Thursday, August 13, 2009

Internet Magic Fridays

Jane Booras is the Editor of numerous newsletters including our Campus Times. She will be sharing how you can find whatever you need - photos, clipart, information, maps, phone numbers - on the Internet.

Pickled Eggs

It’s almost 100 degrees outside, and I’m thinking about Christmas. How about you?
Every year I consider making little gifts for family members. To do that, you have to start early. That’s why Hobby Lobby and Michael’s are doing a booming business right now! Mind you, I’m not talking about craft projects! I am not crafty. I failed “scissors and construction paper” in Kindergarten, and can’t knit, crochet, embroider or tye-dye. I have tried scrapbooking, but it involves scissors and other mechanical implements that don’t work for me. But when the computer and the Internet came along, I suddenly got “craftier.”

My brainstorm this year is to make a family cookbook for each of our kids’ families.
We all have wonderful memories of family get-togethers of the past where Mom, Grandma or Aunt Bessie always prepared her signature dish. Last year about Easter time, I got to thinking about the pickled eggs my mother used to make for Easter dinner every year. My mouth began to water. I was pretty sure my sister had all of Mother’s old recipes, so when I visited her last summer I mentioned them (the eggs).

She said, “Don’t move. Stay right here.”

She was gone for about 10 minutes, and then reappeared with a couple of dusty, old, ragged notebooks and a big cloth shopping bag full of papers. You guessed it – all of Mother’s old recipes! Some of Grandma’s too and various other friends and relatives. My sister and I spent the entire week of my visit going through every single paper. Of course we threw away a lot of it, but we found some real treasures too. I found the recipe for pickled eggs, by the way, and they were a mild sensation this past Easter with the family.
That’s what gave me the idea for a family cookbook – but one that’s done on the computer, of course!

You probably have family recipes tucked away as well. They usually look something like this:

One option is to start from “scratch” and design a cookbook. But why re-invent the wheel? So I began to investigate options on the Internet. There are basically two different approaches:
1) you buy and download software, design your book using their templates; then print it on your own, or
2) Create your book online using their template(s), order and pay for it. Then they print as many copies as you order and send it to you.

I found many interesting websites. Without recommendation, here are a few: (Click on “Publish Family Recipes” where there are lots of very helpful demonstration videos). (You can download the software or order a disc). (At this site you become a member, create your cookbook online and they publish it and send it to you. They offer a free trial membership. Added pages are available for pictures and family history).
I finally opted for Tastebook ( You design your book online. You can use their recipes, import recipes you like from other websites, or input (type) your own personal recipes (which is what I plan to do). There’s a nice personal dedication page (the one below is dedicated to my Mother), and lots of different neat cover designs to choose from. You can also upload photos of family members or pictures of the completed dishes on the recipe pages. When you have your book just the way you like it (you can preview it with one click online), you order it and they send it to you. You can add pages over time and insert them into your cookbook(s), since the printed cookbook is “loose leaf.”

You have to have a minimum of 25 recipes (maximum of 100) to order your book. The price is about $20 per book for 25 recipes and $30 for 50. Reasonable I think. I haven’t seen one “in person” yet, but the previews look beautiful online. I’ll let you know.
Of one thing I am sure. I’ve got a lot of recipe typing to do in the next couple of months if I am to meet my goal for Christmas gifts. Failing that, they should be ready for 2010 birthday gifts!


Jane Booras is Editor of the Campus Times Newsletter for Computer School for Seniors (

1 comment:

Bill Witcher said...


We're in KC for a big family reunion but I always check the Blog and your posts are so charming and useful...what a great idea. the problem I have is my mother was a terrible cook...I guess I could do one filled with restaurant recipes?