I don’t know if this is a new trend or not but I’ve been noticing an abundance of family memoir cookbooks. These cookbooks will typically serve up recipes that have been passed down from one generation to another along with photos of the family, slices of daily life and dollops of family history.
If you’re family is anything like mine, food has always taken the head seat in bringing us together at the family table. Unfortunately, aside from a famous lasagna and a chicken soup that tasted different form one pot to the next, much of our big eating was done in restaurants. Most of the recipes that were notorious in my family, such as my grandma Esther’s Franz Joseph cookies and my grandma Minnie’s Rugelach (mmm), haven’t been made since both of these wonderful cooks passed on. However I have eaten in the homes of friends who have many dishes that are now made exactly the way they were made by their grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I have eaten bean and barbeque recipes that men learned to cook outside, taught by their relatives as a sort of ‘right of passage’ in their family. I have eaten special dishes that were translated from one country to the next, one of my favorites being a ‘sticky toffee pudding’ recipe that was passed down through generations of a Scottish family and now makes the rounds at parties in Texas. And I have eaten those notorious green gelatin dishes that seemed to be the signature food of the 1950’s and show up on picnic tables next to meat dishes cooked in Dr. Pepper.
A family history cookbook, what an interesting way to create something unique to give to the next generation. Preserving morsels of family history while creating a central place for all the favorite recipes.
There are many templates available online to serve as guides to creating your own family memoir cookbook. A simple Google search can help you locate one that might be right for you.