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Nostalgia and Connection: The Unique Charm of Handwritten Recipes

We live in a world where every recipe you could imagine is at your fingertips, readily available, but to be honest, a handwritten recipe just can't be beat! They are ink-filled, spilled-on, treasures carrying charm and memories of the past. These are just a few of the reasons why we love handwritten recipes even when living in a digital world.

flour scattered on an old handwritten recipe and cookbook

Peek into the Past

Each recipe holds its own story, handwritten by loved ones, they preserve a little of themselves when they record the steps to your dish. Their handwriting gives a perception of what they were like can be especially helpful if you haven't met them! Did they write in ALL CAPS or have swishy cursive writing? How many scribbles were on the page? This evokes memories of parents, grandparents, and other beloved family members.

Bridge Generations

Part of the appeal of handwritten recipes is the bridge created between generations. Replicating each of these recipes brings with it a sensory journey, linking us to the past and every piece of the memory associated with the meal bringing continuity through time and generations.

young person holding an old persons hand

Handwritten Recipes are a Puzzle

Part of the fun of handwritten recipes is the puzzle to decipher when you read them. They aren’t perfectly formatted and clean. But rather full of imperfections, spills, and smudges. You can feel the love in the writing. A well-used recipe is one you want to hold on to, you can almost KNOW it was a family favorite. Sometimes they come with additional information in the margins, maybe cooking-related, other times you may find a mini to-do list or a pizza order instead!

Expression of Culture and Tradition

Many handwritten recipes contain additional tidbits of information. These margin notes offer insight into how the writer cooked in their kitchen. Notes could be instructional, “only stir 10 times - no more, no less,” or something more subjective like, “cook until perfectly golden like Grandma Marie did.” (Really, how golden is golden Grandma Marie?!) Additionally, measurements might not be exact or be in any common unit of measure. In older recipes, ingredients could be listed as “a palmful of flour” or “a thumb of garlic.”

Image providing a quick tip reading "If the writer of the recipe has passed take the time to talk with other relatives who remember the dish to help decipher this marinalia.

Bring a personal touch

Handwritten recipes are a little labor of love. They bring a personal touch unable to be duplicated by a computer. The act of writing a recipe by hand is a labor of love. These recipes offer an intimate connection between the writer and the reader, inviting us into the kitchens and lives of the loved ones who crafted these culinary creations.

Handwritten recipes connect us to our roots and bring a personal touch and connection to the writer and our past. We honor those who wrote them by making the recipe for our own families and spreading the love and emotions connected to the meal.

We want to know, what is your most cherished handwritten recipe? Drop it below!

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