Preserving Family Recipes

Jeanette Terry from Wild Abandon Kitchen is joining us today. She's got a fun and thoughtful idea for keeping those sacred family recipes from fading away...

I can remember baking with my mom and flipping through a wooden box of handwritten index cards to find just the right recipe. Any card with jam covered fingerprints, well worn corners, or streaks of oil across the text was the sign of a family favorite. I could recognize a recipe instantly by the handwriting. Mom's left-handed artistically flowing letters, Nana's large and loopy text, or Great Grandma's hurried letters were each as obvious as the ingredients listed. And now that Great Grandma and Nana are no longer with us, their handwriting is all the more precious to me.

I feel a special connection whenever I prepare and serve a family recipe, but there's also something special about preserving the recipe itself as a keepsake. Here are two ideas for your cherished recipes and family handwriting.

Tea Towels

A few years ago my best friend surprised me with four custom made tea towels printed with a family recipe on each. It was incredibly thoughtful, unique, and even practical! Of course you can display or frame the towels, but she chose linen canvas and it is such a workhorse in my kitchen. I reach for them often for a variety of tasks, though my favorite use is for covering bread as it rises. My best friend is well versed in Photoshop and used Spoonflower to upload and print the recipes on to fabric. Here's a tutorial from Spoonflower's blog using Photoshop, though a quick search of "recipe tea towel" on Etsy will yield several shops that will do it for you if Photoshop is not your forte.


Cutting Boards

I was at a craft show this past fall and saw wooden cutting boards engraved with family recipes and thought what a genius idea. Perfect for those who entertain or like to leave a cutting board out on the island or maybe propped against the backsplash, these are another beautiful way to display a recipe. Again, Etsy has a host of shops custom making these with your uploaded photo. Simply search "personalized recipe cutting board" for plenty of options.


Cutting board image courtesy of The Cutting Board Shop via Etsy

You can find Jeanette online at or on Instagram @wildabandonkitchen.