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From the Family Kitchen: Discover Your Food Heritage and Preserve Favorite Recipes Hardcover – May 10, 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Family Tree Books (May 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440318271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440318276
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,359,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"If you are interested in food, in families, and in genealogy, this book will inspire you to record and preserve your family's food memories and recipes for future generations." --Lisa & Sarah at A Spoonful of Sugar

About the Author

Gena Philibert Ortega is a consultant for Family History Expos, RootsMagic and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She speaks on various subjects involving genealogy to nationwide and international audiences via webinars as well as to groups throughout California and Utah. Gena serves as Vice-President for the Southern California Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She is also a Regional Director for the California State Genealogical Alliance. She is the director of the genealogy social network GenealogyWise, which currently has over 24,000 members.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 25 customer reviews
I have really enjoyed this book and intend on giving all my children a copy for Christmas.
C. Hawse
The author seems to think the narrative is the most important part of the book given the number pages used for author text.
Vascular Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
I'm using this book as a guide to putting together a family cookbook of recipes of my own to give my family.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Tooncesmom TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I received From the Family Kitchen from Amazon Vine for an honest review. Here's my take on it.

Did you ever wonder about your food heritage? Studying social history will help you understand how your ancestors lived. In this attractive hardcover book, you can learn about the foods your forebears brought with them when they immigrated to the Land of Opportunity. They brought recipes, raw ingredients, even seeds from their homelands, and these cultural heritage items blended into the American diet. Six chapters discuss this and more: food traditions by region, food throughout history, cookbooks and menus and how to find your ancestors' recipes. A second section offers a look back at historical recipes with a primer on old cooking terms which I found interesting but not new to me, the art of menu planning and proper cleaning techniques and twenty pages of historical nineteenth and early twentieth-century recipes.

The third part of the book is a journal to write down your own favorite recipes. In addition to the name of the dish, space is provided for a list of ingredients, cooking instructions and memories of the particular recipe.

The historical recipes were a bit off-putting for me. I don't plan on preparing haunch of venison, kidneys, brains, squirrels, mock mince pie (why not make the real thing?), mutton pot pie or rinktum tiddy any time soon, however, they provide historical interest.

Since the journal isn't indexed, it seems an unlikely place to look for recipes, but the book might be a lovely gift to share with a family member Even if you don't use it for its intended purpose, the old recipes and methods are interesting reading.
205 pages. Published by Family Tree Books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Editor of Lillian's Diaries VINE VOICE on June 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I found when having the three volumes of "Lillian's Diaries: Whispers From Galena's Past" published that one of the most favorite parts of the books for many readers were the recipes from Lillian's kitchen that I included in each volume. Some of these were on handwritten scraps of paper from the 1800s and often left the reader wondering how our ancestors managed to cook/bake with the scant directions they had to go by! Imagine baking without having the true ability to set a oven temperature that would be constant. Or to not be able to set a timer! It was also interesting to find recipes of favorite foods that my family still eats today.

It was because of this experience that I chose to review Gena Philibert-Ortega's "From The Family Kitchen". In this book many things that would interest both a genealogist and a cook/baker are offered - how some of the food we currently eat came to America, why your ancestor ate certain foods, the evolution of cookbooks, how to find ancestors' recipes (not everyone is lucky enough to find an ancestor's diary) and deciphering old cooking terms are just some of those topics. The back of the book, in Part 3, offers a section where the reader can start a collection of their own favorite family recipes on a two-page per recipe section. There you can add the name of the food, ingredients, directions and your or your ancestor's memories that surround each of your recipes. There is a collection of old recipes provided in this book, as well as, a list of references for furthering your knowledge of the topics introduced in "From The Family Kitchen".

As a older genealogist (and many genealogists are of the boomer and older generations) I would suggest that increasing the font size of the text in this book would be very beneficial to the reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bundtlust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Recent titles like Heirloom Baking with the Brass Sisters: More than 100 Years of Recipes Discovered from Family Cookbooks, Original Journals, Scraps of Paper, and Grandmother's Kitchen, Heirloom Cooking With the Brass Sisters: Recipes You Remember and Love, America's Best Lost Recipes: 121 Heirloom Recipes Too Good to Forget and Southern Living Heirloom Recipe Cookbook: The Food We Love From The Times We Treasure have shown that there's been a resurgence of interest in the cooking of yesteryear and the recipes we grew up on. Titles like "From the Kitchen" and Sweet Home: Over 100 Heritage Desserts and Ideas for Preserving Family Recipes take this trend one step further by combining cookbooks with genealogy by giving the reader hints and tips on how to interview family members and preserve treasured family recipes.

Two-thirds of "From the Family Kitchen" is devoted to discussing and showcasing the evolution of American cuisine, from its early origins to post-war inventions that have shaped our food today. You'll find discussions on pioneers, how immigrants shaped American food, and how wartime rationing changed the way we cooked. Each chapter contains a fairly comprehensive bibliography.
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