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Sharing Family Recipes Online

Submitted by on Tuesday, 24 November 20092 Comments

Vintage CookbookI spent an impossible amount of time today surfing the internet looking to find a great site for privately sharing treasured family recipes with my extended family. I signed up and logged into five different sites.

I went into the project with some relatively clear parameters: I wanted a site that didn’t try to sell me an actual recipe book of my own creation; I wanted my recipes to be private to my family; and I wanted the site to be simple and easy to use.

I am happy with this project of mine, thinking that connecting to family members through recipes when we can’t be together is a lovely way to share some aspects of Thanksgiving even if we are apart. And I know my family will love it, too. That is, if I can find an easy way to succeed at online sharing.

There has been a reshuffling of a large Thanksgiving gathering this year in my family—a temporary hiatus due to unusual circumstances—and so there is a call for the traditional Thanksgiving recipes of my mother’s, from those who have to make them for the first time.

I abandoned all the recipe sites I found. I’ve made a living on the internet for a long time, so if I abandon sites because they are difficult to navigate and cumbersome, they must be pretty bad. They all were. I finally thought I had found a good site only to be prompted over and over again to correct the amount of ingredients that I didn’t want to change and abandoned it for its lack of flexibility… .

After two or three hours of looking, I gave up and simply and opted for starting a family folder on Google Docs. It was a snap for me to type in “Granny’s Creamed Onions,” and I know it will be downloaded and treasured by all of my mother’s descendants. I am excited to see what they will upload. I am in the process of gathering everyone’s Gmail accounts to send them all invitations to join. My mother would be so happy to think of us using her recipes, which includes her in the day in a way for all of us. I don’t plan to stop with Thanksgiving. We have this amazing recipe for her father’s favorite ginger cookies, and that will go up next …

By Annie B. Bond, the best-selling and award-winning author of five healthy/green living books, including Better Basics for the Home (Three Rivers Press, 1999), Home Enlightenment, Clean & Green (1990), and most recently True Food (National Geographic, 2010 and winner of Gourmand Awards Best Health and Nutrition Cookbook in the World). She has authored literally thousands of articles and was named “the foremost expert on green living” by Body & Soul magazine (2009).

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