Family Cookbook– More, Please!

March 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm 2 comments

Our family cookbook, published by Gateway Publishing Co, Ltd.

Our cookbook came off the press and was shipped last October; we had it in time for our family Christmas dinner in late November. And though most of the books had already been distributed, a good deal of buzz travelled around the room that day as people turned pages in a copy for the first time, as they leaned in together to point out their recipes, some of which had been used for our Christmas potluck dinner that day.

Our cookbook is more than a cookbook; it’s a piece of history.  In it are photos of family groups, their  children and grandchildren, all descendants of the late William and Ardena Herlick, my maternal grandparents. The gathering of material, pictures, recipes and stories took a great deal of time and extra prodding, but those who contributed are pleased, as are those who now have a copy.

My cousins and I thought a cookbook would a good way to record our history. The project took longer, as many do, and became more detailed than even I could imagine. But eventually, this writer, editor, and project manager, along with my most helpful assistant, Peggy, got the project together and off to press.

William and Ardena on their wedding day

Even months after, I’m hearing, ” I like that recipe.”  Then someone answering, “It’s in the cookbook.”

I’ve tried a few new recipes from the book too, some that have become new favourites. My mother, who has always enjoyed trying new recipes, is also delighted with the recipes and also for the history of her family that it represents, and that the project concluded in such a pleasing way.

My mother and her siblings grew up in the country on a farm in a time when money was often scarce, when their parents stretched every resource they had to feed and clothe their eight children, making the best use their large garden produce and the cattle, pigs and chicken they raised for food. The depression was a challenging time, but my mother said they were protected from many harsh realities of that period.

As a member of the next generation, I sought to frame much of what I had learned and that my cousins and I had experienced in our growing up years, values and learning that our parents passed on.  As it relates to our gathering around the table for meals and times of celebration with one another:

“We recognized our blessings, one, that we have never gone hungry, but also that our family has been blessed with so many good cooks, men and women who know how to take good quality meat, fruit and vegetables and create a tasty meal, and a family who, when we gather as an extended family, fills the table with home-cooked goodness.”    -from Introduction to More, Please!

The story is not over, of course; succeeding generations will write that part. Yet I hope, in time, they will take out their well-used copy of More, Please! and look at the pictures and stories once again, even if they choose to use only a few of the recipes within.

If you, the reader, should take on such a project, we wish you the best in your endeavour.

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Entry filed under: country living, family, history, lifestyle, writing family stories. Tags: , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. violet  |  March 24, 2011 at 1:57 am

    What a beautiful book, Carolyn. Good for you for seeing it through to the end – what a family treasure!

    Reply
    • 2. storygal  |  March 24, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Hello Violet,
      Thanks for your compliment.
      As I mentioned, it was a large project, but I am very pleased the way it turned out.

      Reply

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