Our Co-founder/Co-CEO Abby’s late babysitter used to make the most incredible empanadas and shared the recipe before she died. Every time Abby misses her she makes those empanadas and it brings back the warmest memories. Plus, she gets to share the deliciousness with her kids, which makes it a new memory for them.
How do you keep track of recipes now? Are you an index card traditionalist? Do you have a stained and battle worn notebook? Have you gone digital and created a document or rely on a recipe app? Regardless of the method, your goal is to preserve them for future generations.
Let’s get the basics out of the way, especially for those who love to cook but don’t have a recipe system in place that others would be able to understand. The basic template for recipes is as simple as it gets:
- Name of Recipe
- List of Ingredients
- Preparation/Cooking Instructions
- Additional Instructions & Tips
- Optional: Sprinkle in family stories and history related to recipe
You can toy with the format, but this is the information that needs to be included. Once you have them all organized and in the same place, what’s the easiest way for you to share them? If you want an app to do the heavy lifting, check out Paprika, BigOven, and Cookpad (among the slew of recipe apps available). While these can be handy, you should still note that technology’s forever changing and there’s always a risk when putting all your eggs in one virtual basket.
When it comes to preserving something as important as family recipes we suggest you choose a method that makes them always accessible regardless of what the future may hold. One quick and easy method is to create a Google Doc or spreadsheet and keep them all in a recipe folder in Google Drive, which you can share with people who want to use them or share their own. (Plus you can add it into the details you include about your Google account.)
Even if you want to write them out by hand, or print them out and keep them in a binder, we still suggest having a digital version since spills happen. The goal: Make sure your family always has access so no one ever goes hungry.