“If you have ever been overwhelmed by the task of researching, analyzing, organizing, and preserving family recipes, you probably have longed for a trained archivist to take charge! Well, one finally has in this exhaustive and delightful work by educator/archivist Valerie J. Frey, who expertly guides readers step-by-step to create family cookbooks, heirloom recipe collections, and food-related oral histories and, most important, shows how to protect historic family recipes, recollections, papers, and artifacts for future generations to enjoy and savor.”
—Marcie Cohen Ferris, author of The Edible South: The Power of Food and the Making of an American Region
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regional or ethnic cooking challenges, as well as to working with recipes that are “orphans,” surrogates, or terribly outdated.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.
List price: $26.95
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