Using family recipes to create a life story or family history book

Preserving Family History Through Recipes: A DIYBook Guide

Using family recipes to create a life story or family history book

You can create your own book with family recipes. Here’s how I started mine: On an overcast day earlier this month, I poured hot coffee into a travel mug, grabbed my notepad and pen, and trekked down to the park for an annual ladies’ coffee klatsch. This year, I was on a mission to gather family stories through favorite, time-tested recipes. The women on my mother’s side of the family gather at least once every summer to catch up and pause from the day-to-day hustle. 

Remembering Our Loved Ones Through Recipes

One of the cousins brought a gift for each of the attendees this year: refrigerator magnets adorned with a black and white photo of the old family restaurant owned by my grandparents and great-uncles. Naturally, this gave way to the conversation I had hoped would happen:

“Remember when Chris would make prime rib?”

“Your father’s clam chowder was the best!”

As we strolled down this culinary memory lane, I made sure to ask questions that went a little deeper:

“What was your favorite meal growing up? Do you remember who made it best?”

Recipes and stories flew back and forth between us. By the end of the hour, many of the women had revisited meaningful moments of their youth. Others of us gained a deeper understanding of our ancestors and what was important to them. I also snagged a long-forgotten cookie recipe my great-aunt used to make. The recipe card was soft from decades of reference, the ingredients in her perfect cursive. I can’t wait to test this recipe in my kitchen with my daughter to see what other memories come to me and the new ones I’ll create. 

Create Your Own Book with DIYBook

Now that I have more family recipes, I am ready to log into my DIYBook Author Account and start writing. I’m very excited to add pictures of these recipe cards directly into my chapters, too–DIYBook has made it easy to preserve my family story through words and pictures.

Food has a way of connecting us to our past and to our memories, bringing us back to a time and place that feels warm and comforting. Maybe it’s your grandmother’s famous lasagna recipe or the smell of freshly baked cookies in your childhood home. Whatever it is, memories and recipes go hand-in-hand when it comes to preserving your family story, and you can use them to create your own book.

Author Barabara Basbanes Richter, Founder of DIYBook
About the Author

Barbara Basbanes Richter founded DIYBook, an affordable and easy-to-use book writing program. She also founded In Ink Ghostwriting, a full-service ghostwriting firm helping politicians, pundits, scientists, CEOs, professional athletes, and others get their stories into print.

Under her own byline, Barbara’s writing has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Daily News, The Vineyard Gazette, Humanities, The Sewanee Review, Fine Books & Collections, Literary Features Syndicate, High Country News, Ravishly.com, Westchester Magazine, and other outlets.

Barbara is a fluent French speaker, and her translation from French to English of Mademoiselle de Malepeire was called a “clever, inspiring gem.”

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