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Around the Home: Compile a family recipe book
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This, of course, is a great week for shopping and enjoying time with friends and family. It’s also a great time to gather recipes and photos for a family cookbook.

Instead of trying to email, text and call, talk with relatives face to face. That can make a big difference in the success of your project.

Your cookbook project can be simple and basic or very involved and detailed. It’s all up to you.

Here are some family cookbook ideas:

* On the List: Make a checklist of the relatives you’re expecting to see on Thanksgiving or during this week. This will help you double-check and make sure no one is left out or overlooked.

* Say “cheese”: Ask two or three relatives to take photos of the various dishes before the family meal starts. Casual snap shots of relatives, especially the grandparents and great-grandparents, will be a great addition to your cookbook.

* Write it down: Provide pens and recipe cards or colorful index cards for relatives. After family members write down their recipes, collect the cards and save them in a special envelope.

* Family history: Record or video relatives as they talk about their recipes. You also can ask some of the grandchildren to type the recipes into a computer file.

* Safety first: Make sure you visit and include safety tips in your cookbook. Remember to store all leftovers promptly.

* Stay in touch: This is a good opportunity to update or create a family contact list.

* Special memories: Include a family tree or a family history in your book.

* In print: You can print the final product yourself or use a local printing business. If you have some artistic relatives, they can help with the cover design.

During your holiday gatherings, remember to stay active by walking or participating in other indoor or outdoor activities such as dancing, jogging or sports.

And remember the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension “Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge” continues through Jan. 3. It’s free and it offers tips, recipes and more.

Register on

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I’d like to extend a special “thank you” to all of the agencies, organizations, schools, churches and individuals who have participated in our Expanded Food and Nutrition Education “Food Talk” Program. We appreciate you and your dedication to helping families eat healthier on a budget. You have enriched my life and hope we have made a difference in yours.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. She may be contacted at 770-535-8290. Her column appears biweekly on Wednesdays and on

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