Thursday, February 23, 2012

Preserving My Mom's Handwritten Recipes

My mom passed away when I was in high school, and it's only been a couple of years since my dad finally broke down and let me have her recipe files.  I don't remember her having any cookbooks, just handwritten pieces of paper where she scribbled recipes from other family members or neighbors.  One of my many projects is to sort and scan all the recipes and create a family cookbook.  I also need to get archival sleeves to protect the fragile pages.

Below are a few of my favorites.

This is a recipe for what I'll call "Croatian Dressing."  My brother Bob and I fight over it during the Christmas holidays.  I haven't tried making it myself but my dad and stepmom make it every Christmas.

You can never have too many meatball recipes.  This one is from an old family friend, Berniece Westermann, dated 1963.

The same holds true with Sloppy Joe recipes.  I am not sure who "Maxine" is , but I found another version of the recipe dated 1958 with the name Maxine Cox.  

But everything else pales in comparison to "Cherry Delight."  This was my grandfather, Floyd Robertson's favorite dessert and the one I remember most.  The recipe is dated 8/16/1958, when my mom was a young bride and I wasn't quite a year old.  This is also my all-time favorite dessert.

As you can tell, this recipe has seen a lot of use.

Looking through the old handwritten recipes is a way of connecting with my mom and grandmother, and remembering family friends and relatives who have passed away.  

I think I know what I'll be having for dessert tonight!


  1. When preserving recipe or any other document, please be sure to scan without sharpening filters and use a resolution (ppi/dpi) of 300. This will preserve details and make them easier to reproduce. Also, scan in color (as you have shown). Do any color correction in a photo editing program. The main point: Scan it right.

  2. Eric, thanks so much for the tips. Scanning is definitely not one of my strong suits! I do have a nice Canon scanner but am still learning all the features. Thanks again!

  3. You might try to look for "Expert" or "Professional" custom settings. You can usually override it. I have lots of no-charge videos and workshops about scanners on our Youtube channel. Just search for ericb007. Then search the videos on my page for "scanner"

  4. Please could I use the image of your mum's recipe "Cherry Delight" to turn into an embroidery. I want to learn to turn hand writing into treasured textile art.