One of my favorite treasures is a recipe binder from my grandmother, filled with hand-written recipes of her favorite dishes. I love her recipes, her careful handwriting, and the time it must have taken to put it together.
It wasn’t until I had children of my own that I truly understood the time, energy, and love it takes to feed a family. That’s also when I gained a new appreciation of my own mother and the endless meals she prepared night after night. For Mother’s Day, I love the idea of a personalized recipe book for mom, filled with all of the family favorites. It’s the perfect tribute after all those years of cooking for the family. Have fun, collaborate with other family members, and enjoy a trip down Memory Lane. Here are a few ideas to help you pull it off:
1. Digitize. If you’re computer-savvy, digitize your collection of recipes for mom. Type them, scan them, or use creative online editing tools to give them extra oomph. Print them out and put them in a binder, or upload the recipes to create a one-of-a-kind, hard-bound book using sites like Shutterfly or Blurb. It’s easy and surprisingly affordable.
2. Organize. If mom’s recipe box is a jumbled, yellowed collection of cards, torn papers, and newspaper clippings, organize it into logical categories: appetizers, drinks/cocktails, meat dishes, side dishes, casseroles, breads, soups, cakes, cookies, desserts, etc.
3. Add photos. Get extra ooohs and awwws from mom by adding family photos from the past. Or take fresh new photos of some of your favorite dishes for a true cookbook-quality feel. Better yet, use both.
4. Include memories. Add one or two sentences about specific memories you have of the dish, when it was served, or why it’s so special to you. It changes your recipe collection into a family history.
5. Collaborate. Collect favorites from other family members to include. Ask them to include their memories too.
6. Make extras. You’ll want a copy for yourself after all that hard work, so be sure to make extra. Aunt Lucy, your sisters, and Cousin Jane are all going to want one too. (I speak from experience.)
Happy Mother’s Day gifting to you!