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Restoring The Family Cookbook

Back when I was in middle school, my mom’s first cousins put together this awesome family cookbook. It’s really neat because it even has recipes in it that are from my great-grandparents. Since I am a sucker for preserving recipes for the next generation, it has made me sad that my parents very well-loved cookbook was falling apart. Obviously, that just meant that they use it A LOT, they love it so much. So, the last time I went down to visit I tried to sneak it out of the house so that I could repair it for them, but the stinkers use it so much that they noticed and needed a recipe before I could even take it home. The cat was out of the bag because I had to go fish it out of my car so they could use it.  Ha ha…even though the surprise was ruined, it still turned out pretty nice.  

So, here is their before. Like I said, it was falling apart. No the recipes on the top page aren’t smudged that badly, I just didn’t want to post those recipes so I blurred them out. 

When my mom bought hers, she also bought one for each of her children. I giddily awaited for mine and when I moved out of their house I finally got it. I use mine a lot too, but it has several less years of use on it, so thankfully I had a copy with everything in order to be able to put their pages where they needed to go.

I decided that while I was at it, I was going to do some preventive fixing so that mine wouldn’t fall apart too. So, I took the binding off of mine in preparation to put the pages in protective sheets.

Next, I went through and numbered all the pages so that I would know where all the pages in my parents book needed to go.

To simplify the process, I went through all the pages of my parents cookbook and put them in the right general category. That way, I only had to go through a small chunk of pages at a time to get them matched up and in the right order.

Which made putting them in order really quick…like I did the whole thing in about a half hour.

Here it is in the plastic sheets. This one is mine. 

As I was going through, I noticed that my parents were missing a few pages. I used some Post-it Page Markersto keep track of what I needed to make copies of and where they needed to go.

When I finished making the copies that my parents needed, I scanned in the whole book and made a larger copy for my grandparents (to make it easier to read). That took several hours, but I hear that they love having a copy so it was worth it.

This one is theirs in a standard sized 3 ring binder.

Well, here is the finished product for my parents. The original cookbooks were made with each page on a half-page so these binders are much smallerand finding the right sized protective sheetswas a little tough, but I’ve wanted to do this for them for a while so it was also worth it needing to look around for a bit.

This is all three books together…just for fun.

I realized that a lot of my relatives don’t have copies so I made sure to scan it in and turn it into a pdf. Though it is a copy of a copy of a copy that I had also written in a little bit, but it’s better than nothing…plus, it is surprisingly clear considering that is what it is. These family members can contact me and I am more than happy to forward them the pdf so that they can print it out if they want. I didn’t quite have enough cash to do individual books for my girls too, so having a pdf copy will be nice so I can just print it out and put it in the protective pages whenever I decide to do it. Doing it this way is a little more expensive than just getting it bound, but it will last way longer since you can just wipe off any spills…which I am terrible about, spilling on cookbooks.  I hope you enjoyed this post, if so, please share it. Thanks. ~Sarah

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