Family Favourites

For years I’ve been tearing out recipes from magazines and just stuffing them in a plastic folder.

Some of the recipes have become firm favourites, which I make over and over again.

But even they are just pulled out and stuffed back in the folder getting tattier and grubbier each time.

So, I’ve been thinking about making my own personal cookbook and not getting anywhere and then Ali spent a wonderful looking day making this, with her and that was it.

Inspiration at last!









One trip to the charity bookshop and £4 later I have a vintage, yellowing copy of ‘The Modern Encyclopedia’ (which is so modern it doesn’t have a listing for computer).

Now the beauty of using an encylopedia for my recipes is that it is already alphabetical and there are a lot of pages for each letter and some of the ingredients have even been illustrated.

I sat up way too late last night cutting and sticking (the photos are from old ‘Toast’ catalogues) and managed to make 3 recipes.





















The plan is to include only the recipes that everyone here loves and which I have made so many times I barely need to read the method (I can never remember the ingredients).

And I also have grand plans to teach my boys how to make every recipe in it too.

I have this idea that the food we really love to eat, and the recipes we make over and over again will over time become the essence of our family life. Of the boys childhood even.

Don’t you find that the taste and smell of something wonderful can really flood you with memories?


21 Responses to “Family Favourites”

  1. Ali Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Janet, it is WONDERFUL! I love the lettering on the edges (may have to borrow that inspiration).

    I have our own family cookbook, but it is not a thing of beauty. It is also nearly full. Perhaps I should try harder with volume 2!

  2. Julia Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Wow … what a good idea for the contents of a book. I’m not sure I am clever enough to make a beautiful book though!

  3. Nanette Says:
    May 16th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    Janet you never cease to amaze me. What a lovely idea. So clever. My best recipes are my oldest! And what a great way to collect them together.

  4. Claire Says:
    May 17th, 2008 at 11:57 am

    This is such a fantastic idea – it really works because you have chosen an alphbetical book – I love it.

  5. Rachael Rabbit Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    This is such an amazing and beautiful idea – it will become the most treasured family heirloom for sure!

  6. monica Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    this is soooo gorgeous I hardly know what to say. I’ve been searching charity shops for old books too… but sadly I found nothing.

    Please, carry on with this, it’s too special.

  7. simone Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Your book is coming on marvelously. Please keep us updated on its progress. I may have to try the peach ice cream!

  8. julie Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    what a fab idea – it will certainly turn into a wonderful heirloom with lots of happy memories associated with each recipe sandwiched inbetween the pages too!

  9. Megan Says:
    May 19th, 2008 at 7:59 pm

    That’s a really great idea, Janet! I think it will be a true family heirloom.

  10. lucy Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 12:50 am

    This is just brilliant! I love the stamped title, and the way you’re using the existing illustrations as part of the recipes.

  11. thevintagemagpie Says:
    May 20th, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Janet, I could kiss you! This idea is wonderful, and I was just logging onto your site to ask you if you wouldn’t mind me borrowing your Carrot Cake recipe idea for my daughter’s party. I want to make the party bags more eco friendly (out with the plastic rubbish) so, having already been inspired by the carrot cake recipe illustration that you sent me, I was going to make up a chocolate muffin recipe sheet to put in the party bags along with some muffin cases. But now, I need to make it more like your peach ice cream recipe. I hope you don’t mind me using your idea for her party bags… I may even throw some seeds in as well, and get the little blighters cooking and planting over the weekend!! Thanks once again for the wonderful inspiration.

  12. Carol Says:
    May 21st, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    What a fabulous idea – thank you so much for sharing.

  13. Toffee sauce Says:
    November 7th, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    […] The original recipe is from ‘Apples for Jam’ Tessa Kiros, but here it is from my family favourites recipe book: […]

  14. Refreshments Says:
    July 2nd, 2009 at 9:01 am

    […] Here’s the recipe (can’t remember where it came from originally, sorry) from my family favourites recipe book. […]

  15. Pip Lincolne Says:
    July 12th, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    This is the best idea I’ve seen in a LONG LONG TIME!
    You are so clever!!!! x

  16. Emjie Says:
    July 13th, 2009 at 3:15 am

    This is just so… so cool. I love the way you think.

  17. MsGourmet Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 9:34 am

    What a wonderful idea!

  18. ROOM design studio Says:
    July 15th, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Wow this is so smart! I love this so much! must try to make it ! Im happy to find your blog !

  19. Caitlin McColl Says:
    August 7th, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Wow this is such a fantastic idea! I’m in love with it – will start searching for an old encyclopedia tomorrow!

  20. Alicia P. Says:
    August 17th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Wow — that is absolutely gorgeous. You are so clever!

  21. Le rat des fils Says:
    October 4th, 2012 at 5:21 am

    Very good idea, I love it !

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