Recipe Box: Make Your Own Cookbook Plus Heirloom Recipes

A mother shows you how you can make your own cookbook as she did for her daughter and provides four heirloom recipes.

| January/February 2015

  • Scrapbooking is the perfect method to retain family memories of great food and revered cooks.
    Photo by
  • Copies of old recipe cards — handwritten and stained — add a personal touch to an heirloom cookbook.
    Photo by
  • An old family cookbook filled with notes from generations past might be inspiration for a new cookbook.
    Photo by Kessler

Four Heirloom Recipes

Granny's Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
Great-Grandma's Fruit Cake Recipe
Uncle Ray's Greatest Chicken Marinade Recipe
Miss Bonnie's Dandelion Salad Recipe

Make your own cookbook

My daughter began her career as a foodie at the age of 8, while I was confined to the couch for six weeks during pregnancy. Although friends and loved ones faithfully arrived with casseroles and slow cookers full of something delicious, Emily took it upon herself to greet them at the door, receive reheating instructions, and carry them out.

By the time she was 12, Emily could run the kitchen. One day while pulling weeds, squishing cabbage worms, or some other equally repulsive gardening chore, she begged, “Mommy, don’t ever make me come in this garden again, and I will do all the cooking and learn to can as well.” And she did, with a passion.

At 14, she made jam from the berries we picked on the mountain, and she canned all of our tomatoes and apples on her own. Her 15th year included several cake-decorating classes and taking over the bread making. At 22, she managed the evening shift for a small café. Today, much to her father’s delight, she spins flour and sugar into treats fit for a king.

Naturally, when Emily’s 16th birthday drew near, I wanted to give her a gift she would cherish for the rest of her life — and one that would fuel her passion for food. What better gift than a collection of favorite recipes from her friends and family — an heirloom cookbook?

Track down the recipes

A few months before her birthday, I emailed loved ones for input, asking them to send favorite family recipes, words of kitchen wisdom, or funny stories from their learning-to-cook years. The replies poured in; everyone responded enthusiastically.



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


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