My First Cookbook Conservation, Part I
This project began when I was cleaning out a closet and came across a plastic bag full of scraps of paper and one faded composition notebook that I inherited years ago after my Grandmother Swan’s death. The rag tag collection promised to contain valuable family secrets like her perfect pie crust, dozens of fruit bread recipes, and the fluffy spoon rolls that were a family Thanksgiving tradition before she passed. And after an afternoon of sorting and reading I realized this cook book was more than just her recipes, the look and feel of the recipes themselves was a wonderful family archive.
In my digging I found documents that each had their own stories: a fish chowder recipe that my late father obtained by bribing a country club chef, or a simple chicken and rice recipe on letterhead from the neighbor that my aunt worked for as a nanny. This collection I realized was about more than the food and so I began think about a way to conserve and modernize the cookbook without losing the family history. It was going to be key that the archive was usable as a cookbook, printable, and easy to share with family spread across the country.
Read part II here.