Who would have thought you could write a 300 page book on preserving old recipes? Clearly this book packs in a lot of information on a subject that might not normally demand quite so much material.
I initially requested this book because, as the chief cook in my family, I’ve gathered a number of recipes together, and have inherited a large collection of recipes from my great-grandparents…all written in Norwegian. I’ve wondered how I might take care of them. And while this book is ostensibly about recipes and recipe preservation, it is in many ways a book on preserving tradition and genealogy and family heritage.
The book goes in to a lot of detail, perhaps more than necessary, and at times it feels as though it’s filler to make it book-length. And because it’s preserving recipes, the author includes a number of her own family recipes — something not really necessary. Memoir/cookbooks have been popular lately, and Valerie J. Frey has put her stamp on this by including some archival tips.
This book does have value for anyone interested in the preservation of family materials (specifically, but not limited to, recipes). It has value to anyone interested in creating their own family cookbook. And potentially it has value to anyone looking for new recipes. It’s unlikely that there are too many people looking for all three, but I will very likely continue to use this book as a reference from time to time, for those chapters that apply to my needs.
Looking for a good book? Preserving Family Recipes, by Valerie J. Frey, is an excellent resource for the archival of family recipes, and a good resource for anyone interested in putting together their own recipe book (and there are recipes included to complement the collection).
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
* * * * * *
Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions
author: Valerie J. Frey
publisher: University of Georgia Press
paperback, 320 pages