Like the underside of a living-room couch cushion, cookbooks amass evidence of favorite family meals gone by. Collect culinary memories with today's Groupon: for $39, you get a lifetime membership to the The Great Family Cookbook Project (a $99.95 value).
The Great Family Cookbook Project gives food-making clans easy-to-use tools to compile gastronomic wisdom in one convenient, online location. After setting up an account and designating one family member as an editor to oversee the project, families enter favorite recipes into the user-friendly online database, digitally backing up recipe cards against the ravages of spontaneously combusting spatulas. Email invitations and provided letters can solicit favorite recipes from far-flung relatives, and editors have the power to set up deadlines and automatic reminders to ensure timely digitization of cooking instructions. The password-protected site allows easy access to all content on Internet-capable devices, including Macs, PCs, tablets, and e-readers, and a lifetime membership allows for an unlimited number of recipes and contributors.
After reaching a critical recipe mass, editors can fashion handsome physical copies of their books, complete with color photographs, custom layouts, and exhaustive indices (click here to see a cookbook example). Designed books are printed by The Great Family Cookbook Project's in-house print service, which churns out as few as 10 copies at a time, and high-quality PDFs can be obtained free of charge for printing at home, binding at local printing shops, or painstaking illumination by freelancing monks.
Family Cookbook Project
Bill Rice has been exploring his ancestry for more than a decade, so he knows that tracking family traditions is hard work. One summer, over a delectable meal on Cape Cod, he and his family realized that one of the best ways to share their traditions with future generations was right on the plates in front of them. However, Bill wanted to go further than a standard family cookbook by creating heirlooms that share recipes as well as stories and photographs culled from several family members.
Bill’s high school friend Chip Lowell built the technology that was the backbone of the enterprise—and now forms the backbone of Family Cookbook Project, which makes its technology available to clans everywhere. The software allows creators to add personal touches to their books, from hand-written recipes to bookmarks made from the family’s favorite deli meat. It also sends email reminders to contributors, amasses recipes, and hosts an eclectic stock of templates and color schemes.