Sunday, January 27, 2013

Food For Thought 2013: January Prompt for Writing Your Food History

The theme for our January 2013 family food history writing prompt is Recipes.

From the Collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

What are the recipes that are important to your family? Do you have those go-to recipes you use for every holiday?

Take some time this month writing out those important family recipes. Too often I hear about recipes that die with the older generation because no one took them time to write them down. Not sure about recipe measurements? That's ok, why not take some time to document the recipe as you or another family member prepares it. Take photos of the ingredients and your version of a "pinch." Take photos of the entire process including the end result.

Have old family recipes written by your mother or grandmother? Use this opportunity to scan them, thus preserving them for other family members. Scan these recipes and then annotate them with additional information including memories of the recipe and any appropriate photos. Any funny stories behind that recipe? Add those to the mix.

Preserving these recipes are so important. The steps you take today, however small, can be used in the future as gifts for newly married family, at Christmas, or shared  on social media websites like Pinterest or even a  blog.

I would love to hear some of the ways you are preserving family recipes. Please use the comments to this post to share your efforts.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Food Friday: Appetizers from South Carolina

It's important to remember that the main reason behind publishing community cookbooks is that they were used to raise funds for the community. In some cases, the cookbook will provide information about what projects the funds will benefit.

Today's Food Friday comes from 300 Years of Carolina Cooking. (Including Game Preparation). Published by The Junior League  of Greenville, Inc. 1970. Tricentennial Edition.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

This cookbook includes a nice list of projects this Junior League has supported through their fundraising efforts.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

The other thing I like about this 318 page cookbook is that it appears to list the women's actual given names under their married names. So nice to see women identified by their given names.

Today's Food Friday is a page of appetizers from the book. I love appetizers and could eat meals of just them alone. One of the appetizers includes bacon which we know makes everything taste better.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

How to Archive Family Keepsakes Blog Book Tour: How to Preserve Vintage Cookbooks

(c) 2011 Used with Permission.

**Note from Gena:
I'm so happy to introduce this guest post from Denise Levenick, excerpted from her new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes. I feel strongly that in order to research female ancestors and preserve their stories we need to use the documents and heirlooms they left behind. Denise and I both have a passion for vintage cookbooks. An important aspect to documenting family history is preserving it for later generations. I know you will get some valuable tips in her guest post.

**Note from Denise:
Today’s Guest Post for the Blog Book Tour features an excerpt from my new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes on safely storing and organizing your vintage cookbook collection. Whether you have a single stained cookbook that once belonged to your grandmother, or bookshelves groaning with the weight of many volumes, I hope you will take the time to safely preserve your family keepsakes for the generations of cooks to come.

How to Preserve Vintage Cookbooks
Guest Post by Denise May Levenick, The Family Curator
author of How to Archive Family Keepsakes(Family Tree Books, 2012).

Most family collections include a few books-- high school and college yearbooks, favorite cookbooks, novels, or poetry volumes. Conservators recommend that stable bound books be stored upright on shelving unless they are rare or in poor condition when they should be stored flat and in protective archival boxes.
Before storing your family cookbooks, take time to carefully examine the volume for genealogical clues to your family history. You may find women’s maiden names, or clues to mothers, aunts and other elusive female relatives. Look through the book page by page for loose papers. Take note of favorite recipes, those with notes or tell-tale food stains!

Where to Store Old Cookbooks
For most of us, the best, and easiest place, to store family books is right in with our current volumes. Your bookcase is probably located in the temperate environment of your family room, living room, or den and relatively free from dust, insects, and extreme fluctuations in temperature or humidity.
If you decide to store vintage cookbooks in your kitchen, select a shelf where away from the cooking range where grease, heat, and dust can easily damage paper and bindings.
If you like to cook with your old cookbooks, consider covering the book with a protective book jacket, or using photocopies of favorite recipes. 

Catalog Your Cookbooks
Take time to write a brief history, or provenance, or your treasured cookbooks. Include the names (birth and death dates, and addresses if you know them) of previous owners. You could write the information in pencil on the flyleaf of your book, or on a piece of acid-free paper tucked inside the first pages.

If you have a large cookbook collection, you may want to catalog the books and include the ownership information in your inventory. Keep a copy in your archive or with your family history records so you remember what books you own and where they came from.
For help preserving old family recipe cards, see The Family Curator: 3 Recipes for Preserving Family Recipe Cards.

Organizing Options
1. Organize by subject.
2. Organize by owner or family if you are caring for the archives of several ancestors.

Storage Solutions
• Store printed books upright on home bookshelves or in your archival storage location.
• Store damaged or fragile books flat inside archival folders or closed boxes.

• Remove bookmarks and pressed flowers from pages of books.
Consider removing news clippings and replacing with photocopies on acid-free paper. The acid in newsprint can easily damage adjacent pages due from acid-migration.
• Take care when removing upright books from shelves. Do not pull the volume by the spine; instead push back on the volumes on either side and grasp the volume to remove.
• Avoid writing in rare or fragile books. Add identifying notes on a piece of archival paper inserted in the front of the book.
• Use a hose attachment to vacuum your bookshelves regularly to keep dust-free.

• Look for book and pamphlet storage options in archival catalogs.
• Protect the cover or dust jacket with clear archival plastic covers.

Resources for Archival Book Jackets:
Brodart <>
Gaylord Brothers <>
HollingerMetal Edge <>
from How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Records by Denise May Levenick (Family Tree Books, 2012). Copyright, 2012, Denise May Levenick. All Rights Reserved.
How to Archive Family Keepsakes(Family Tree Books, 2012) ISBN 1440322236
Paperback / eBook Family Tree Books,, Scribd, iBooks, Barnes& 10% Savings Coupon ShopFamilyTree.

Join the Blog Tour
Join the Blog Book Tour for How to Archive Family Keepsakes January 10-26, 2013 for author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more. Visit the Blog Book Tour Page at The Family Curator website for the complete schedule.
Proceeds from the sale of How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Book Tour will help fund the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant founded in 2010 in honor of Denise’s mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman.

Blog Book Tour Giveaways
Comment on daily Book Blog Tour Post
Tweet the Tour Twitter @FamilyCurator #keepsakebooktour
Share the Tour on FaceBook, Google+, Goodreads

It’s easy to enter to win a free copy of Denise’s new book or one of the weekly giveaway prizes. All you have to do is leave a comment to the Blog Tour Post hosted at one of the official tour blogs. Random winners will also be selected from social media comments on Twitter, FaceBook, and Google+.

Each blog tour post comment gives you one chance to win; one entry per post per day, please. Leave a comment at each stop on the blog tour and increase your chances of winning. The lucky names will be announced each Saturday during the tour at The Family Curator.

About the Author
In every family, someone ends up with “the stuff.” Denise May Levenick is a writer, researcher, and speaker with a passion for preserving and sharing family treasures of all kinds. She is the creator of the award-winning family history blog, The Family Curator and author of the new book How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn How to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia and Genealogy Records, (Family Tree Books, 2012).

Friday, January 11, 2013

Food Friday: Lobster from Missouri

This Food Friday is from a cookbook I wrote about in June 2012, the Directory and Cook Book. First Baptist Church, Maryville, Missouri. Unlike other community cookbooks, it begins with a list of all the women in the Ladies Auxiliary of the First Baptist Church. Individual recipes are not attributed.

This cookbook is one of the best examples of how community cookbooks are city directories of women. This lists each woman and her street address.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

For today's Food Friday I thought we should start the new year with some lobster. Here's a recipe for Lobster Salad.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

As you can see the recipe is more of a narrative and not in the standard recipe format we are accustomed to.

A look at the entire page that this recipe comes from shows an ad for Maryville Granite Works. Looking at older community cookbooks, it's not unusual to see ads for funeral homes and memorial makers.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega
This is not the only community cookbook that is a Directory and Cook Book, I've seen others online. Do you have one of these examples from your ancestor's community?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Join Me for the Family Curator's Book Tour

I love BOOKS! And I am so grateful to be able to showcase authors who have written great books that help preserve our family and food history. So I'm proud to announce that I am one of the bloggers hosting Denise Levenick's , a.k.a. The Family Curator, Book Tour for her new book, How to Archive Family Keepsakes.

A family's food history can include a variety of heirlooms, kitchen tools, cookbooks, recipe cards, ephemera,  table cloths, sliver, and china . Have heirlooms? The Family Curator can help you preserve, archive and hand down those items.

I love that all proceeds from sales from the book during this tour benefit the grant program Denise set up; the  2013 Student Genealogy Grantfounded in 2010 in honor of Denise’s mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman.

Please read below for more information and for the book tour schedule. Check back here on Thursday, January 22nd for Denise's Book Tour stop  on Food.Family.Ephmera.

Organize your family history heirlooms and research in 2013 -- 
Family Curator Blog Book Tour for How to Archive Family Keepsakes by Denise Levenick – On Tour from January 10-26th, 2013.

How to Archive Family Keepsakes: Learn to Preserve Family Photos, Memorabilia & Genealogy Recordswill be featured in a new Blog Book Tour January 10-26, 2013. With top reviews from leading genealogy bloggers and 5-Star Ratings on, this new resource by Denise Levenick, The Family Curator, will help you organize and preserve your family history heirlooms and research in 2013.

Visit 14 popular genealogy blogs and websites featuring Denise and How to Archive Family Keepsakes for book excerpts, interviews, special guest posts, free downloads, and giveaways.  View the schedule below and at the Blog Book Tour Page .

Thursday, January 10 – Welcome to the Blog Book Tour! at The Family Curator
Friday, January 11 – Meet and Greet Tour Schedule at GeneaBloggers
Saturday, January 12 – Book Excerpt & Podcast Interview at Genealogy Gems Podcast Blog

Sunday, January 13 – Guest Post & Review at Moultrie Creek
Monday, January 14 – Book Excerpt at 4 Your Family Story
Tuesday, January 15 – Guest Post at Olive Tree Genealogy
Wednesday, January 16 – Author Q and A at The Armchair Genealogist
Thursday, January 17 – Shades of the Departed
Friday, January 18 – Guest Post at Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories
Saturday, January 19 – Week 1 Giveaway Winners at The Family Curator

Sunday, January 20 – Book Excerpt at the Practical Archivist
Monday, January 21 – Guest Post at The In-Depth Genealogist
Tuesday, January 22 – Book Excerpt at Food. Family. Ephemera
Wednesday, January 23 – Review & Podcast Interview at Dear Myrtle
Thursday, January 24 – Book Excerpt at AnceStories
Saturday, January 26 – WrapUp and Week 2 Giveaway Winners at The Family Curator

How to Archive Family Keepsakes offers practical guidance for family historians:
     Helping a parent or loved one downsize to a smaller home
     Needing a simple, effective filing system for genealogy research
     Interested in scanning and making digital copies of genealogy records
     Looking for a way to preserve your family history and heirlooms for future generations

Proceeds from the sale of How to Archive Family Keepsakes during the Book Tour will help fund the 2013 Student Genealogy Grant founded in 2010 in honor of Denise’s mother, Suzanne Winsor Freeman.

About the Author
Denise Levenick lives in Southern California and inherited her love of family history along with a trunk filled with family treasures from her maternal grandmother. She is now the caretaker of several family collections and has adapted professional archival techniques to organize and preserve family keepsakes for a home situation. She is a frequent contributor to Family Tree Magazineand speaks to genealogy societies and service groups about preserving family treasures. Denise created The Family Curator blog in 2007 where she continues to write about her own family history research and preserving family keepsakes.

Join the Blog Book Tour for How to Archive Family Keepsakes January 10-26 for author interviews, book excerpts, giveaways, and more. Visit the Blog Book Tour Page at The Family Curator website for the complete schedule.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Food For Thought 2013: Monthly Prompts for Writing Your Food History

Whenever I talk  about family food history, genealogists and non-genealogists alike recount wonderful stories about the foods they grew up with, their fond memories of the cooks in their family, and even what the kitchens of their childhood looked like.

I am a big believer in preserving social history for those who are the family's future genealogists. Whether it’s a family history book, a blog, a family cookbook, scrapbook or a Pinterest board, when you share these family memories you are sharing your family history.

That sharing is easier said than done, believe me I know. Encouraging everyone to document their family food history is one thing but what about providing some tools to help?

That’s my motivation behind this series of monthly writing prompts for 2013. Here I will provide  ideas, questions, and images to help you document your immediate and past family food history. Whether it’s writing about your grandmother’s rhubarb pie or seeking out information about what your 3rdgreat-grandmother cooked on the Oregon Trail, these questions and resources will help you share your family’s food heritage.

Join me as we document family food history with these topics:

January - Recipes
February – The Kitchen
March – Family History
April - Cookbooks

May – Historical Eras
June – Food Production
July – Summer Food
August – Eating Out

September – School Days
October - Sweets
November - Thanksgiving
December – Holidays/Special Occasions

Our first writing prompts will be posted later this week. Cheers!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Food Friday: Crisp, Baked Chicken

We spend a lot of time at Food.Family.Ephemera talking about community cookbooks and their worth when researching women. While the standard community cookbook is compiled by a group of women to raise funds, there are cookbooks, recipe booklets, and the such that are similar to a community cookbook but published for other reasons.

Today's recipe for Crisp, Baked Chicken comes to us from That's an Idea! Ideas for the Homemaker from the Farm Weekly. The Sioux City Journal. Journal Tribune. (no date). The ideas, including recipes, time saving tips and other household how-to's, were  provided by local "housewives" and printed by  The Sioux City Journal. While this book has no date, my guesstimate based on the tips is  that it dates from the late 1940s to 1950s.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

The first page describes where the content for this booklet comes from. Although this is published by  a newspaper in Iowa, women who wrote tips list addresses for other states including Nebraska, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Each tip lists the name of the woman who submitted it and her street address.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

This is a great example of how women, even women that we think might not have left much behind, like farm women in rural communities, did participate in their community whether it was providing a favorite recipe to raise money for her church or writing to the local newspaper with a tip she hoped would help other women like herself. This piece is a nice compliment to the federal census or a city directory.

From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega

Did the women in your family write a recipe or a tip for  a local newspaper?

**I want to thank my friend Paula Hinkel from the Southern California Genealogical Society for gifting this booklet to me. I so appreciate her thinking of me.