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Creative Ways to Preserve Family Recipes and Traditions

(ARA) – Whether families are around the corner or across the country, special memories and cherished traditions bring them together. From cooking favorite dishes to re-telling classic family stories, it’s important to keep those traditions alive.

Everyone has a favorite recipe they look forward to enjoying at family gatherings. The smell and taste of a special dish can evoke memories from the past or create new ones  for younger generations. To preserve your family’s special recipes and traditions for generations to come, consider these easy and fun ideas:

Create a Family Cookbook
A cookbook full of special family recipes is a wonderful keepsake, and creating your own has never been easier, with a variety of affordable printing and scrapbooking tools available. Ask each family member to share a favorite recipe for inclusion. Make the book more personal by having each person write a memory that is tied to the recipe or include favorite family photos. You can also capture step-by-step photos of the recipe preparation and finished product, so the next time that you or a distant relative cook the dish, the recipe will yield the perfect result.

Declare Official “Just for the Holidays” Recipes
Make your grandmother’s famous apple pie the official dessert for Thanksgiving, or cook your dad’s special banana pancakes every Christmas Eve morning. Tying recipes to a specific holiday helps build traditions and excitement so family members can look forward to enjoying their favorite dishes.

Host a Family Cooking Party
What better way to preserve family meals than to plan a family cooking party? Gather the entire family and work together to prepare several special dishes. Assign each family member a role to ensure that everyone is involved. Not only will you be working together, but everyone will learn to prepare the recipe themselves.

Make Inherited Recipes Your Own
Adding your own twist to a family favorite can keep recipes alive for future generations. Modernizing a passed-down dish can also make it more accessible and convenient. Try updating your grandfather’s legendary strudel with apple butter you can buy at the store instead of homemade or grill something that is traditionally prepared in the oven.

There’s truly something exceptional about celebrating a cherished family recipe. This fall, the makers of Smucker’s(R) jams, jellies, preserves and fruit butters invite families to share special recipes and stories in the fourth annual Spreading Smucker’s Traditions Recipe and Essay Contest, for the chance to win $20,000 toward a dream family reunion.

From Sept. 14 to Nov.16, you can share an original family recipe on www.Smuckers.com. Your recipe must incorporate at least 1/4 cup of Smucker’s jam, jelly, preserves or fruit butter and should be submitted along with an original essay of 200 words or less about how the recipe is part of family traditions and how it makes your family celebrations special.  

Contest open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C., 18 years and older. Complete Official Rules available on www.smuckers.com. Void where prohibited.

Last year’s winning recipe has been passed down for three generations, and is a family favorite at Easter gatherings:

Slow Cooker Marmalade Pork Tenderloin
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Makes: 6-8 servings

3 pounds boneless pork tenderloin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Crisco(R) Pure Olive Oil  
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
1 (12 oz.) jar Smucker’s(R) Sweet Orange Marmalade
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. Season the roast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the roast on all sides. Transfer meat to slow cooker, add sliced onion, cover and cook on high about three to four hours.

2. Heat teriyaki sauce, marmalade, ginger, brown sugar and garlic in a small sauce pan on medium until sauce simmers. Cook until smooth and bubbly, stirring constantly.  

3. Remove meat from slow cooker, let rest for 10 minutes; slice and arrange on serving platter.  Drizzle roast slices with 3/4 cup of sauce, garnish with cooked onion slices and serve with remaining sauce.