Discover Your Family’s Recipe Story


Mom’s Autumn Surprise

As a kid, every year in my hometown when the warm playful days of summer turned into the cooler, more serious days of fall, I’d head back to school with my sisters. One lucky day, when the obvious crispness of fall could be felt in the air, we’d trudge home from school lugging our newly filled backpacks and open the door of the house to a delicious smell—apple crisp. I can’t even think about it without my mouth watering. To this day, every time I feel that first chill in the air I get a hankering for my favorite family dessert. But there’s more to it than the smell or the taste—it’s the memories. Apple crisp reminds me of my mom and gives me a sweet feeling of being connected to her, my sisters, and my maternal grandma—because she used to make it too.

Making Food and Family History

Baking apple crisp with family

You might not have considered food as being connected to family history, but it is. Good food has a way of bringing families together, and anytime families gather—even to eat—family history is made.

What’s a Family Recipe?

Every family has a recipe or two that they cherish—family recipes. Family recipes are certain foods that remind us of warm feelings and happy memories with the ones we love. These can be foods our family always makes for celebrations and events and, more often, foods we enjoy eating together all the time. Some family recipes have been passed down for so many generations that we aren’t even sure where they originated. Other family recipes are in their infancy. These are recipes that you try for the first time and they stick. We call these “keepers” at my house.Family recipes tell a story. They’re often connected to people, places, and special memories. They have a who, a where, and a why. You’re making family history when you prepare and eat these foods with your family.Take some time to write down who has shared family recipes with you. Where did the recipes come from? Why are they meaningful to you? Even better, share your family recipes online by uploading them to the FamilySearch Memories App. Here they will be preserved and accessible to your family members and friends near and far. You can also share your family recipes on social media by using the hashtag #FamilySearch. This is also a fun way to discover exciting new recipes shared by families from all over the world.

Download the printable version here.Download this recipe card here.

Discover Your Family Recipe Story

  1. What foods did/does your family eat on a regular basis?
  2. Did your parents, grandparents, or loved ones teach you how to make certain foods?
  3. What food(s) do you look forward to on special occasions/holidays?
  4. Who likes to cook in your family? Ask them if they’ve collected any family recipes.
  5. Is there a recipe in your family that you and all of your extended family make?
  6. What foods do you make that your family asks for?
  7. Are there foods your family makes at certain times of the year?
  8. What foods do you associate with good memories?
  9. Who is the oldest person in your family? Ask them if they have any family recipes to share. Do they have recipes from their parents or grandparents?
  10. Are there any recipes in your family that require special ingredients or skills to make?
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