How to Create a Digital Family Cookbook
By Ruth O'Neil
Over the years, families develop and cook recipe after recipe. Some of these recipes work their way through several generations and some even begin their journey in other countries. People like to protect those treasured family recipes and creating a digital cookbook is one of the ways you can do just that. Digital cookbooks allow all the members of the family to have a copy without having to spend a lot of money on printing and publishing costs.
Send a message to all of your family members. Ask them to send you their favorite recipes. Request that they send the recipes through email, if possible, so you do not have to re-type every single one. Ask people to send interesting stories that might go along with each recipe to include in the cookbook.
Collect the recipes in a file on your computer. Open a recipe email. Click "Control" and "A" to select the entire recipe if they wrote it in the body of the email. Press "Control" and "C" to copy the recipe. Open a blank Word document. Click the page of the document and press "Control" and "V" to paste the recipe into the new document. Press "Control" and "S" to save the recipe.
Print all the recipes and arrange them in whatever order you want for your cookbook. Sort them by categories, such as appetizers, main dishes and desserts. Use different branches of the family as a basis for sorting the recipes.
Open another new document in your Word program. Start adding the recipes to your cookbook by copying and pasting the recipes from the previously saved files. Add the recipes in the order you chose. Format the recipes in the font style and color you prefer.
Read over your cookbook, carefully looking for typos and mistakes in the recipes. Take special note of the ingredients lists.
Go to an online site to create a PDF file of your cookbook (see Resources). Follow the directions for uploading your Word file and creating the PDF document.
Send the PDF cookbook file as an email attachment to all the family members who want a copy of the cookbook, or print it to send in the mail.
- Software is available specifically for developing cookbooks if you prefer to use it instead of Word.
- You can add pictures to your cookbook using the same copy and paste method as for the recipes. Use the arrows at the corners of the pictures to change their size.
- Make sure to save your cookbook document every once in a while as you add the recipes. This prevents you from losing your work in case of power outages or the computer accidentally coming unplugged.