A Family Recipe

My mom always kept her recipes in a little flowered binder that she stored above the sink. It was wedged between random cookbooks and other recipes, but I knew the recipes in that binder were special. 

That’s where she kept the recipe for the red velvet cake she made for her sister’s wedding, and the secrets for making perfect gingersnap cookies like we made dozens of times for my dad. It holds classic cookie recipes and twists on traditional favorites like the spaghetti my grandma used to make that my mom apparently hated. It’s packed with meals and desserts I grew up eating, and so many that I can’t wait to make.

The book has been used so many times that the pages are practically translucent from splattered butter and oil, sprinkles of sugar and flour, and other ingredients that fly around when baking in the kitchen. 

This recipe book is vintage in the best form—it’s a collection of my past, my mom’s past, my grandma and grandpa’s past, and even my great grandmas’ past. When my grandma gave the recipe book to my mom she made little comments about each recipe, which, I think, is priceless.

When I was home over the holidays I asked my mom if I could take the book and make copies of all the recipes. I knew she’d never give up the actual flowered binder, so borrowing it and making copies seemed like the next best option. 

Seven months after taking her binder, I finally made the copies, and now I have them in my own little binder. My pages are brand new and spotless, but they hold a history very close to my heart…and stomach. I’m beyond anxious to make the recipes in there and share them with my husband, and I’m even more excited to eventually pass them down to my children someday.


  1. That is so awesome. What a treasure! I totally want that book myself lol
    Yay that you finally got the copies for your own book.

  2. I'm sure you can see the tears falling down my cheeks as I read am reading this!
    I am honored that you want to use the recipes in this book! I hope you will let me know when you do!

  3. P.S. In case your grandmother reads this… I didn't hate the spaghetti sauce, I was young and just didn't like the green olives in it!
    I'm sure that I would love it now! (You should make it for us when Jess is back in town!)

  4. I hand copied all my recipes this past year and put them in personalized looseleaf cookbook binders for each of my four children this past Christmas. They were definitely well received!

  5. Okay – so when you come home soon, I will make the spaghetti that we love but your mom does not, and she can pick out the green olives. So glad you are pleased with some really OLD recipes! Your poppy would be so proud!

  6. aww your comment section is always so cute. hehe. I love to come back and see what "your mom" and "your grandma" have posted. It is great to see such love. You ladies are so rad!

  7. OK, if I've said it once, I'll say it a million times. I love your mom, and your grandmom. How cute is it that they come and comment for you? Such love!

    Sadly, my aunt and mother do not share the same sense of passing down and have stolen my grandmothers recipe as a means of outdoing eachother at family gatherings. It breaks my heart that recipes will be lost forever as a means of selfishness. Hubs and I got a really cool family recipes binder when we got married that I can't wait to pass down should we ever have children!

  8. Beautiful! It's amazing that you were able to make your own copy of the binder, and can hopefully share them with your own (future) family!

  9. So cool! I wish my grandma had kept her recipes somewhere other than in her head. Her recipes died with her. 🙁 I'm so glad you were able to borrow this book and make your own copies to make memories with!

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