personalised book for gift
March 31, 2008 9:18 PM   Subscribe

My friend is getting married sometime this year, and I was thinking of doing a photo book, made up of my favourite recipes and my photos of the food (we are both into cooking). What else could I include in such a book?

I don't want cutesy, nor religious. But are there other things I could include in the book? Words of wisdom for marriage and keeping house (can be a little tongue in cheek)? Handy references?
posted by AnnaRat to Grab Bag (13 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Martha Stewart has a book about caring for everything in your home. Some tips in that vein may be useful.
posted by nikksioux at 9:25 PM on March 31, 2008

- Stories of the first time, or last time, you made or ate each recipe;

- Who gave you the recipe and what you think is the most important attribute of that person or your relationship to that person;

- Detailed descriptions of the best time / circumstances / desired effect of each recipe (i.e., best recipe for after a fight, after a loved one's first day at a new job, for announcing something life-changing, for the first day of spring).

- A "language of flowers"-style guide for interpreting food items - i.e. kale is a wish for longevity; asparagus is platonic love; salad is a desire for dancing, hiking, or other physical activity with the person, and the specific activity is communicated by the type of salad, casserole means a desire for domestic tranquility (I am totally making this up, in case that's not obvious). Actually, now I might write this, if it doesn't exist already.

- A collection of advice contributed by all your/ your friend's friends and family.
posted by amtho at 9:30 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

A mixtape that's intended to be listened to while cooking.
posted by moonshine at 10:00 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

What a great idea for a wedding gift. You're a very thoughtful friend.

Could you add some recipes that are specially designed for the newlyweds? Like recipes scaled for two people, foods that are "romantic" or that contain aphrodisiacs, or recipes that your friend and her new husband would enjoy making together?

A quote that might be applicable: "Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
posted by arianell at 11:22 PM on March 31, 2008

- Instructions/diagrams for various napkin-folds?
- A special Sealed Section, containing Secret Recipes. Possibly written in cipher :-)
- Perhaps glue a thin tin sheet inside the cover, with a layer of paper over that so it looks like a regular cover, but now it's magnetic, so you can add the combined contents of a set of "love" and a set of "food" magnetic poetry kits.
- Fresh herbs (the full plants, not the diced up particles) pressed between some of the pages, interesting in their own right, but chosen so that the book will forever after smell like cooking?
posted by -harlequin- at 11:48 PM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]

There was an askmefi question at some point about cooking quotes, because someone wanted to paint them on the ceiling of their dining room. There were some gems, including a variation of arianell's one above- "Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon". Including some of these in the book might be nice.

I've just poked around, but had no luck finding it. Perhaps someone cleverer than I can help out there...
posted by twirlypen at 11:58 PM on March 31, 2008

On Marriage, by Khalil Gibran. I've often included the book marked at this passage on my friends' wedding gifts and it has always been much appreciated - even if it has become sort of a cliché. It's still nice and truthful.

And if you don't already know about it and are planning on using it, I highly recommend Blurb!
posted by AnyGuelmann at 5:52 AM on April 1, 2008

To continue the food idea, how about restaurant recommendations, maybe food sourcing recommendations? These might be less permanently relevant than recipes, so maybe in a second section of the book.
posted by jacalata at 6:20 AM on April 1, 2008

And here is twirlypen's thread of food quotes.
posted by jacalata at 6:21 AM on April 1, 2008

Photos of your friend and her friends eating. Pics from parties/dinner parties?
posted by arcticwoman at 7:06 AM on April 1, 2008

Decorative dime bags of obscure spices with a recipe for using it. It'd be a good way to try new things!
posted by letahl at 8:43 AM on April 1, 2008

Little coupons for meals cooked by you as needed - for a favorite recipe, perhaps, or one that you make particularly well. So for example : "This coupon entitiles mr. & mrs. AnnaRat's friend to one dinner where my most excellent red curry will be served" (or whatever is appropriate). Of course, only useful if you're going to be in the same city.

Wine recommendations for some of the recipes

I love this idea. If I could cook at all, I would totally steal it
posted by darsh at 1:27 PM on April 1, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks to all for your suggestions, they were all great! I'll see how I go with this project, and if it is successful, I'll see if I can post a follow up for it.
posted by AnnaRat at 10:42 PM on April 4, 2008

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