Hi! I’m Wendy. I am a photographer based out of Missoula, Montana. I am the mother of 4 awesome kids and wife to the best husband and adventure buddy a girl could as for.
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I feel compelled to share why I feel it is important to create an heirloom cookbook of your own.
When I started creating my cookbook I thought it was just going to be a fun project. I mostly focused on having all of my recipes conveniently in one place. Of course, that’s what happened. It was going to be so great when each celebration came around grab one cookbook and have all that I needed in one place.
However, as I got going on the book I realized a few things.
The first step that I took in creating my book was to ask my kids and husband what recipes they wanted in the cookbook. I realized very quickly that they were very connected to these recipes. Some of these recipes they wouldn’t even let me NOT include in the cookbook! Some recipes they have me make every year even if they NEVER end up eating it because, TOO MUCH FOOD. I realized how much these foods connect us as a family. Many of the recipes in my cookbook go back to our first holidays together circa the late 1900s.
What recipes do you have that remind you of a family member? Are there meals you create that you just know your family will be so excited to eat? Does your chocolate chip cookie recipe take you to magical moments that you have shared as a family? These are the recipes you need to include in your very own cookbook!
The next thing I did was reach out to my family of origin and ask about their favorite recipes from our growing-up years. I realized these recipes connected me to my past. Many of these recipes I had to include in this cookbook because they were so important to me from my childhood. Food is a connection to the past.
Some of these recipes go deeper than me. For example, in the Christmas section of my cookbook, I have grandma Melba‘s cheese rolls. I have made these cheese rolls every Christmas as long as my husband and I have been married. I remember these cheese rolls every Christmas Eve growing up. After publishing my book I learned the most meaningful thing. My dad told me he can’t remember a Christmas without his mom, my Grandma Melba’s cheese rolls. They were made by his mother every year. My Grandmas died 42 years ago. These rolls are a tangible, delicious connection to her.
What recipes do you have that are on old yellowed 3×5 cards? Recipes that you know your Mom or Dad, got from their parents and possibly even farther back than that. I truly don’t even know how far back my Star Valley pudding goes in my ancestor. Seek out these old yellowed cards, or the cookbook with your Gigi’s beautiful handwriting. These are the recipes that need to be preserved and photographed.
I also realized I was creating something for my children to take with them into their own families. One of the first things my son said when I was creating the book was that he wanted a copy so his family could have these recipes. He was 16 at the time. I love that he wants to take these recipes into his family and that these recipes will be made by my children for their children. Through the process of making the book, I had time to teach and cook with my kids. We also had a chance for them to try some of my childhood favorites that I had not made for my own family. They LOVED Star Valley Pudding!
I haven’t lived near my family for 20 years. The recipes I have from my mom and my Mother-in-law keep me connected to them. As much as we hate to even think about it (for some of us it has already happened.) Our kids won’t always live near us. Your recipes can be a gift to them when they are away from home and want to feel connected to family and home.
I know, #4 covers a lot but I feel like it can be in one. The point is connection. Food is such an important connection to our families, our cultures, and our friendships. We have lived in many different places and made friend from all over the county and even the world. These are friends that were like family while we lived away. I learned recipes and different ways of cooking from many of these friends. I feel a connection to them as well as we eat the foods they introduced to us.
I know from my own personal experience how important it is to collect these recipes. To keep them in one place and to photograph each recipe so that your friends and family will know what that food looks and feels like toyou