Every family has some recipes that are traditions, recipes that pop up on holidays and at special gatherings that really complete the table. Even if your family wasn’t comprised of cooks who could hold their own in an Iron Chef challenge, there was always at least one or two dishes that you looked forward to. The problem with these family recipes is that many of them were not shared widely, if they were passed on at all, and that means that the traditition might be harder to keep up as time goes by. Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Desserts and Ideas for Preserving Family Recipe is all about preserving those family favorites, starting with recipes that were part of the author’s own family traditions.
The book is broken down into four sections: Preserving, Celebrating, Giving and Creating. Celebrating centers around holidays, birthdays and other gatherings, with recipes that are sure to be a hit at parties. Giving features recipes that are ideal for gift-giving occasions, from simple housewarmings to edible gifts that you can pack and ship around the holidays. Creating offers recipes to serve as inspiration for starting new family traditions, with some flavors and formats that your grandmother probably wasn’t using or that have only recently become family favorites. The recipes are fun to read through because you get a sense of family just from flipping the pages, and you can feel the warmth that the author gets from each and every dish. The recipes – unlike your grandmother’s recipe cards – are clearly written and easy to follow, so you’ll get great results every time.
The format of this book is wonderful, because it not only gives you a good resource in the form of included recipes, but it inspires you to start putting together your own volume of recipes to keep – and perhaps pass on – as a tribute to your own family. The Preserving section, which is at the beginning of the book, outlines some tips for collecting family recipes, starting with how to gather the recipes and how to document and store them. You might opt to start a family blog, or you might stick with a traditional recipe book. No matter which format, you’ll put together a collection that you will cherish for years to come, and you’ll find that you get at least as much satisfaction from putting together a family treasure as you might from baking and sharing a wonderful batch of chocolate cookies.