Putting together a family cookbook for your next reunion might make a fun and rewarding project. Here are a few tips to get you started.
This will take a fair amount of planning, preparation, and cooperation. Start as soon as you know when your family reunion is taking place, and contact all of the members of your family, letting them know what your project is and that you would like them each (each family, not each member of each family) to contribute at least 3-5 of their favorite recipes. A mass email is probably the best and easiest way to let everyone know, and that way family members can discuss among themselves what kinds of recipes they will be contributing, and help to make sure there is not too much repetition.
Have the families email their recipes to you along with any photographs or other informational blurbs they want to include, such as “this is my take on Grandma Ethel’s apple strudel.” If they agree to participate and you don’t hear from them for awhile, don’t be shy about sending a friendly reminder every now and then. The sooner you gather all the recipes, the sooner you can begin. Let your family know that the goal is to present them with a copy of the cookbook at the reunion.
Organizing The Recipes
Once you have gotten all the recipes you are going to get, you can start to put your cookbook together. If you have a layout program such as InDesign or QuarkXpress, and you have an idea how to use them, great. If not MS Word should suffice in putting your pages together. First you will want to organize your recipes somehow. There are, of course a number of ways to do this, including by family or by type of cuisine. There is a good case to be made for either method, so you will just have to go by whichever feels and looks the best to you. If you choose to organize your cookbook by food categories )appetizers, main dishes, etc.), you can also include a separate section wherein each family gets a short bio, so everyone knows who contributed what.
Depending on what you want your final product to look like, you may want to get as many high-quality photographs as possible, both of the finished dishes and of the families who are participating. This will help to add some flair to your cookbook as well as giving everyone something they will want to use and hold onto for a long time to come.
Editing And Proofreading
Spend some time making sure that the recipes are clear and easy to follow as soon as you begin to receive them. If you have questions about anything, make sure that you have time to clear them up with the contributor before you start printing.
Printing and Binding
Use laser printing to print your pages, digital if there are color photos. When it comes to binding, there are a few different options, including plastic comb, color coil, and the old standby 3-ring binder. All of these forms are hands-free functional which is a big plus in the kitchen. For those who like to do things themselves, binding machines are inexpensive and easy to use. Take a look online or at your local print shop to see what will work best for you.