Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Food is Love: Creating an Archival Cookbook

Can an archiving project make you hungry? When it comes to cookbooks at the studio they sure can!

Although you may not immediately think of a cookbook as a preservation project, they can fall into the category of archiving. 

Think of all the recipes you loved from your grandparents' dinner table — the meals you ate just once a year. Archiving allows those recipes and memories to be preserved and passed on. 

At the studio, we help families gather their recipes from past and present. Where they are handwritten, we type them into the computer and edit them for consistency. Then, we add written memories for each chapter, as well as family photos, to create a beautiful bound book. 

These are not just recipe books, they are family heirlooms — a memoir as well as a cookbook to be saved and cherished for generations to come.

Aunt Kitty's Mandel Bread (mandelbrodt)

Personally, I love making my Aunt Kitty's mandel bread (mandelbrodt), and I'm so glad we saved her recipe. She passed away nearly 20 years ago and was a wonderful baker. 

I made some of her legendary mandelbrodt for the holidays this year (see full recipe below). After just one bite, my cousins and I began reminiscing about holidays past and afternoons spent sitting around the holiday dining table in Union City, NJ. Perhaps one day, our children who never got to know her will make the same bread. 

The photos in this post are of a cookbook written and gathered by Helene Herzig. Helene is a wonderful writer and decided to use Cyndi Shattuck Archiving to privately publish her recipes, as well as her mother's recipes and friend's favorites. We also added personal memories as well as many family photos into each chapter.

Aunt Kitty's Mandelbrodt

4 eggs and 1 c. of sugar
3/4 c. of canola oil
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp of salt
1 1/2 c. of sifted flour
1 tbs. almond extract
1 tbs. vanilla extract
3/4 c. of sliced almonds

1. Cream together eggs and sugar.
2. Add canola oil.
3. Combine baking powder, salt and flour — add to mixture.
4. Stir in almond extract, vanilla.
5. Add sliced almonds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line all sides of a 13" x 9" x 2" pan with brown paper from a clean paper bag*. Pour in batter and bake for 30 minutes. When done, turn pan over onto a carving board and let the bread slide out. Turn oven up to 400. Slice bread into 3/4 inch slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet and place back into the oven to brown slightly, about 5 minutes.

*CYNDI'S NOTE: I use parchment paper instead of brown paper bags! If you want to make a marble version of this save 1/3 of the batter on the side, add 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the batter. Mix well. Pour the vanilla batter into the pan first, then swirl the chocolate batter on the top. Pull a butter knife through the batter carefully from top to bottom of the pan (do not stir). Bake as above. 

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