Thanksgiving is the Perfect Time to Preserve Those Precious Handwritten Family Recipes

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What’s in your recipe box? If you love to cook, you’ve probably collected a number of handwritten recipe cards over the years from friends and family. Those favorite recipes might be tattered and splattered, but the careful cursive script reminds you of special meals with your loved ones.

Now is a great time to preserve those precious family artifacts digitally by creating a custom-made cookbook. Adding images of those well-loved recipe cards to your book adds so much personality to the pages and allows you to share copies with the whole family.

First, collect your recipes and decide whether you’re using every card in the recipe box, or just your favorites. You can capture the recipes using a scanner, camera, or your smartphone. If you’re taking pictures, make sure you’ve got good lighting. Take pictures straight on so the recipe is easy to read.

Scanned or photographed recipes can be added as a photo to several page layouts- photo pages, section dividers, story pages and some recipe layouts. You can also add photos to the cover of your book.

Love Grandma’s handwriting, but need to read recipes at-a-glance? Consider using a layout that allows you to type the recipe at the top of the page and have a recipe-card-size photo at the bottom for the best of both worlds.

Once you’re done, you can have it printed. The Internet is full of options from Shutterfly or other popular photo and book printing services, to local small businesses who print custom books. These make cherished gifts that bring back so many wonderful memories! You might dedicate your cookbook to  your grandmother, mother, or other beloved family elders, and give it to your sons, daughters, nieces, and nephews. If your collection of recipes (and their associated stories) stretches back far enough in your community, you might even consider donating a copy to your local library or historical society.

Who inspires you in the kitchen? Let us know in the comments! We hope these tips help you preserve your family legacy. Your cookbook will be an heirloom treasured by the whole family.

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