How to Make a Family Recipe Book

family Why Create a Family Recipe Book?

It is easy to create a family cookbook.  A family recipe book is actually a collection of memories of our lives. Old family recipes will disappear with time if we do not make an effort to preserve them.
Making a family cookbook is a great way to pass those recipes on to the next generation.  Learn how to make a family recipe book on this page.  Keep scrolling for ideas and steps– and great recipes!



MBI 3-Ring Bound Scrapbook Kit - Family RecipesMBI 3-Ring Bound Scrapbook Kit – Family RecipesRecipe Protectors for 3 ring bindersRecipe Protectors for 3 ring bindersMy Recipe Journal: Blank CookbookMy Recipe Journal: Blank CookbookA La Carte Deluxe Kitchen BinderA La Carte Deluxe Kitchen Binder


Our most powerful memories are often those involving food – the comforting smell of cookies in the oven, memories of the family around the table at mealtime or trips to grandma’s – and these happy memories should be preserved for future generations! What is your favorite memory from your childhood? Does it involve food?

My sister, Betty Tate DeLorme, presented our family with a family cookbook in 1983. She had patiently typed every word on a Royal Manual Typewriter. I know it took hours and hours to create. Thankfully, In this day we have computers, and creating your own family cookbook is much faster – and easier.

How to Make a Family Recipe Book

Making a family cookbook is easy with your computer. Become your family’s Betty Crocker! Ask your relatives to e-mail special family recipes to you. Your e-mailbox will quickly fill with everyone’s favorite recipes and memories. You may want to include family friends, too!  Retype each recipe on a single page.  Go ahead and prepare each recipe and take a photo for your book.

The most important thing is to do it! Make it fancy and professional. Or let it be a family project and let your children help create your cookbook and simply place the pages in 3 ring binders or folders. The children can even draw pictures — be sure they sign and date them, though! Let your family recipe cookbook reflect your own style.

Our family cookbook is well-loved by all of us. It is my hope that you will start creating your own family recipe book today!

PS: Make some extra copies. Over 20 years later, we still ask Betty for reprints for wedding gifts and hostess gifts and special gifts for our friends.

Write a Memorable Introduction to Your Family Recipe Collection Book

family 1957Betty wrote a beautiful introduction to our family cookbook! In fact, when our father died, the family cookbook introduction was read at his funeral — a great description of our family — and yes, there were giggles and snickers throughout the church as folks remembered with us! Thank you, Betty! This is indeed a treasure!

Hummingbirds and butterflies…beautiful flowers…the wide mouthed frog…Camp Cripple Creek…Turquoise eye shadow…gin rummy…the old blacktop table…Tab…Dancing….the Jockey Lot….killing golfs…the beach…First verse…Second Verse…Third verse…Fourth verse….Clemson vs Georgia and Georgia vs Clemson…Hand-me-downs and pass-arounds…the sock drawer…needlepoint and cross stitch…toddy time…Wild hog sausage…antiques, collectibles and stuff…dogs and cats and horses and birds and a bunny…Pendleton Presbyterian Church…swimming in “the pool”…Mac’s Drive-In…SINGING, camp songs, Sunday School songs, old favorites. The Lanai…Miles and Crenshaws…Molly Brown…Coin disappearing up dad’s coat sleeve…Miss Majorette…the Pig Roast…telling jokes. Let me see THE watch…Christmastime in old Pendleton…Cheerleading, baseball, studying, golf, gymnastics, horseback riding…”Miss Ethel”…Sweet Singing Bird…Get the waxed paper for the slide. Dishcloth chase…cherry Cokes at Evans’…moving…art…tailgating at Clemson…eating the picnic ten minutes out of Lafayette…my mug…bargain hunting…Anderson Hilton…relatives…trailers…weddings…Great food, and more great food (especially homemade vegetable soup and cornbread!)…loving and caring…

as recalled by Miss Home Ec,   Betty Tate DeLorme 1940-2016

Include Memories in Your Family Cook Book Introduction

I included Betty’s introduction to give you a guideline for your introduction. Now it’s your turn! Write something relevant to your family. I am very aware that some of the introduction shown here will not make sense to you. And that’s the point. These are “our” family memories, “our” private jokes, “our” memories. And yet the list itself is a family treasure. A crazy, funny list of things that mean a lot to us. (For example, our dad referred to the hospital as “the Anderson Hilton” — he spent much time there in his senior years.)
Your family has similar sayings and memories. Record those! This is the writing that makes your family recipe book unique! Your family cookbook should make you smile, help you remember foods from your childhood, and be a treasure to pass on to your children and their children. Make it fun!
These family cook book recipe binder organizers are perfect for that family recipe collection. Click on any of them to personalize for your family.

Beautiful Butterfly Family Recipes Vinyl BinderBeautiful Butterfly Family Recipes Vinyl BinderPainted Color Wood Family RecipesPainted Color Wood Family Recipes



Family Recipe from the Tate Family Cookbook

Beef-O-Roni – Better known as Ruby Rony: Nancy’s special treat when she visited Aunt Ruby from Jacksonville State…
by Ruby Tate Day
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion chopped
Brown beef and onion in skillet, add salt and pepper to taste.
1 7 oz box macaroni (cook separately, not quite done)

Combine above in baking dish. Add some butter and one can cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1 cup of milk. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Steps to Make a Family Recipe Book

1. Gather Recipes
2. Add photos, clip art and personal notes
3. Produce on your word processing program.
4. Have copies made and bound.

Voila !You have a beautiful gift of memories for your family!  How to make a family recipe book in four steps!   It’s really quite simple, isn’t it?

Betty included clip art and quotes on almost every page. I strongly encourage you to make your book uniquely yours with pictures and quotes and notes. Find old photos of the family around the table, or grandma cooking dinner.

What would Betty Crocker do? At the end of our cookbook, our Betty has a small list of hints. It looks like this:

mamaCornbread — use whatever suits you best, but there are those of us who insist the secret to crunchy cornbread is a bit of sugar in the mixture and the bacon drippings in the skillet or muffin tins.

Didge’s Corn – Use white corn if at all possible. Cut down the ear through the middle of each kernel, then cut off the cob, and scrape the cob to get out the milk and remaining pulp. Add a little bit of oil and about 2 Tablespoons of flour and about 1/2 cup water. Cook in skillet, stirring often.

Mel’s Goober Coke
How many years??? Nickel Cokes!
Mel Tate, Sr.
Take one package Lance, salted peanuts. Empty into one small bottle of Coke (after a couple of swallows have been taken.) Sip with great pleasure. Chew up peanuts ’til you make peanut butter.

Remember – A family cookbook is a great gift for all of your friends and relatives at Christmastime!

Congo Squares – A Tate Family Bar Cookie Tradition
Congo Squares

I can almost smell the congo sqares in the oven. In 1954, the Tate family lived in Pendleton, SC. We loved to gather round and “lick the bowl” while they baked! Mama made congo squares for every holiday, church picnic and trips to see our Georgia relatives. These days, I make congo squares with our granddaughter and this year, she will try all by herself.

More Family Cookbook Binders

Click on either one of these family cookbook binders to see an even wider selection of binders at Zazzle.  Personalize your binder.  Order plenty for the entire family.  You will be so excited when they arrive.  Have the children make an assembly line, and begin to insert your recipes in acrylic sheets and insert into notebooks.   Making a family cookbook is an excellent family project to create Christmas gifts, reunion surprises, and birthday gifts.  Make a few extra.  You will want one for your best friends over the years.


Shabby Pink Roses Family RecipesCustom Unique Retro Family Recipe Binder

Use this binder and your computer to create your family cookbook. You can buy binders for everyone in the family. Print the book on 3 ring paper, insert into the binders, and you have gorgeous Christmas or birthday gifts for everyone!

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About jta

South Carolina grandmother who loves to write, dance, and visit with friends and family.
This entry was posted in Food and Cooking, Grandparenting, Holidays and Gifts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How to Make a Family Recipe Book

  1. Debby Willis says:

    I had decided that a family cookbook would be a great wedding gift for my nephew and his bride to be and to the rest of the family for Xmas next year. I have been so inspired after reading about your family cookbook and want to thank you for sharing. I would never have come up with some of the ideas your creative sister had.
    Thanks again! Debby

  2. Patricia Indoe says:

    Many family recipes are passed down in the kitchen when one generation watches another cook. I sat and recorded my husband make his grandmother’s Slovak Christmas soup and authentic French escargots, then compiled them with my 9 step-kids’ favorite recipes from their mom’s card file. Then I wrote them all out in calligraphy and made copies as Christmas presents. My daughter updated the book many years later with pictures and new recipes as a computer design project in college. The copy center employee was excited to help me reproduce them for everyone and they are treasured.

  3. Charlotte Ward says:

    Each of my four children left home before I became a computer user.I made each of them a hand-lettered cookbook of their favorites, on 5 x 8 three-holed cards in a binder. Now with a computer, I have made them regular 3-ring notebook sized books which i can update from time to time

  4. Lory G says:

    When I was 10 years old, I made a cookbook by gathering recipes from all my relatives and friends of the family. I wrote some of them into a scribbler. That’s what we called a school book that has lined paper that you wrote in. lol That was the 1960’s. When I was in my late 20’s, 1981 I decided I wanted to make a family cookbook. And I did. I typed it all on a type writer and xeroxed it. My brother designed the cover. The titles were done in Calligraphy. And I bought a binding machine and coils and a laminating machine. six years later I had it published. Had 100 copies made. In the year 2000. I made a Millinium family cookbook……many people have been added to the family. Well, it’s been 20 years. Time to make another one 🙂

  5. Jeanette Shiman says:

    I found your site through a link on another site, lol. I am a almost 55 year old mom of 5 and grandmother to 4. Thank you for creating this site! I just spanned my entire childhood, remembering gatherings and family that I hadn’t thought of in years! Sadly, when my maternal grandmother passed away in 1980 (she was the last remaining grand parent in our small bunch due to my dad being an only child), and life changed dramatically for our crew. No more Christmas Eve’s at Grama Merwin’s, and sparse occasions over the next few years, when finally, we just don’t gather unless it’s a wedding or funeral now. We do speak often through text messages or phones calls, but the amazing wonderfully filled memories I was able to experience as a child are, well, different now. Again, thank you so much for filling my mind and my heart with amazing memories I am now going to make sure happens for all my grandbabies.

  6. Marie G Davis (formerly Patricia M. Griffin) says:

    Hello! I’ve found your post on making a family cookbook, and I see that you’re from Pendleton, SC, my home town. I graduated from PHS in 1967. Did we overlap?

    I loved your ideas for the cookbook! I hope to make one sometime soon.

    Take care, Marie

    • jta says:

      Oh what fun! I graduated from PHS just a few years before you. We were the first class to graduate from the “new” high school. Small towns are the best! Thank you for reading my blog. We all enjoy our family cookbook. I hope you finished yours!

  7. Ruth Berkin says:

    I have been working on my Mom’s family cookbook since 2007, I’ve gotten memories, photos and recipes from family and friends. A few years ago when my neice got married my sister in law asked for a copy as a wedding gift so I made a PDF copy and sent it to her, then my other neice asked for a copy this year. I still haven’t set up a printer copy of it except for my personal copy.

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