Making a Memory Cook Book: 10 Tips for You

I've made several memory cookbooks and putting them together is fun. The first one I made was a Christmas gift for members of my extended family. It was in memory of my mother-in-law and contained favorite recipes from her recipe boxes. When I typed the recipes I followed each one just as she had written it. If a recipe referred to a family member I included the reference. This last week I've been working on another memory cookbook, a going away gift for a friend of mine. Each club member submitted two recipes that had been served at meetings. Some members, including me, submitted an extra recipe or two. The recipes were as diverse as the club members. Putting this gift together made me think of ways to get the best possible results. My tips may help you.

1. Set a theme. The book I'm working on now includes recipes for foods members have shared together. You may create a book that represents a specific heritage. 2. Strive for a minimum number of recipes. I am working towards two dozen and have almost reached this goal. 3. Determine how the recipes will be displayed. A three-ring binder works best for me because it fits the standard paper size. Narrow and wide-spine binders are available at office supply stores. 4. Choose a suitable font. I surprised myself by choosing a font called Berlin, which has an art deco look about it. 5. Use a consistent format. For example, I decided to type recipe titles in Berlin bold, 18 point. The recipe instructions are 14 point, which makes them easy to read. 6. Include personal information. Was this recipe served on Christmas Eve? Has it been handed down from generation to generation. 7. Give credit where credit is due. If the recipe came from a cookbook, please cite the title and author. 8. Protect the recipes with plastic page sleeves. The good thing about them is that you don't have to punch holes in paper. Instead, you just slip each recipe into its sleeve. 9. Divide the book into sections. These divisions may depend on the number of recipes you have. The gift I am working on now only has two sections, Sweet and Savory. 10. Stick a photo on the cover. I used a photo of club members that was taken in front of a member's home. It's the perfect beginning to a memorable gift.