Monday, March 06, 2006

Confessions of a Google Chef: Recipe Collection Meme

I can't stop googling recipes. Sure, I like a nice cookbook on dead tree now and then, but it's Google that I turn to when I need ideas quick for dinner. When the Web Sorceress hit me with the Recipe Collection meme a couple weeks back, I started paying attention to where my recipes come from. Here are the results:

1. Where do you obtain the recipes you prepare?
Nearly all online--mostly googling, sometimes other blogs--though I also read the NYT and WaPo Wednesday food sections (usually online), and am recovering from a desperate love affair with Nigella. I read cookbooks while eating breakfast for ideas, but very rarely consult them while actually cooking a new dish. I tote my laptop into the kitchen to keep the recipe(s) handy, cheerfully placing it in nightly mortal danger from spatters and splashes.

2. How often do you cook a new recipe?
Twice or three times a week on average, though many of those "new" recipes are variations on an existing theme--new stuffing for the same roast chicken, new glaze on the same broiled ribeye, new dressing and different veggie in a familiar chickpea salad.

3. How do you store your favorite recipes?
Ctrl+D, baby. Bookmark 'em. The "Favorites" list on my home computer is embarrassing--more or less all random recipes, often in ingredient clusters (i.e. when desperately trying to find something to do with red currants, I bookmarked seven recipes and left them there. Maybe I'll get around to them eventually.)

4. How large is your to-try pile? Is it organized? How?
The bookmarks list is long. And, as I noted above, embarrassingly long. Dozens of recipes, simply in the order that I encountered them. Sometimes I store recipes by emailing them to myself. Since I use Gmail, I just do a search for the ingredient keyword on my inbox when I'm ready to make them. Ah, the glory of total, perfect searchability.

5. What is the oldest recipe in your to-try pile?
(see Question 8)

6. Are you really ever going to make all those recipes in your to-try pile?
No. I'm an unrepentant inspiration shopper, so I almost never make grocery lists with specific new recipes in mind. The way I see it, if I've had a recipe in the hopper for along time but never bothered to make it, other people probably won't be psyched for it either.

7. Do you follow a recipe exactly, modify as you go, or 'What Recipe?' I invent new recipes every time I cook.
Sometimes I bookmark a recipe because it has a great ideas for a unique combination of ingredients. I often bookmark if I find a good description of a tricky technique (poaching eggs) or a helpful hint (what to do if food is too spicy/salty/sticky). The technique recipes I follow carefully, but I'm an inveterate tweaker otherwise.

8. What is one new recipe that you're scared to try?
Char Siu Bao--dim sum roast pork buns. I've never made anything with yeast. I am afraid. Someday I hope that my deep, abiding love for these buns will conquer my fear of the words "Leave the dough to rest in a warm place for six hours."

Now for the real challenge:
1. Tag at least one new food blogger for this meme. (New as in only blogging a few months)
The beautiful Traveler's Lunchbox is young but elegant.
2. Tag at least one food blogger you visit regularly but never interacted with.

I'm secretly envious of people who act as though tempering chocolate an ordinary sort of thing to be able to do--like tying one's shoelaces. And I love the funky retro colors on his blog. Thus David Lebovitz.
3. Tag at least one food blogger you constantly visit and leave comments.
I'm not much of a commenter. But the chatty Haverchuk fits this description best.
4. Tag anyone else you want.
For her blog-naming prowess, Toast.

14 comments:

mzn said...

Yikes I've been tagged! Looking forward to this one.

lindy said...

I'm there. Done it.
PS. Do not fear-yeast is a great friend to humankind.

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