5 Tips for Preserving Family Recipes and a Grandparents Day Tribute #SundaySupper

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5 Tips for Preserving Family Recipes and a Grandparents Day Tribute #SundaySupper

National Grandparents Day #SundaySupper
Preserving family recipes and then trying to replicate them isn’t easy. Sometimes that’s because Grandma never wrote anything down. Often, it’s because we didn’t or couldn’t spend the time to cook with her or ask how she makes the world’s best apple pie.

If you are lucky enough to have your grandparents still in your family’s life, don’t waste any more time. Use these 5 tips to document the recipes you want to preserve and pass on to the next generation.

Cook and write. If it’s possible, take the time to cook with your grandparents. While they are cooking, watch and write what they do. There’s a good chance that there won’t be a lot of measuring. They don’t need to measure because they know by look, feel and taste how things should be. Without being too much of a pain, ask them to stop while you measure that pinch or handful.

Get the story. Bring a recording device and interview them about the recipe. The story of how it came about might be even better than the dish itself. We are a nation of immigrants and so many favorite family recipes came from somewhere else. They are our histories. While you are asking questions about the origin of the recipe, ask the cook to share tips. This will help you re-create the recipe as closely as you can.

Archive recipe cards. If Grandma has a recipe box full of handwritten, splattered recipe cards, thank your lucky stars. These are as precious as the dishes that result from them. You will want to save them as long as you can, but you can also scan them in to your computer (front and back) and make a scrapbook (or cookbook) out of them to share with everyone in your family. Splotches and all.

Take photos. Bring your phone into the kitchen and takes lots of photos of the cook, the preparation process and the final dish. This will help you re-create the dish on your own. Selfies are good, too.

Host a family potluck. Invite everyone over and ask each family member to bring a dish from the grandparents’ recipe boxes. Make the grandparents the guests of honor and get their critiques on the food. (Tell them to take a day off!) How close did everyone get? Remember, the idea is to replicate the spirit of the dish. Truth is, an exact copy is not possible. Close is good enough.

The Sunday Supper tastemakers have been thinking about family food a lot this week as they gather recipes to celebrate National Grandparents Day, which is always the first Sunday after Labor Day. That’s today!

Join us at 7 p.m. ET tonight for what will surely be a nostalgic Twitter chat about the food our grandparents made. Follow the hashtag #SundaySupper. We are eager to hear your stories. To get your memories flowing, check out the day’s menu:

Sweets that are the Sweetest

Savory Meals with Special Memories

5 Tips for Preserving Family Recipes and a Grandparents Day Tribute by Sunday Supper

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Janet K. Keeler

Award-winning journalist Janet K. Keeler was the longtime food and travel editor of the Tampa Bay Times in St. Petersburg, Fl. She is now an assistant professor of journalism and food writing at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. Janet retired from daily newspaper journalism in April 2015, ending a 35-year career. She has been a news reporter, copy desk chief, and features editor. She is also the author of “Cookielicious: 150 Fabulous Recipes to Bake & Share,” which was published in 2010 by Seaside Publishing.

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Posted on

September 13, 2015


  1. I love all these suggestions! Too bad our grandparents weren’t bloggers 😉

  2. So many great tips! I wish I had more of Grannys hand written splattered recipe cards those are like Gold!


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