Renea Anderson flips through her family cookbook, looking for just the right page.
Ah, there it is: the divinity candy recipe.
Sitting in a conference room at her workplace on the campus of Augustana College in Rock Island, the Seaton, Ill., woman clearly isn't ready to head into the kitchen.
"I just wanted to show you this," she says, pointing to the recipe - a photocopy of the original. "That's my grandma's handwriting."
At the bottom of the recipe is the signature "Aunt Irene," written in cursive by her grandmother, Nona "Irene" Carey Morrison.
Turn the page and numerous black-and-white photos of Morrison, her brothers and parents can be seen, tucked between recipes compiled for a new keepsake cookbook that celebrates the 160th anniversary of the Carey family's arrival in Louisa County, Iowa.
Next year will mark the 80th Carey family reunion, which brings about 100 relatives together every August, said Anderson's second cousin, 51-year-old Patti Gerling of Winfield, Iowa.
The reunion is where a few of them began talking 16 years ago about trying to gather up enough family recipes to make a keepsake cookbook. The idea fizzled until last year's reunion, when five cousins - Anderson, Gerling, Penny Dierickx, Julie Edmondson and Twyla Peters - formed a committee to get it done.
They began working on it in the fall of 2009, meeting regularly to sort through the more than 700 recipes that were submitted by more than 200 people. It was a lot of work, but Anderson said she learned a lot about her family history in the process.
"Our family is big into cooking. All of our grandmothers were," she said. "Some of the recipes span six generations."
The book ended up with about 690 recipes in it. Several of the originally submitted ones were duplicates, including one for Gerling's grandma's apple tart pie.
"I bet 13 people submitted it," Gerling said.
Some of Anderson's favorites include the heritage recipe for homemade ice cream and this uniquely named dish: "Satisfy Your Man Pot Roast."
"I just love the name," she said, laughing.
Several family members have celiac disease, which is managed through a gluten-free diet. So, about 300 of the recipes in the book are marked as gluten-free, she added.
But perhaps the thing that makes the cookbook the most special is the stories written by Gerling's father, Guy "Keith" Carey, the last survivor in his family of seven boys and one girl. As his brothers and sister passed away, Gerling began to write down his memories as part of the grieving process, she said.
He always wanted to see his stories put in book form, so he offered up his poems and stories for the cookbook.
Not only is the book something cookbook collectors will love, but it also will be a keepsake for the Carey family for generations to come, Anderson said.
"We cherish it," she added.