Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Create a Heritage Cookbook using AncestryPress

When my daughters got married, I gave each a collection of our favorite family recipes which I had typed into Microsoft Publisher, printed on my home computer, and put into a 3 ring blank recipe book I found at the local kitchen store. It wasn't just a book of recipes but also included the history of the recipe, when we usually served it, and family stories to go along with the meal. Since each of my daughters moved away, I told them the recipe book was a way of keeping the family close even when separated by miles.

I have since thought about expanding the favorite family recipe book to include heritage recipes. Each of my grandparents has a different ethnicity, and I wanted to do a recipe collection to highlight our heritage. I don't have the recipes for the dishes my immigrant grandmothers prepared (they cooked using the "dash of this" and "handful of that" until it "looked right" method), but with the Internet today, it is not hard to find recipes close to what they made.

So I was quite surprised to go to AncestryPress and find they had added a recipe cookbook template section! You can either send your completed book to AncestryPress to print, or print the recipes on your home computer for free. The completed pages are a lot more attractive than those I did with Microsoft Publisher years ago.

Creating the recipe pages are not intuitive in AncestryPress , so here are the instructions:

  • Go to and select “Make a family history book from scratch” under “Start a Project.”

  • Name your project and click on “Continue.”*

  • Once your project is created, click on “New Page.”

  • Select “Other Pages.”

  • Select the “Recipe Template” from the options provided.

  • Select the type of page you’d like to create:

  • For a cover page:

    • »» Add text for your title, subtitle and author.

  • For a recipe page without a photo:

      »» Add a recipe name in the title field.
      »» Add text for the “Ingredients” field.
      »» Add text for the “Directions” field.

  • For a recipe page with a photo:

    • »» Fill the photo field using photos from the “Family Tree” tab or the “Uploaded Photos” tab.
      »» Add a recipe name in the “Title” field.
      »» Add text for the “Ingredients” field.
      »» Add text for the “Directions” field.

  • Once you have completed your first page, select “Add a Page” and choose the type of page (from the drop-down menu) you’d like next in your Recipe book.

I think there are two types of heritage recipe books that would be great to create using AncestryPress .

  • Family Favorite Recipes - a collection of family recipes from the immediate family as well as favorites from parents, grandparents, aunts - recipes for holiday meals as well as other occasions when the whole family got together - also everyday family favorites. You can add photos and stories to the recipe pages.

  • Heritage Recipes - a collection of recipes from your family's country of origin. I plan to do four sections in my recipe book - German, French, Irish, and Hungarian/Romanian sections - one for each of my grandparents.

Recipe pages can be interspersed with a family pedigree chart, images of passenger lists and other family records. What a wonderful and yummy way to remember and honor your family history.

I think this is a great idea for a unique and meaningful Christmas present. I'm off to collect our heritage recipes, then I'll start creating the book.

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