Passing down your favourite family recipes

Family recipes are cherished traditions. Your cooking will mean a lot to your children once they grow up. Here are ideas for sharing your most special recipes with friends and family.

Start creating your own cookbook now

Have you ever wished your mum or grandma had provided a cookbook where you could find their best recipes or learn about the family cooking habits? In years to come, your own children and grandchildren will wish for the same.

So start to collect your recipes now, even the simpler ones, and complete them with notes about their stories, details about when you prepare them and how you serve them. Here are some thoughts you may like to include:

- Where did you get the recipe? Have you adapted it or personalised it?
- How do you serve it?
- Do you have a family plate or cooking dish, a special serving cutlery that you like to use? Did you inherit it from a family member you would like to mention? Is there a story about it?
- What sides do you usually serve with this recipe?
- Is this dish associated to memorable times in your family’s past or to a specific occasion?
- Do you have special clean-up tips you could share, like using vinegar to clear clouds on glasses, removing candle wax with a padded iron, or absorbing wine stains with salt? Maybe the dish soap you’ve always trusted to clean up your burnt pans?

Your recipe collection can take the shape of a hardbound book or a scrapping book, with the feel of your handwriting and explanatory sketches or food labels attached. A digital version can be super convenient as well for full editing, selective printing or quick emailing.

Cookbooks as special gifts

You may want to offer your recipe collection as a gift to friends and family. Here are some ideas:

- Write or print a selection of your favourite recipes as a housewarming gift. Enhance the gift with a drawing or cut out photos and write a special dedication
- Pair a recipe with a gift. For example if you select a pecan pie recipe, offer a nice enamelled pie plate to match with it
- Personalise a cookbook for a child with his or her favourite recipes. It can be a wonderful gift as they leave for college or move out to be on their own for the first time.

Practice with your dear ones

The best way to pass recipes alongside good memories is probably to cook together with your family members or friends.
Show children how to prepare their favourite meal by involving them in the process, gradually increasing their tasks, as they grow older. First they may just be watching or measuring ingredients, fetching dishes and setting the table. But soon they’ll become more comfortable and they will enjoy recreating the dish on their own.