How To Start A Recipe Exchange
Recipes are memoirs from someone who has tested and tasted in order to perfect a dish. When you use a recipe out of a magazine or recipe box, someone spent a lot of time creating that recipe. There was a lot of hard work and trial and error to get it good enough to put it down on paper. Maybe it was a recipe from your grandmother or your mother that meant the most to you when you were little. You remember them making that recipe and how good it tasted when you took your first bite. The smile on your face was all that she needed to know that her recipe was perfect. There were probably some recipes that you did not like but those were the ones that were either in trying stages or there was no way to perfect them.
Soon women decided to share their recipe with their neighbor, their sister, or their best friend in order for them to prepare that recipe their family. They wanted to share their recipe and all their hard work because they were proud of their creation. That is why they started a recipe exchange. Women would get together over coffee while they went over the recipes that they had experimented with. If the family liked the taste then they knew that it was right. When those recipes were a hit, those women kept them in a special recipe box and the recipes would get passed down from generation to generation. The advantage of having a recipe exchange was so the family would get a variety of different taste in their meal as well as giving the cook something different to try.
There are other different kinds of exchanges that were done in the past. One of them was a cookie recipe exchange. This would happen when one woman would contact her neighbors to invite her over for a cookie exchange. Everyone who attended would be required to bake a few cookies for the recipe exchange. As everyone sat around to taste the cookies and talk, they would also write down the recipe so they can make it for their family. This would start a collection of cookie recipes and the best cookies would be the ones that your mom or grandma would make all the time because everyone liked them so well. (Now that is something I would love to do with cupcakes our family just loves my cupcake recipes.)
Recipes were not just a piece of paper with writing on it they represented someone's hard work and perseverance. They came from your grandmother one hot summer day when she was caught up on the laundry or one cold winter night while the kids had no other choice but to stay inside because it was too cold. It may have been a recipe from her best friend or her mother as well.
The good news is that the recipe exchange can still be done today with a little bit of time. Make you a list of five of your friends or relatives. Send an invitation or call each of them personally and tell them what you are planning. You can have them make a small or light dish and bring the recipe for it so they can share. Then when everyone is sitting around talking they all have the chance to taste everyone's dish and decide if they like it or not. The next time you can try a cookie exchange that is done in the same way as the recipe exchange. With the cookies or dishes that are left over you and your friends or family can take some to a sick or elderly neighbor that you know so you can share your recipe with others.