Every family should have a recipe cookbook that will serve as an heirloom to be passed on from generation to generation.

Food and meals are an integral part of every family and family gathering. They are part of memories, both happy and sad. Every generation also has its distinctive recipes. However, traditional food recipes are handed throughout generations and are a part of the family’s history and legacy. These recipes should be preserved and should be immortalized. The only way to do that is to produce a family recipe book. One example is the book Generations of Good Food, a compilation of recipes by Eleanor Gaccetta.

Collect the Recipes

The first step is to gather as many family recipes as possible. You wouldn’t want to present just a handful of menus to friends and family. Research on the family’s history and study what types of food your ancestors prepared. Sure, some recipes might be too common or ordinary, but the trick is to present them with a twist. You can add a unique story behind the recipe or perhaps a secret ingredient or an extra process.

Segregate Recipes

Once you have gathered enough menus, it’s time to divide the recipes into different categories. You may create categories such as meals, desserts, pastries, unique recipes, a secret one, or you may divide them into decades or generations. The goal is for easy presentation and order. In some cases, recipes are presented as timelines marking special moments and milestones of the family’s history.

Take Quality Pictures

This is another essential part of your family recipe book. Visuals should be stunning, and still-life photographs of food and ingredients should captivate your audience and tell the story you want people to learn about your family and the recipes they shared for generations. It is best to hire professional food photographers for this project to ensure quality.

Choose the Design 

From the book cover to page designs to the authorial spine, it is important to discuss and brainstorm its design. The family recipe book will serve as an heirloom and be presented well. Aesthetic is a significant aspect of creating a recipe book. The design should represent what the family stands for and their legacy. Modern family recipe books choose minimalist designs, while ancient families prefer elaborate designs.

Execute the Layout

You can hire a professional graphic / layout artist for this one. Make sure to work closely with the artist so that you can achieve the desired design and at the same time receive professional insights and suggestions from the artists.

Do the Final Editing

Proofreading and structural editing are two essential steps before heading to the printing press. Make sure the spaces and spelling are correct. Although recipe books consist of texts and images, the words still make up most of your book, and you must ensure every word is correct. Make sure the font and font size are readable as well. Hiring a professional editor ensures your final product is not only edited correctly but you can submit it in a copy-ready format to a printer.  Having quality editing can make or break a publication.

Get a Quality Paper

The 80# gloss text is the recommended paper for recipe books that contain images and text. Most stay away from laid or lined paper finishes because they tend to destroy the print with their texture. Other options for fine print are 70# White Smooth Offset, 60# Natural Smooth Offset, and coated stocks for a much brighter and smooth finish.

Select Quality Print

Most recipe books opt for a glossy finish, so look for printing options that will help you get the said results. You can also visit a publishing expert and ask for suggestions on quality and printing costs. Just remember, this is a family heirloom, and quality is paramount.

Create Thick Jacket

Jackets make the book more elegant and expensive. But the primary use for a jacket is protection. If you want to preserve your family recipe book, make sure to design a thick and durable jacket.

Publish / Distribute

After printing, You can always choose to publish your family recipe book or distribute it among personal friends and family. Either way, a great family recipe book should be shared with others.

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