To most of us, the year-end holidays are a time of family, friends and a lot of food. While these times can be hectic with all of the running around that needs to be done, it is also the best time to start a family cookbook project says one expert.
“Many of the family holiday traditions start in the kitchen and center around the meals we serve our family and guests at this time of the year, says William Rice, Founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project. “What better way to celebrate our family food traditions than to preserve them for future generations in a family cookbook. There is no better time to start planning a family cookbook than over a wonderful meal during the holidays”.
A successful family cookbook needs at least one dedicated individual to lead the project as editor. This person gets the project off the ground and invites family members to contribute recipes. Once a labor intensive task, now families are using the Internet to simplify the project. “A website, such as FamilyCookbookProject.com, can provide step by step instructions and tools to help the family member serving as cookbook editor to contact others and encourage them to enter their favorite recipes directly into the online system,” says Rice “The editor then simply reviews and edits the recipes, selects printing options, and sends the cookbook to be printed. The finished printed cookbooks are received in a few weeks time and can be enjoyed and preserved forever.”
Here are some tips from Familycookbookproject.com to help make your family’s personalized cookbook a success:
Start talking about the project over dinner – Enjoying the food and dishes we love while being asked to contribute recipes will make the value of the project more real and worthwhile.
Have a sign up list for those who want to participate – Get everyone’s telephone number and email address in one place. This will help when it is time to be in contact with them over the project.
Pass out recipe forms after the meal – Having printed recipe forms lets people know what they need to provide and shows them how little work contributing will be.
Invite everyone to participate – Don’t just invite the family cooks. Everyone has at least one recipe that they can contribute to the cookbook. Use email to invite and stay in touch with contributors. Let them see what others have submitted to encourage them to keep adding their best recipes.
Set a deadline – Set a deadline one or two month in the future to have all of your recipes submitted. Most people work better if they know they face a hard deadline. If you don’t have enough recipes at the deadline, you can always extend it.
Keep in touch – After the holidays, keep in touch with everyone via email. Send regular updates and let then know who is participating and who is not. Set a goal to have every family member contribute at least one recipe so they can be listed in the list of contributors.
– Editors can send contributors an email to invite them to participate in the family cookbook. The site also makes it easy to send regular updates by email to some or all of the contributors.
– Allows individuals to enter their recipes directly into the online family cookbook so it does not fall entirely on the editor.
– Provides an easy way to share recipes online. Contributors have access to everyone’s recipes even before the final family cookbook is printed.
– Provides many options for recipe layout and cover selections or allows you to create your own cover.
Family cookbooks are an important way to preserve our mealtime traditions for future generations. With the passing of our loved ones comes the loss of treasured food traditions. A family cookbook ensures that the recipes from one generation can be passed on to the next as a treasured family heirloom. Once the recipes are preserved online, they can be shared with other family members by email, printed individual and included in your own professionally printed cookbook.
For more information on how your family can make a family cookbook, go to www.FamilyCookbookProject.com.
Bill Rice is Founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect, preserve and share food memories by creating their own printed personal cookbooks. He is the author of The Wellfleet Oyster Cookbook (Available on Amazon) and the Cape Cod Cocktail Cookbook, both created using FamilyCookbookProject.com. He is also editor of the Donovan Family Cookbook, now it’s third printing and is an avid genealogist tracing his family back to the 1600’s.