Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Elle's Family Recipe Book Project

Today I sent out letters to as many members of mine and Steve's extended family as I could. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, great-aunts, great-uncles....everyone. Here's what I wrote: I am working on a new project, which I was hoping you might be able to contribute to. I would like to make a family recipe book, using only recipes which have meaning to the family. You will have seen those wonderful recipe books in the stores, like ‘Grandma’s Italian Recipes’ or ‘Favourite Family Dinners’. I want to make our own one. A recipe book with our recipes - the ones we use all the time, the ones we save for special occasions, or the ones we’ve nearly forgotten but would like to pass on to the next generation. For instance, I will include Pop’s recipe for crème liqueur, Maureen Hancock’s recipe for scalloped potatoes which we used to have every Christmas without fail when we were children (woe betide her if she forgot to make it!), and the coconut ice recipe that we used to make as gifts for friends and family. There is the recipe for Amish Friendship Muffins that Mum gave us when we went flatting and Uncle Philip’s Welsh rarebit has to be included. And there are many more… It can be anything from playdough to roast lamb, homemade lemonade to rose potpourri. Any and all recipes are gratefully accepted. With each recipe you contribute (and by all means, the more the merrier so that we don’t overwhelm the book with just recipes from our side!!), please let me know where the recipe came from and the significance of it to you and/or your family. For example, my husband’s fool-proof recipe for the most delicious chocolate cake comes from the back of the Nestle Melt’s packet. He’s used it when making cakes for clients and it has been a success every time. Everyone always asks for the recipe and he refuses to tell. Ten years of professional baking, and the best recipe is off the back of a packet…! Or, perhaps you have a recipe that has been passed down from a grandparent or parent that you can remember them making? I know my mother remembers fondly that her mother was an excellent pastry chef, and always reminded my mother to keep the pastry cold. It can be just a few sentences or a page of memories – just whatever it takes to tell the story. I have discovered that while the family history and genealogy is my passion, everyone loves hearing the stories. If you have a copy of the original recipe, then please feel free to email or post a copy to me. Don’t cringe if it’s in your handwriting – that’s PERFECT! Copies of snippets out of magazines are also wonderful – I know Mum’s playdough recipe came from out of the playgroup newsletter. If you have any photos to go with the recipes, they are very welcome. Modern or older photos, it doesn’t matter, I’m sure we’ll end up with a mix of both. The more material we can get in the book, the more interesting the book will be. If you aren’t able to scan and email photos, then let me know and we’ll see if we can find someone who might be able to arrange to scan or have a copy made. I am happy to get copies of the book printed for anyone. When it is finished, I will contact everyone and let them know a price. At that time, you can still say yes or no – we certainly won’t be getting them printed and then harassing anyone to pay!! Thank you in advance for your contribution. Really, the more the merrier – I’d love for this book to be stuffed full of recipes, memories and the essence of family life in the kitchen. Love from Elle Now to sit back and wait. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, but I can't help it!

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