Format your cook book with one page being dedicated to each recipe. The layout should include a photograph of the finished recipe, a photo of a family event or member, narrative about the recipe, and the recipe itself. You may want to add other family stories throughout the book that tells the story of your family and its heritage.

3. Publishing options will vary on your budget. If you have a color printer and want to self-print your cook book you can by special paper to print your document out on. You can even duplex your own papers, and bind them in a three ring binder, or if you know how, you can bind them in a more traditional manner. If you have the money to send your cookbook to a subsidized book publisher then you can produce a professional looking book that you can sell or distribute to your family members as gifts. The price for this type of service will vary between about $500 to several thousands of dollars. However, with print-on-demand options now available, the price for these services is coming down to a more affordable level.

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