Is there one recipe in your family that you make year after year? Perhaps a Christmas treat, handed down from your mum, from her mum, from a family friend, and then from… well, you don’t know exactly, but you know that it’s old!
There’s something so satisfying about using a decades-old recipe, perhaps written in scrawl in a relative’s handwriting who’s since passed. It feels like a way that you’re connecting with your history, continuing a long tradition, and being reminded of a slower pace of life.
Uncovering your family recipes
For most people, they’ll have one or a small handful of generational recipes that they turn to sometimes. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do a bit of digging and uncover some more gems!
Ask your family, extended family, and close family friends if they have any most loved recipes that they’ve been hanging on to. Many times these will be baking recipes: cakes, puddings, scones, and cookies, which are great to serve when you have visitors year round.
While it might be a hassle to transcribe recipes, get relatives and friends to take a clear picture of the recipe on their phone, or photocopy for you to keep.
Updating family recipes to last a lifetime
One of the trickiest things about generational recipes is having them on hand when you need them. While most people have a paper binder of their favourite family recipes, this makes it a little difficult to share with the rest of the family!
So, why not use technology to update your recipe collection so it will live on forever? Evernote is a great free app that you can use on your computer as well as your mobile or tablet. Create a recipes notebook, and either take pictures of your recipes to store, or transcribe them so they’re more easily read (alongside a snap for posterity, of course). The best thing about using something like Evernote is that you can easily share your recipes notebook, and other people can even add to it to – making it truly collaborative.
Introducing the kids to generational recipes
Now that you’ve got all your family recipes in order, it’s time to involve the family! The next time you’re thinking about whipping up a family recipe, invite the kids or grandkids around to help out. If you make cooking particular family recipes at particular occasions a habit, then this tradition is likely to keep getting passed down for many years to come.
It’s wonderful to have multiple generations in the kitchen at the one time, all working together to make a fabulous recipe come to life, and even more wonderful thinking about how this will continue as the years roll by.