recipe book

Eudora Loh, a colleague of mine, retired after working for the library for 36 years. Last week, a week before her retirement party at our department, I somehow became in charge of creating a present for her. We had a joint retirement party (5 librarians retiring at the same time!) a few weeks back, and the organizers of that party were already giving her a memory book, which included contributions from people throughout the library. I figured we couldn’t really do the same thing, especially since many people in our department already contributed to that one. I was too tired to come up with anything new and, since the idea of a recipe book was mentioned, I thought we’d go with that. But I couldn’t quite let go of the memory book idea so I decided to make it a combination recipe/memory book.

I thought this was going to be simple–people would give me recipes, notes, pictures, and all I’d have to do is cut and paste. Not! Being the perfectionist that I am (well, when it comes to certain things), I had to have a template and, since I was making a book, I had to format it so there’s room for the sides where it would be bound (basically making mirror templates). I also had to make the recipes look uniform. Then I had to categorize the recipes somehow and add pictures — of the food and people.

It took me at least 25 hours to do it, but I’m really proud of how it turned out. I had really wanted to make it into an actual book with a thick cover, but I just didn’t have the time (not that I really knew how to do it, either). I ended up using card stock for the covers & bound it together with ribbon. Here is the final product:

On the upper left corner of the picture is actually a binder that Dora can put the recipes in should the recipe book prove too flimsy or difficult to use as is. Here is what it looks like inside:

That’s one of the recipes I contributed. I actually made that for one of our departmental parties and that’s an actual photo of it.

We gave the recipe book to Dora at her dessert party on Wednesday, and I have to say that she really loved it. She said that a recipe book they had made for someone else is a staple in her kitchen, and she knows this one will be as well. Since it contains pictures of people in the department, she is sure to remember us every time she uses it.

No one else had really seen what I was doing with it, but they were all quite impressed. So I’d have to say it was time well-spent. And it really got my creative juices going…

We also went creative with our banner. Instead of buying a generic banner, we decided to use the same template that I used for the recipe book and printed one letter a page. Then, we strung them together with ribbon. I got this idea from something I had seen online, but it was my friend’s idea to use the template. And she printed and strung it together. Here’s a picture before they were fully strung together and hung up (since there is no other picture of it by itself).

Dora also really liked the banner. In fact, she loved everything about the dessert party. What’s not to love, right, especially now that she has the luxury to truly appreciate every little thing?

Postscript: I saw Dora again yesterday, and she said that she read the entire recipe book, especially the notes that people wrote for her. She still loves it, of course. 🙂



  1. That is a really professional looking recipe book, Jade! I love it!

  2. Thanks! It would have been cooler if I was able to bind it with a hardcover. But I'll have to learn how to do that first. Hehe.

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