Family Recipes

I am not the first food writer in my family.  That honor belongs to my Aunt Gerry.  I’m not sure when she put these two cookbooks together.  My copies were given to me by Grandma and are dated 1987.

I use these two little cookbooks frequently.  They contain some of the best recipes from my family.  Even though I cook from the books often, it had been a long time since I’d read the notes at the front of each book written by Aunt Gerry.  I think she captures the feelings of all recipe lovers in this note: 

Dear Friend:

Just what you needed was ANOTHER COOKBOOK – Right?  Well, here it is! Recipes from Special People for Special People.

My book is a collection of the best recipes I have tried.  Some are my own, others given to me and some – I do not know where they came from – but they are all very good.

I have always enjoyed baking and hope you find you will enjoy it with the recipes here.  You will receive many, many compliments, I am sure.

A recipe is never really any one person’s – as it travels through many hands, some are bound to improve on it, regardless of how good it originally was.  Perhaps you will do that with these recipes.  Enjoy!


Aunt Gerry was passionate about preserving family memories and history and these cookbooks were one way she did that.  She knew that recipes for Cabbage Rolls and Noodles and Banana Cake are more than lists of ingredients.  They are family memories, special because of the people.

Maybe you are one of the people in your family who preserves memories and history through recipes.  Keep it up! It’s an important role.

Aunt Gerry passed away this week after a difficult and painful battle with cancer.  I’m so thankful for the memories she shared with us, the stories told through food.

Do you have someone in your family who keeps the history through food? 

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  1. My mom made cookbooks for my sisters and me. I love it and treasure it.

  2. So sorry to hear about your Aunts passing. She sounds like a wonderful lady. I was given a handwritten cookbook from my Grandma as a wedding gift. I love it. My sister Nancy and I keep her legacy going as we make many of her “five star” recipes.

  3. God bless your Aunt Gerry and her family.

  4. What a great remembrance of family history. Prayers to your family.

  5. so sorry for your loss. I love my family recipes and feel a little inspired to pass those down now. I especially love the hand written note she left inside the front cover…….those days seem to have passed as well.

  6. So sorry for your loss. My mom didn’t really make her own cookbooks, but she put together cookbooks for a ladies club she belonged to and one of the churches she was a member of. I still have copies of these fundraiser cookbooks. She’s also perfectly willing to give her standard recipes to me whenever I call.

  7. Unfortunately our family doesn’t have a recipe keeper, but I’m changing that as I have compiled a bunch! Hopefully, our son will remember coming home from school, me in the kitchen whipping up a sinful dessert and delicious dinner for the evening. There’s so much to enjoy about home cooked, whole foods in this time of fast foods, chain restaurants and convenience foods. Thanks for sharring your Aunt Gerry’s story! My she always be remembered fondly.

  8. We don’t have a recipe keeper either so I’m going to assume that role for our family. My hope is to create a family recipe book that I can then pass on to my children when they leave home. I have a junior in high school so I need to get on it! Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kathy Huffman says:

    So sorry for your loss, sounds like your Aunt Gerry was a treasure. I have a couple family cookbook, think I will dig them out now & just read over the notes. Thanks for sharing your Aunt Gerry’s story with us.

  10. My mom gave all of her kids a wonderful gift one year of our favorite family recipes paired with pictures and stories of how the recipes came to be and why they’re important to our family. It’s so cool! And, because it’s in a three ring binder in page protectors, we keep adding to it every year. I think it’s so important to pass on food traditions.

  11. I’m so sorry to read of your beloved aunt’s passing. What a treasure her cookbooks are/will be. How wonderful you have them…worn and tattered ones are the very best. I’m the one in my family who carries on my mom’s recipes and traditions. I’m the only girl in my family and my 3 brothers and families appreciate the things I do to remind them of mom’s special dishes. I have my own cookbook too, and it’s filled with, not only recipe notes, but pages of family history, in form of favorite memories of my parents, to treasure in our hearts always, from my 3 brothers and 3 children.

  12. What a sweet tribute to your Aunt Gerry. I am sorry for your loss of her, but so glad you have a great link to her memory through her recipes.

  13. My Grandma was great about passing on recipes, stories, and pictures. They mean so much to us know that she is gone. Your Aunt Gerry’s cookbook will continued to be treasured!

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