While a recipe or food-related blog may not be your first choice as a genealogy blog, how many times have you created a post about a recipe handed down in your family and had this thought: wouldn’t it be great if I could post all my family’s recipes in one convenient place on the Internet? You can cook up a recipe or food-related genealogy blog in no time using the “recipe” below.
Recipes are very often treasured mementos handed down from generation – some are even closely guarded despite how often people rave about a certain dish down at the church hall. For many of us, specific dishes or even the smell of a certain type of food can transport us back decades to when we were young and our mothers and grandmothers (or fathers and grandfathers) cooked up a meal. This is why your family’s history of food – how it was harvested, how it was purchased, how it was prepared – really deserves its own blog if you are up to the task.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with a title for your recipe or food-related blog. Here are some ideas:
- What was your favorite homemade dish growing up? Or perhaps a food you particularly disliked? Use the name of the dish in the blog titles such as:
- Smith Family Pies and Cakes
- Brown Family Reunion Dishes
- The Jones Family Kitchen Table
- If the blog is a tribute to a specific cook in your family use titles like:
- Mom’s Home Cookin
- Grandma’s Lovin’ From The Oven
- Dad’s Best Recipes
- Have a sense of humor! Use titles like:
- Dad’s Burnt Offerings
- We Nearly Starved To Death
- A Vegetarian Amongst Carnivores
- Unholy Church Supper Dishes
- Reservations For Dinner Again?
- Confessions of a Vegetable Hater
To be honest, almost any template will do whether you use Blogger or WordPress as your blogging platform. But very often you want a certain look – think back to how your mother’s kitchen or grandma’s kitchen looked and you’ll get some inspiration.
The links below are for available templates with a food theme. Remember that free templates will require you to leave the designer’s attribution statement (usually in one of the lower corners or in the footer) displayed in the template.
- Cake Recipe template – Blogger (free)
- Food Recipe template – WordPress (free)
- Recipe template – Blogger (free)
- Recipes Blog template – WordPress (free)
- Recipe Cooking template – WordPress (free)
- Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates – Blogger (free)
Here are some ideas for not just getting started with blog posts but ways to produce new content and keep your readers engaged:
- Ask family members for not just recipes but their recollections of how each recipe was prepared, any recipe variations, any memorable meals such as anniversaries or birthdays when the dish was served.
- While posting a recipe is great, it is far more interesting if there is a “back story” including who first made the dish in your family, whether any family members didn’t like the dish, etc.
- If preparing for a family reunion, ask for recipes in the months and weeks leading up to the event and then consider producing a cookbook which you can distribute (or sell) at the reunion.
- Don’t’ focus just on recipes – look to memories such as how food rationing during World War II affected your family, if you parents or grandparents planted vegetable gardens each summer, how food has changed since the time of your ancestors.
- Interview family members and ask them food-related questions focused on their memories growing up.
Widgets and Gadgets
- AllTop has a food feed as well as a recipe feed that you can convert into a widget and post in the sidebar of your blog (Blogger; WordPress)
- Google Reader widgets can be created using your favorite food and recipe blogs. See Creating Topic-Based Widgets Using Google Reader’s Clip Function at Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers.
Categories, Labels and Tags
Some bloggers do not like using many tags or labels while others do – it is a purely personal preference. Many recipe and food-related blogs use the following categories for the posts:
- main ingredient names (chocolate, lamb, garlic, etc.)
- food types (Italian, Jewish, Irish)
- preparation methods (baking, roasting, frying)
- dish categories (appetizers, cookies, entrees)
- events (Passover, birthdays, funerals)
Keeping in mind your limitations due to copyrighted images, look to free web resources as well as any family photos of events involving food. Here are some ideas:
- Wikimedia Commons - you can search for images based on keyword and use them on your blog along with a Creative Commons license.
- Take photos if you recreate dishes based on old family recipes.
- Search for “free clipart” with a food category.
Products and Gifts
This is one type of blog that can easily be converted into gifts for family members or products to market your blog:
- Cookbook. Once your blog is filled with posts, think about producing a family cookbook. A good example is The GeneaBlogger Cookbook put together by Colleen McHugh at Orations of OMcHodoy. Consider using an online magazine creation tool such as zinepal.com.
- Recipe Kit. Assemble all the dry ingredients for a recipe in clear containers (plastic or glass) and assemble in a basket with a copy of the recipe (include the URL of your blogs).
- Newsletter. Consider producing a monthly or quarterly newsletter of recipes and food memories using a service like Tabbloid which lets you create instant PDF magazine layouts based on blog feeds.
Examples of Recipes and Food-Related Genealogy Blogs
Here are some examples of blog that combine genealogy and recipes:
- A Culinary Genealogy
- And I Helped
- Green Onions
- Joel and Peggy’s Dandelion Patch
- Lynda’s Recipe Box
- Smith Family Recipes and Stories
- Steffes Family Recipes