Monday, June 8, 2015

Family Recipe Binder

Food and family.  These two things mean everything, and it's even better when you combine the two.  Its always been a special act to share recipes, as food can bring such happiness and a sense of togetherness.  People frequently used to write down their recipes and pass them on to those they love.  Its so fun for younger generations to get these tasty treasures handed down to them.  In our family there's a special way to get these get married!

It has become a tradition in our extended family to gather all the favorite recipes from grandparents and aunts, and assemble them in a binder to gift to the bride.  And all the brides love it! It's such a fun, and sentimental gift to receive to celebrate the start of a new life.

The perfect time to gift the Family Recipe Binder is at a bridal shower. The recipes also make a great wedding gift.  Enamored with this recipe tradition I wanted to do it for a few other special brides in my life, like my sister-in-law and best friend.  We compiled recipes dated back to grandparents, great and great-great grandparents.  There's just something special about having a recipe card in your relatives handwriting that makes it a piece of history, a piece of them.

Interested in bringing this recipe sharing tradition for new brides into your family? Here's what you'll need to pull it off. 


*3 Ring Binder 2.5"- 3" (pockets on inside of covers is nice)                
*Pocket Tab Dividers #5 or #9        *Family Recipes 2-5 per relative
*Clear Sheet Protectors                   *Paper/Stickers/Paper Cutter

1. Choose a fun binder color and other accents like stickers or scrapbook paper. 
     Ex. Candyland was my fave childhood game.
2. Add pocket tab dividers with labels for each.
     Ex. See Melanie's binder picture.

For 5 dividers:  1) Appetizers   2) Salads    3) Side Dishes    4) Entrees    5) Desserts

     For 9 dividers:  1) Appetizers  2) Soups & Salads  3) Side Dishes   4) Pizza & Pasta  5) Chicken & Turkey  6) Beef   7) Seafood & Pork   8)Vegetarian/Gluton-Free    9) Desserts

I ordered them based on when served in a meal and color coded to what food type it would likely represent to me.  The bride can always rearrange it later.
Green: soups & salads  Yellow: chicken Blue: seafood/pork  Orange: pizza & pastas 

3. Relations bring recipes in sheet protectors to add to the binder at the shower or send ahead of time to the one in charge of the binder assembly.


1) Plan at least a month or more for people to gather recipes since they'll need to find them, type them up and/or scan the original recipe card.  If it's a recipe card from a grandparent or older generation it's a great idea to retype the recipe, but also include an image of the original card.  That way you can keep the feel of history that comes with the particular recipe.

2)  These are the instructions that I included when reaching out to relatives.
  • On 8x11 paper include ingredients & directions to the recipe. And specifics like servings, cook & prep time. Include your name on the recipe.
  • Recommend adding a picture of the food, color to text or experiment with fonts. Ex: "Grandma made this every Easter", "Perfect for picnics"
  • Ask each relative to bring/send 2-5 recipes from the following categories: Appetizers, Salads, Side Dishes, Entrees, Desserts

3)  Insert recipes into sheet protectors and place in binder under appropriate tabs.

Hope you and your family enjoy the craft as much as mine!  Its keeping that connection amongst the family members that's one of the reasons to do this.  That and a bit of family history.  And don't forget good food. Pass on your family's food tradition to new brides, a gift they'll use endlessly and be sure to preserve with a Family Recipe Binder.

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