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How to Preserve Family Recipes with Sentiment

Knowing how to preserve family recipes with sentiment is key in holding onto some precious family memories.

Some of my favorite memories have taken place in a kitchen!  Because they are so precious, I have found a few ways to preserve those memories. See how to preserve family recipes with sentiment! 

Kitchen Memories

I love thinking back on all the times I have spent in the kitchen with different family members – learning, teaching, and talking about food. I guess it is a family tradition.

Many of the fondest memories I have took place in a kitchen. I remember very clearly:

  • Standing on a step stool to help my grandmother (Grace) make lattice-top pie crusts for her pineapple pies.
  • Watching her make apricot fried pies! (I miss those.)
  • My other grandmother (Ruby) teaching me to make gravy.
  • Watching her make caramel pies. (Unfortunately, none of us got her recipe!)
  • I can almost smell the kitchen now as I think about all of the times my mom made fried chicken or chicken fried steak.
  • My dad and I used to make homemade salsa together. It was so much fun but back-breaking!
  • I will never forget my son (who ended up becoming a chef) calling me at the age of about 5 to get me to pick up some ingredients he saw on Rachel Ray’s show. We cooked and learned together. He ended up teaching me a lot more in the kitchen than I taught him.
  • My daughter and I spent a whole Saturday making a Turtle Cheesecake for Valentine’s Day one year.

Some of these were favorite family recipes. However, it wasn’t the food that makes me remember these times; the food was just the vehicle. It was spending time with the people that I love that makes it memorable!

Sentimental Recipe Gifts

Whole Family Recipe Book

Jacob's recipe book, sentimental recipes

Even though Jacob was a chef, he valued family home cooking. Several years ago, he asked for a recipe book filled with all of our family members’ favorite family recipes. Although it was a huge undertaking and a lot of work, it was well worth it.

Everyone in the family wrote several recipe cards with a few handwritten messages for him, and we organized them in a recipe notebook. He specifically asked for certain recipes, and we filled in with other family favorites.

A few of the people who added a handwritten recipe card to his collection are either no longer with us or no longer able to write. My mom even added a handwritten recipe from Granny Grace, who had passed away several years before. This has become a priceless family heirloom.

Jacob loved it so much, and he went on to cook fresh home cooked meals for his residents in an assisted living facility. They were blessed!

Preserving Jacob’s Recipes

A few years before Jacob passed away, he made us all handwritten recipe books, which contained some of his favorite recipes. As you can imagine, this is a treasure! Each year at Thanksgiving or Christmas, I try to make one of his dishes for our family gathering. I love his Candied Carrots recipe!

Not only was this recipe book a priceless gift, but my daughter took his Peaches and Cream Bread Pudding recipe (in his handwriting) and had it put on a tea towel for me. Precious!

Granny Shelton’s Recipe Box

A few years after Jay’s grandparents passed away, we had the opportunity to go through their house and get whatever we wanted. We were one of the lasts ones to go, so imagine my surprise when I saw her recipe box filled with handwritten recipes!

I made sure no one else wanted it and took it home. I even found one of my own handwritten recipes in it that I had given to her when I was new to the family. It meant a lot that she kept it.

Granny Grace’s Recipes

framed page out of a recipe book, cookbook with sentimental handwritten recipes on it

I have several of my grandmother’s recipe books.  Recently, As I was looking through one of her old cookbooks, the cover page fell out of the binding.  Normally, I would not have even looked at that page, but I am glad I did.  It was covered in handwritten recipes that she used regularly.  They were some of our family’s favorite recipes!

A page like that couldn’t be stuffed back into the book, so I framed it and put it in my kitchen.  This page has several stains on it, which I am guessing are from the ingredients she used, and the edges are tattered. It is full of character and love, and as a result, it is a constant reminder of her!

Granny's measuring cup, bowl, and recipe - recipes with sentiment

I love using my grandmother’s kitchen items when I cook! I am using her measuring cups and green bowl to make her recipe framed in the background. Memories!

Recipes with Sentiment

Here are a couple of recipes from this page, as she wrote them.  She made them frequently, and therefore was well known for these recipes.

Granny’s “Sock It To Me” Cake

recipes with sentiment - Granny's Sock it to me Cake



  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together well and set aside.
  2. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans together in a separate large bowl.
  3. Pour a layer of the batter into a greased cake pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I cannot tell you how many times my grandmother made this cake in my lifetime. She made it for family events, parties, and many times just because she felt like it. I can make the cake using her recipe, but somehow it just isn’t the same.

Printable Card

Granny's Sock It To Me Cake

Granny's Recipe Page
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 Box Golden Butter Cake Mix (Disregard the recipe on the box.)
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Wesson Oil (Vegetable Oil)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 3 T. Brown Sugar
  • 1 t. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans


      • Mix the first 5 ingredients together well and set aside.
      • Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans together in a separate large bowl.
      • Pour a layer of the batter into a greased cake pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the batter. Pour the remaining batter on top.
      • Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

    Grace’s Salad

    There are many varieties of this simple recipe, so there may be something similar in your family. Granny made this frequently and always for holidays. My mom makes it now when we have family meals together.



    1. Mix all ingredients together well.
    2. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

    If you have never tried this salad, give it a try. It is more than just a sentimental recipe for us. It is also delicious!

    Printable Card

    Grace's (Pink) Salad

    Granny's Pink Salad
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Additional Time 2 hours
    Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes


    • 1 Can of Eagle Brand Milk
    • 1 Large Cool Whip
    • 1 Can Crushed Pineapple, Drained
    • 1 Small Jar of Cherries, Chopped Fine
    • 1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped
    • 2 T. Lemon Juice


      • Mix all ingredients together well.
      • Refrigerate for 2 hours.

      There are so many other ideas and ways to preserve precious recipes with sentiment. What are some of the ways you have preserved family recipes? Please share your ideas in the comments, because we would all love to hear!

      More Recipe Posts and Ideas with Sentiments

      Aunt Joy’s Jalapeno Appetizers
      Kitchen Table Memories (Listen to the song in this post, “Kitchen Table Memories” by Eddie Walker.)
      Julie with Happily Ever Engraving has lots of different options for sentimental gift ideas, but I love the personalized cutting board with recipes on it.

      I would love you to join me for my weekly posts of faith, family, and food. Included are some of my favorite quick and easy candy recipes. I hope you enjoy them!

      Until next week…

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      “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” I Corinthians 10:31

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      1. Sock It To Me Cake was one of my Mom’s signature dishes at family gatherings. Unfortunately, she is the nursing home now, what a blessing it would be to have her make one more Sock It To Me Cakes. Thank you for the reminder of who is was before being diagnosed with dementia.

      2. What an awesome idea! I love this post. Pinned and printed – I need to make this! Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party.

      3. I love these ideas because food is always connected to those we love. More specifically, recipes made connect us with people we love. Thank you for sharing this post on the Home Imagined link party.

      4. Food definitely has a way of bringing a family together. I love the idea of gathering family recipes and making a book, I always thought this would make the perfect wedding gift. I have recipes my grandmother has hand written, and I would love to make a towel or wall art for our kitchen to cherish always. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us at Whimsy Home Wednesday.

        1. That would be a wonderful wedding gift! I was clueless when I first got married. My mother-in-law wrote some of her recipes in a steno pad for me, and my parents added to it. A handmade recipe book would be great!

      5. What an awesome idea – I need to pull out my moms cookbook from yonks ago and use some of her handwritten recipes and use your ideas. Thanks for sharing at SSPS 256

      6. Hello, Susan! I wanted to let you know, we’ll be sharing this lovely post tomorrow on the Fabulous Friday Link Party! I hope you can join us there! Happy Day!

      7. Susan,
        I love all these creative ideas. I plan to share a link on my Sunday, Dirt Road Adventures.

      8. I love this post. I have so many recipe books handed down from relatives and I love some of the ideas you shared here. That handwritten towel is a treasure. Thanks so much for sharing with us at the Home Imagined party. XO- MaryJo

      9. So many beautiful ideas. Thank you. Many moons ago my mother in-law hand wrote a whole bunch of her favourite recipes for me as a gift and I still treasure both her time and all the yumminess she shared in that little notebook.

      10. Any good recipe is a keeper, but the ones with so much meaning, so much history, and so much warmth behind them are extra treasures. I love these ideas for including the STORIES behind the recipes and such neat ways to share them and pass them on! I talk about the stories behind our photos a lot on my blog, and I think family recipes are the same way. Thanks for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #29 linkup. Hope to see you next week, too. Have a great week.

        1. Absolutely! There are many family recipes that we lost because we never got our loved one to write them down for us. I am still trying to recreate a few of those.

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