Stillroom Book – Create a family heirloom
Posted On July 6, 2011
There are obviously not enough projects to keep me occupied, so I have decided to start a stillroom book.
Once upon a time houses and estates had stillrooms, which by it’s basic definition was a room that contained a still. This was the place where the lady of the house, or her household staff, made remedies and preserved foods for leaner seasons. Many distillations started out as medicine and later became popular as recreational beverages such as liqueurs.
A stillroom book would contain recipes, family health information, treatments tried, but also notes and inspirations, things of importance to the household, anything and everything that would be meaningful to the next generation. These books were handed down the maternal line andwere prized possessions, some were even later published.
I haven’t got a stillroom, it’s on my wishlist, but for now my kitchen will surfice. My recipes are written down – some on the computer, some in notebooks, on the margin of another book or on ranom pieces of paper. It’s time I organise some of this information and create a new home for other intersting tid bits as well. So I am starting a family stillroom book.
There are many different ways you could go about this. A binder would allow you to keep expanding over time, also allowing for pretty dividers and maybe even adding pouches for things you might wish to include. A journal too can be personalised, maybe with a nicely decoupaged cover, for your own personal needs. I have decided to take advantage of an online offer at Lulu.com where they are offering a FREE copy of a new title up to US$25.
The plan at this stage is to
* design a cover that I like
* work out how many pages I would like this book to have
* design a layout – do I just want blank pages? lined? divided into sections? how about random herby pictures?
* write intro text, family history and other personal information I might like to have in the front of the book
So far I have decided that it will be a hardcover book (8.25 x 10.75 in./20.95 x 27.31 cm), I will include basic family information such as a family tree of our immediate family and the family crest. Then an introduction for future generations to understand why I started this book, which will hopefully be added to by other family members in years to come.
How would you feel if you suddenly found a stillroom book from your great-great grandmother? Wouldnt that be amazing? The insights into her daily life, dreams and tragedies – surely a valued possession for you and those who come after you.
I would love to encourage you too to write down your family health histories, remedies gleamed from neighbours or distant aunts, your favourite inspirational quote, share experiences of what worked and what didnt, make notations about particularly great harvests from the garden and what you chose to make with it.
There isn’t much to show yet, but when there is I will post again and show you how my project goes…..
I am very excited 🙂