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A recipe for preserving family history

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The project is a "great way to solidify the relationship my family has and to preserve it," she says, savoring memories of baking cookies with her grandmothers.

"Technology is great today, so that makes [creating a family cookbook] a little bit easier," she says, noting that people who have no design skills can use a simple word-processing program. Or they can turn to the Internet, where dozens of websites offer tips and shortcuts.

One site - HeritageCookbook.com - will even do most of the work. Simply choose from several covers and graphic styles, scan in family photos, and type in recipes, following the template.

Customers pay to use the site - the fee covers multiple family members - and must order a minimum of five copies of the finished product, which is 6 by 9 inches, has a spiral binding, and arrives by mail.

Susan Love, who owns the site, says business is brisk because family cookbooks combine two popular hobbies: cooking and genealogy. "When you sit down and think about writing your memoirs, unless you're a genealogist, where do you start? But one or two recipes kind of pulls it out of you. It's a tool," she says.

Ms. Love's first orders came from Southerners, who tend to prize home cooking and preserving the past. Most of her clients are women, who dedicate their books to the memory of a mother or grandmother.

Love's best pieces of advice: Choose one editor in chief and make sure that pictures are scanned in properly at the right resolution.

Other helpful tips:

• Develop an organized system for handling the recipes and flow of information.

• Keep recipes in one place.

• Decide how to divide the cookbook.

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