The Family Recipe Binder

Last August I began what I thought was going to be a simple little project for my kids. They were both preparing to move out on their own; K having graduated  from K-State with his English degree, and L looking forward to her fiance returning to the states and their up coming wedding.

I thought since they would soon be living in apartments with full size kitchens, instead of the mini fridge/microwave/crock-pot “kitchen” of their dorm room days, that a nice binder full of favorite recipes would be a great gift.

Instead of just including the old favorites that they grew up helping me cook I thought I’d get some recipes from other family members as well.

Like so many projects tend to do this one took off and grew and grew! For one thing we have a fairly good size family and for another… they all cook. Some more than others but none of us are in any danger of living off of frozen TV dinners for the rest of our lives.

I dug through all those old recipe cards, scraps of paper, computer files, and e-mails for weeks. I organized and categorized and planned and plotted for days on end.

I managed to finish one roughly done handmade copy to act as a guide and then got down to business.

By Christmas I had finished two more handmade copies; one for K and one for L.

I then set out to make the same book again and again with hopes of creating handmade copies for myself and all my sisters. (Dear Mother; why oh why did you have so many girls?!)

After completing the 4th handmade copy I could no longer stick with it. This project was just taking up far too much time and I was beginning to see recipe in my sleep.

Family Recipe Binder

I packed up my empty binders, card stock, photo copy paper, pens, tape, plastic page protectors…. and headed out to #7’s for some help. She and I spent a weekend scanning pages from the finished book, making copies, and stuffing them into page protectors. I spent a few more hours hand making the section dividers and we stuffed those big ol’ binders! I still have two more to put together but now that the pages are done it won’t take long.

My plan was to make a total of 8 finished binders, one for my self, one for each of my kids, and one for each of my sisters; but with the help of photo copies instead of hand-made pages we actually finished a few extras for nieces and even one for a nephew. As of this moment there are currently 12 completed binders now floating around  the various kitchens of my family. (Ok so three are still at my house, two will hopefully be picked up soon and one will have to go through the mail.)

#7, who is more computer savvy than I am, is going to take all those scanned pages and create a PDF version of the book. She will put that and the original RAW files all on a nice little disc for any family member who would like a copy. That way all those recipes will be readily available on their computers and they will have the pages should they feel the need to make another paper copy for someone else out there on the wide-spread branches of the ol’ family tree.

Now we know that those favorite recipes will live on for many more generations to come!

So how big is the final binder you ask?

Well it includes 232 pages, over 30 color photos, nearly 500 recipes from 26 cooks spanning 4 generations. It includes tips and tricks and quotes and poems. And if they write small there’s room for them to add a few more recipes here and there.

Not a bad project at all.

Oh; it’s not complete by any stretch of the imagination as I could not fit in every recipe that was sent for it.

There may have to be a volume two  one of these days!


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