Make a Family Recipe Cookbook - October 2022

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Memories of food are an important part of family history: cooking with your mother, holiday meals at your grandparents, or snacks with your siblings. Many of these tasty memories come with recipes. If you want to organize and share your family’s food past then join Gena Philibert-Ortega for this one-week workshop to learn about the connection between food history and genealogy and get ideas for how to organize (or create) a collection of family recipes.

Make a Family Recipe Cookbook

Family history is more than just names, dates, and places. Our family history story involves the day-to-day events and activities of our ancestor’s lives. What our ancestors ate, prepared for family gatherings, and cooked for friends tells us more about their lives than when we solely concentrate on names, dates, and places. Food reflects, ethnic roots, culture, religious views, and the places our ancestors were from. Female ancestors are difficult to trace but their lives can be reconstructed (and sometimes discovered) because of food. Women’s names, absent from records, can sometimes be found in community cookbooks, newspaper food articles, and on the recipe cards that some family historians are lucky to inherit. Food history is one way to preserve our family history.

DATE: October 17, 2022 - October 23, 2022

In this course we will discuss food history in relation to family history and then we will discover ways to preserve our family's food history by documenting heirlooms and gathering recipes. We will then learn how to take those family heirlooms and create cookbooks, recipe tea towels, and other items to give as gifts or to use in our own home. Finally, we will discuss ways to share that family food history including social media tools such as Pinterest.

What You’ll Learn:

Lesson 1: Food and Family History

  • Social History and Your Ancestor
  • Food History
  • What Did My Ancestor Eat
  • Food History and our Female Ancestors
  • Food Traditions

Lesson 2: Picking and Finding Recipes

  • Collecting and editing recipes to be used for projects
  • What to do if you have no recipes. What sources should you consult?
  • Should every recipe you use be “old?”
  • Where to look for recipes
  • What to do if you have too many recipes

Lesson 3: Archive, Preserve and Organize Recipe Cards and Clippings

  • Not Every Recipe is on a Card
  • How do we preserve recipe cards
  • Organizing Recipes: Things to Consider
  • Physical and Digital Organization Options

Lesson 4: Share Your Family Recipes

  • Create Your Own Family Recipe Cookbook
  • Other ways to Share: Recipes on Tea Towels, Facebook, and more Example: Preserving recipe cards
  • Example: Putting together a family cookbook (online, software, self-publish options)

Lesson 5: More Kitchen and Recipe Fun

  • Documenting heirlooms in the kitchen (cookbooks, utensils, china, linens, etc.)
  • Creating a Scrapbook
  • Starting a Blog
  • Using Pinterest to find, share, and curate your family food history


About the Instructor

Gena Philibert-Ortega

Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include the book, From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes (F+W Media, 2012). She has also written numerous articles published in magazines and online, as well as four editions of the Tracing Your Ancestors series from Moorshead Publishing. She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine, Crossroads. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Webinars blogs. Her research interests includes tracing female ancestors, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture.

How do Family Tree University workshops work?

Take the course at your own pace! 

From the course start date, you’ll be able to log in to view and access your lessons and start interacting on the discussion boards. Your instructor will check in regularly to answer all of the questions and provide feedback. You will have access to your courses anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone, and can study when it's most convenient for you.

After the course end date, the course will become read-only for one year. You will continue to have access through your dashboard to the materials, but the discussion boards will be closed. The materials are yours to keep. You can download them onto your desktop to access online or offline.

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