"Being able to have your mom's homemade sugar cookie recipe explained in her voice is magical."

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Every holiday, we eat a meal made up of each family member's signature dish. My grandma cooks the turkey, my aunt bakes a sweet potato dish, and my mom always makes her famous crispy green bean casserole. I love this holiday potluck of sorts, but I've been looking for a way to gather all of these recipes so I can make them for my own family one day. I recently discovered Dishtory, a new app that makes it easy to record family recipes.

Here's how it works: Once you download the app (it's free from Google Play or the App Store), you'll be able to record, save, and share your favorite family recipes.

The app allows you to record voice memos, so you can actually listen to Grandma telling you her best tips for Thanksgiving stuffing as you're following her recipe—like she's right there in the kitchen with you. My favorite part of collecting family recipes is having something in their handwriting, which is why the image feature on the app is my favorite part. You can upload images with each recipe, so you can preserve all those old handwritten recipe cards in the app.

mother and daughter baking together in modern kitchen and using digital tablet for recipe
Credit: filadendron / Getty Images

"When the idea for Dishtory was coming together, we wanted to be able to capture some of the kitchen memories that were special to me," says co-founder Dan Zawisza. "I wanted to pass them down to our kids, so they knew the dishes we loved and the stories that went with them. Being able to have your mom's homemade sugar cookie recipe explained in her voice is magical, and we believe everyone should have that same opportunity."

"Whether it's the smell of your mom's spaghetti sauce or your dad's chili, those recipes have the power to take you back to a specific time and place," says co-founder Chris Kozak. "With Dishtory you can fondly remember and experience these recipes by recording and capturing all the subtle nuances that go into each dish."

And while the app can be used all year long, Kozak and Zawisza particularly love how people have been using the app to capture special holiday memories. Because the app allows you to record such sentimental and memorable moments, it makes the perfect holiday gift

"Families gathering for holiday meals is the perfect time to capture these memories with Dishtory," Kozak says. "Maybe you've always wondered what goes in your aunt's stuffing. With Dishtory, your aunt can easily upload her stuffing recipe, in her voice, with pictures of the dish and the recipe in her handwriting, so the next generation can share the dish for years to come."

It's also an easy way to connect different generations through food—and preserve the recipes and memories for the next generation. "Not only can users upload recipes to pass down to children or grandchildren, but younger family members can also purchase a subscription for their parents or grandparents," Zawisza says. "The experience of having my daughter film me making my late father's kielbasa recipe was not only fun, but something I will always remember."

So whether you download the app for yourself or pre-record a batch of recipes to give to a loved one, this is going to be our new go-to sentimental Christmas gift this season. It's comforting to know that even after she can't walk me through the recipe, I'll still be able to make my grandma's famous Christmas Eve meatballs.

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