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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

Janet Keeler on how to create your own thoroughly modern family cookbook

Two women stand together wearing aprons in a kitchen.
Janet Keeler poses with her sister-in-law Suzanne Zyla.

Janet chats with Dalia about tackling an interactive family cookbook project using digital technologies.

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Gathering family recipes and the stories that go with them for a cookbook can preserve family histories for generations. The family cookbook can be created the old-fashioned way by using templates from a number of companies for a book printed on demand. But think about all that could be included if you created the cookbook with digital technology.

A website could have the recipes, stories and photos like a book but also video of mom talking about typical dinners when she was a kid or grandpa retelling a story about roast chicken that everyone’s heard before but is now recorded. Kids could do some of the interviewing. Depending on how tech savvy the creator is, there could be a few Story Corps-like conversations. How about video demonstrations of techniques? And the ability for family to leave their own comments about the recipes.

No matter how the family recipes are published, some of the steps are still the same including finding the recipes, interviewing someone about them, testing them, taking photos and more.

In this conversation, Eckerd College journalism professor, cookbook enthusiast and former Tampa Bay Times food editor Janet Keeler chats with Dalia Colón about how to tackle a family cookbook project.

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