Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions

Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions

by Valerie J. Frey


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Heirloom dishes and family food traditions are rich sources of nostalgia and provide vivid ways to learn about our families’ past, yet they can be problematic. Many family recipes and food traditions are never documented in written or photographic form, existing only as unwritten know-how and lore that vanishes when a cook dies. Even when recipes are written down, they often fail to give the tricks and tips that would allow another cook to accurately replicate the dish. Unfortunately, recipes are also often damaged as we plunk Grandma’s handwritten cards on the countertop next to a steaming pot or a spattering mixer, shortening their lives.

This book is a guide for gathering, adjusting, supplementing, and safely preserving family recipes and for interviewing relatives, collecting oral histories, and conducting kitchen visits to document family food traditions from the everyday to special occasions. It blends commonsense tips with sound archival principles, helping you achieve effective results while avoiding unnecessary pitfalls. Chapters are also dedicated to unfamiliar regional or ethnic cooking challenges, as well as to working with recipes that are “orphans,” surrogates, or terribly outdated. Whether you simply want to save a few accurate recipes, help yesterday’s foodways evolve so they are relevant for today’s table, or create an extensive family cookbook, this guidebook will help you to savor your memories.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780820330631
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Publication date: 11/01/2015
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

VALERIE J. FREY is a writer, archivist, and an educational consultant. She lives in Athens, Georgia.

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Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: Preserving Family Recipes - How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions Author: Valerie J Frey Published: 11-1-2015 Publisher: University Of Georgia University Pages: 304 Genre: Crafts & Hobbies Sub Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine; Memory Books; Cookbooks ISBN: 9780820330631 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley My Rating: 5 Stars . Many of us have photo albums and scrap books that preserve and accent the mementos and photos of our past. Valerie Frey now gives us the step by step instructions on how to preserve something just as precious and dear, the recipes that have been passed down over time and gathered from friends over our life time. I have always wanted to do a cookbook of such recipes, but was unsure of how to go about organizing such a daunting project. Other than using a computer program or printing out most often used recipes and placing them in a binder I have never tried to compile organize and write out the histories of the recipes. Unfortunately many of the recipes had come from friends, neighbors and family that have already passed and gone home to join our ancestors and I will have to rely on my memories of the stories behind them. Ms. Frey walks you through the choices on style, layout and what to put into the cookbook besides the recipes themselves. I have put neighborhood and church cookbooks together, some by myself and most with the help of others, but never something so dear to my heart. I have done almost have of the recipes I have collected over the last fifty odd some years and am looking forward to finishing the other half. I have mixed memoir and history with the memories and included pictures of those I received them from when I have them. With the help of siblings and friends I have reconstructed much of the history surrounding the recipes. Unfortunately some I can't remember where I got them but have become favorites over the years. If you like myself have wanted to honor those special recipes given to you and some found in your grandmothers attic of oft used cookbooks then Preserving Family Recipes is the perfect guide in aiding you in the journey filled with memories and love. There are also very good recipes to add to your collection provided as well. One, Chocolate Gravy, I had never heard of before, but am interested in trying. My rating for this wonderful book is 5 out of 5 stars.
Penmouse More than 1 year ago
Author Valerie J. Frey has written a comprehensive and thorough book about how to document family recipes. Her book is called Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions. Frey’s book covers some of the following topics: *The recipe family connections *Historical recipes from family and friends *Recipe selection *How to get started writing your family cookbook *Cookbook style (Memoir versus an autobiography for example) *Cookbook voice (Tips on finding your voice and maintaining momentum) *Solo versus group editorship when writing your family cookbook *Giving credit for recipes *Recipe organization *Using heirloom recipes and tracking down their history *Recipe sharing etiquette *How to interview *Protecting recipes from potential damage during use *Storage of paper-based materials *Adjusting recipes *Explanation of older brand names, cooking terms and measurements *Deciphering handwritten recipes *Suggestions for reading faded recipes *Bookbinding and publishing ideas I did like reading her food measurements list, oven temperatures list and a list of old cookbooks. I was surprised to see the Washburn-Crosby Gold Medal Flour Cook Book, Miss Parola’s New Cook Book, The Whitehouse Cook Book, or Woman's Institute Library of Cookery not included on her list of old cookbooks. Some of the recipes you will find in her book include: *Chocolate Gravy *French Pound Cake *Robert Alvin Frey’s Chicken Mulligan (recipe adjusted by Frey in 2014) Overall, this is a comprehensive book that will help anyone write his or her family cookbook. Highly recommend. Review written after downloading a galley from NetGalley.