In my last post, I shared many of our family’s Austrian treats. My mother’s talent for cooking and baking passed me over but thankfully my siblings (and our kids) inherited her genes and are darn good in the kitchen.
In most families, the kitchen is THE place to be. The central gathering place. The place where traditions are made and memories run deep. Our family is no different. After my mother married Al Falcone, the kitchen became even more important. The introduction of Italian cusine was life-changing! I like to say I am Italian “by osmosis.”
In 2010 my siblings and I created a family cookbook in order to preserve and share our family recipes. “Alfie” had passed away by then (May 24, 2004) but his memory was brought back to life through this project. We presented the book to Mom on Christmas Eve 2010. Little did we know that would be her last Christmas. She passed on Dec. 2, 2011.
Putting the book together was a wonderful experience. It was my very first time using a self-publishing site. Through the process, I discovered I loved writing! I have since written and published at least six other books, most on the lulu.com site.
In 2009, lulu.com provided a simple cookbook template. I simply “plopped” in the photos and typed the recipes and stories in the appropriate places. That site no longer offers templates but many others such as Shutterfly and Mixbook do. I’ve used both sites and were quite pleased with the results. One suggestion: create your book whenever you want, but wait for a sale to order. I created a huge (11×14) hardcover book with 66 full-color pages on Shutterfly to memorialize our 2018 European cruise. The cost would have been $203.32. I waited for a 50% off sale and saved a bunch! Holidays and Black Friday are good times for sales.
I encourage everyone to create a family recipe book. Include not only recipes but family photos and stories about the people and events. With the variety of self-publishing sites available today it is pretty simple and affordable.
This year marks 10 years since we created “Omi’s Kitchen.” Our family has changed. There have been marriages and births and sadly, deaths. I look forward to connecting with family to create “Omi’s Kitchen 2.0.” Our story continues…