Preserving Family Recipes; How to Save and Celebrate your Food Traditions by Valerie J. Frey
Expected publication: November 1st 2015 by University of Georgia Press
This is one of the most complete books I’ve ever seen on preparing and attacking a project. Many people have a book or a folder or a pile or even a document with family recipes, but this book is a guide on how to make a treasured heirloom for generations to come. It covers so many different bases, such as working with people or working with yourself, interviews, researching recipes and allowing them to evolve, binding ideas, etc. It is almost overwhelming how much information is included. That being said, one of the best part about instructional books like this is you can take your vision and search through a book for tips, instructions, and ideas. I definitely recommend this book to anyone wanting to put together a really special family cookbook.
About the Book
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regional or ethnic cooking challenges, as well as to working with recipes that are “orphans,” surrogates, or terribly outdated.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.
About the Author
Valerie J. Frey is a writer, archivist, and an educational consultant. She lives in Athens, Georgia.