Handwritten Recipes for Christmas

I'm always up for hearing Christmas gift ideas early, and get a head start every year--so I thought I would share what I did for my HUGE family last year, when we were on a tight budget.  It turned out so special, and there wasn't a dry eye in the Christmas gathering.

My Mom loved to cook for her family.  She wasn't the kind of cook that, if she would have had a blog, all her recipes would be re-pinned 500,000 times.  But to her family, her food was the kind that we could eat 500,000 times and it would never get old.  Her food tasted like growing up in our home; like the sanctuary of loved ones after a long workday; like the kitchen radio playing softly in the background, and laughing together around the table, long after the plates had been licked clean.

Last year, I tearfully went through hers and Grandma's cookbooks and found so many of our treasured dishes written in their own hand.  Handwritten recipes are so precious.  Especially the ones dating as far back as the late 1800s, like my Grandma's (Dad's Mom) pie crust and Mom's homemade tortillas (her Mom's recipe)--all in their familiar penmanship.  Some of them had humorous cooking notes, which makes me make such notes on MY recipes when I fill out my cards.

Last year, I was at a loss for my huge family's Christmas gifts (especially on a slim-to-no budget).  So I decided to photocopy all of Mom and Grandma's handwritten recipes and give those as gifts.  I simply photocopied them, printed them on multi-colored cardstock, and tied them with ribbon into bunches.  Even including a bit for the printer ink, I spent approximately $30-40 for this project, and it covered 22+ people for Christmas.

I'm so happy that my Mom and Grandma did this, and that I can pass these down to my girls. You could even go so far as to interview family members about their favorite family recipes, and include those on the backs of the cards.  If you have a Dad who is the family cook, encourage him to write his favorites down, too!  Things like this will be treasured for generations, and make extra special Christmas gifts.