Introduction to My Nutrition Directory
Recipes can actually be complicated things to write out. How much should I assume the cook knows? What should I assume he or she has available in the kitchen? Should I even assume a kitchen? And so on. In order to answer these questions, I've followed a few conventions.
First, I've divided the recipes into common sections: Software, Hardware, Infrastructure, Instructions, Output, and More. Software, just like in computer terminology, is what you do most of your work with: the ingredients. Hardware is what actually runs the software, the physical device or devices which allow the software it to do its job; in my recipes, that means equipment like spoons, bowls, pots, etc. And the Infrastructure is what the hardware needs, such as a server rack; in the context of food, this means appliances such as an oven, a microwave, etc. Just like using a computer, you will then follow Instructions (i.e., follow directions) based on what you want your ingredients to do, what you want to cook with them. If you've done everything right, you should get the same results as me, as detailed in Output. Sometimes, there is even more I want to say, though: I may want to talk about varitions in the recipe, common pitfalls during the cooking, brands of ingredients that work well (or don't!). All of this extra info can be found in the last section of the recipe, More. While this system (like a lot of my systems!) may seem a little odd and complicated at first, it allows great flexibility and yet great compatibility: I can't think of a recipe where these sections wouldn't be adequate. This standard format is also something of a tribute to Alton Brown, a food genius who I've learned a lot from through his TV programs (especially Good Eats) and books; he has taught me to see food and cooking in a whole new way.
Second, I've created a list of basic assumptions that I will follow. I will not address these points in my recipes; I'll just assume that they're done, that any tools required are available, and/or that the proper methods are known. These assumptions are:
- All software (i.e., ingredients) is safely and adequately held in some kind of container.
- All software is prepared in the manner specified (e.g., diced onions are diced) and in the correct amounts (a small, inexpensive kitchen scale is great for this).
- All cans, bottles, jars, etc. are or can be opened when neccesary.
- All serving hardware and infrastructure is provided (nice plates, serving spoons, a table, etc.).
- Everyone is ready to eat some good food!
Third, all my measurements are provided in metric and American units. The metric system is MUCH easier to work with, but I have a feeling that some of my readers may not be familiar with it. Additionally, I've measured many of the items by mass, not volume, even though they may commonly be measured by volume. This is because volume can be so unreliable: lots of ingredients (e.g., flour) can change their size dramatically when compacted, sifted, etc. The mass, however, doesn't change. Many thanks to Alton Brown for this idea.