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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Preserving Family Memories - A Family Recipe Book & A Grandmother's Journal

Family Recipe Books

Over 10 years ago, Sister and I set out to collect the family recipes.  Our father's mother had just passed away and we realized that neither of us had her famous biscuit recipe.  Sister and I were both newlyweds and wanted to make sure we could learn how to cook the family dishes that we had grown up loving.  Thanksgiving and Christmas just weren't the same without the family sweet potato casserole or our dad's Asparagus casserole.

Thus, the idea for a Family Recipe Book evolved.  We wrote everyone and asked each member of the family to send us their top 4-5 recipes along with a story about each recipe.  We gave the family a month to send in their recipes and then started typing away.  It was a labor of love, but oh so worth it.  Sister and I printed the books onto card stock and placed a family picture on each book.  I bound the books myself, but would suggest having them spiral bound at a local office supply/copy store because the comb binding has proven a BIG PAIN.  Sister and I purchased card stock in a bulk pack and printed all of the books ourselves.  The cost of the books was probably about $3 per book which included the paper, ink, picture and binding comb.  Sister and I would also recommend laminating the cover to help with the wear and tear.  Sister had the brilliant lamination idea when we made a family recipe book for my mom's side of the family.

Love that my grandmother, Dear's, chicken recipe was found!
The stories that go along with the recipes are almost as good as the recipe itself!

These books are my first go-to books and I rely heavily on them.  You will not regret making time to put these together for your family.  They are a treasure and Mama Jane and I have been happy to present a family recipe book to each new bride who has joined our family.
I'm embarrassed to show how much wear my book has had but you know it's a good book when there is a burn mark!
Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to gather recipes from everyone in your family!  I would love to hear if y'all put one together for your own families.  Keep me posted. 

A Grandmother's Journal -

Shortly after my mom's mother ('Nanny') passed away I realized that we didn't have have hardly any of  Nanny's memories preserved.  We each had bits and pieces but nothing written.  It made me sad and I practically kicked myself for taking for granted the time that I wasted not journaling the stories she had shared.

I decided that I would not waste any valuable time with my great Aunt Virginia who was in her late 80's at the time.  I purchased a 'Grandmother's Journal' book, gave the journal to her at a family gathering, and asked her if she could record as little or as much as she wanted about her life in the journal.  She very lovingly agreed.  Aunt Virginia gave the completed journal back to me Christmas 2008.  I have loved and cherished the book since.  It had been on my 'To Do' list to take the book to a copy store to have copies made for each of Aunt Virginia's grandchildren for a while, but after her death this summer my parents took the task for me and created these beautiful copies for each grandchild and more.  (I was in the middle of teaching swim lessons at the time.)

I really love that this is in Aunt Virginia's own handwriting

My Favorite part of the whole book!

The Stories in this book are amazing and truly a treasure
The memories in this book are simply priceless.  The entire family learned things that we never knew from this book.  The book is kept in my bedside table and I look over from time to time.  It brings tears to my eyes each time I read it.  I have loved learning more about my precious Aunt Virginia and love having her memories in writing.

You can find similar books on Amazon HERE for less than $10.  I am so very thankful to have purchased this book and look forward to having Honey's mom and Mama Jane fill one out.  I have also found a Grandfather's Journal HERE and plan to ask Honey's grandfather if he would record some of his memories.  Honey's grandparent's are our children's only surviving great-grandparents and I would love for my children to learn as much about their family as possible.

I believe that precious memories from our ancestors can help us appreciate them, their lives, their struggles and the lessons they learned.  I also believe that even though some life-lessons have to be experienced, we can learn from the mistakes and triumphs of our ancestors.  Please let me know if you have any other ideas for ways to record family history or memories.

Y'all have a great weekend!
Simply Gloria

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