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Preserving Family Recipes

Tuesday, 4/24/2018
1:00-2:00pm CT
Cost: Free

From Uncle’s barbecue sauce to Grandma’s cobbler, family recipes fill us with nostalgia and draw us closer to family—if they have been saved and if they actually work right, that is. So what can you do if a beloved recipe is sketchy, horribly outdated, impossible to read, or unwritten? How can you make sure those old handwritten recipes as well as heirloom photos and kitchen artifacts last for future generations? And did you ever stop to look at your recipes with a historian’s eye, exploring what that family recipe may be telling you between the lines? Valerie J. Frey, author of Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions (UGA Press), will explore various aspects of your family’s heirloom recipes.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn:

  • How to care for their family recipe books and sheets, as well as other kitchen artifacts
  • Techniques for translating sketchy, illegible, or unwritten food traditions into usable information
  • How to interpret family recipes from a historical perspective
  • A toolkit for working effectively with these family heirlooms

Who Should Attend

This Preservation Week webinar is intended to provide a programming opportunity for public libraries to share with their patrons.


Valerie J. Frey is a writer and archivist from Athens, Georgia with projects focusing on genealogy, local history, storytelling, material culture, and the everyday home life of our ancestors. Valerie holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her archives career began with a Junior Fellowship in the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress and she went on to serve as an archivist at the Georgia Historical Society, the Savannah Jewish Archives, and the Georgia Archives. She now writes full time. Her most recent book, Preserving Family Recipes: How to Save and Celebrate Your Food Traditions was released in November of 2015 through the University of Georgia Press.

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