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At the October 2009 meeting, attendees shared projects they have undertaken to share their family research. The following is just one of projects shared.

A Family Cookbook Project
by Elizabeth Howells

Genealogists may find putting together a family cookbook a most rewarding project. In my case, it combined my lifelong love of collecting recipes, photos, family stories, and genealogy research. My father’s large family had been having reunions forever, and many of the descendents of John and Elisabeth Grosskopf (my great-grandparents) had had a chance to know each other over the years, and the “family tree” was already done. When the word was put out that a cookbook was in the works, most wanted to contribute their special recipes. I especially wanted to include John and Elisabeth’s story in the book to interest the young people of the family in their history. I was lucky to have a talented sister and daughter to illustrate the book and another daughter’s boyfriend to help with the computer program used to put it all together.

There are many ways to do a cookbook. You can do it the simple way and use a commercial cookbook publishing company. You just send them the material and they do the rest. However, you must follow their guidelines and rules. One problem is including “extra writing” besides recipes. It can get expensive and you may not be completely satisfied with the results.

For such an important project, we wanted to do things our own way. We wanted a larger size (7 x 9”) and we wanted to use all of our own artwork and photos. Most of the recipes had a little story or comment attached. We wanted high-quality materials and no page limits. It was 174 pages, spiral-bound, with laminated front and back covers, indexed, and cardstock dividers of the chapters.

I spent about two weeks typing all the recipes and stories onto a Word Document. Then everything was put into a program called Open Office. That ended up on a flash drive, which was taken to the printer. A trial copy was printed and quite a few corrections and edits made. Then the final copies were printed.

The printer I used was Printz Plus in Watkinsville. They were very helpful in every step of the project, from the initial consultation to the final printing. I felt better about not having to mail everything to a distant site and then waiting to have the books shipped back. Printz Plus had it all done by the next day. We had one hundred copies made and the final cost per book was about $11 each.

I hope this information might be helpful to anyone contemplating such an undertaking. It is hard work, but worth it. It is a chance to be creative and use all the years of family research you’ve done. Be sure to contact me if you have questions, as I couldn’t give all the details here.

Sample pages from this cookbook can be viewed by clicking the images below.


 

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last update Sunday, 13-Dec-2009 12:15:01 MST

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