Cookbooks are traditions, they are teachers, they are beautiful, they are categorized and they energize us. Cookbooks are a large part of our lives, always have been and probably will continue to be, though in newly adapted ways. They do take up space, you are limited to the collection you own and we do need to be where they are.
The web and its recipe offerings can be very current, very instructional especially with videos, extremely categorized and highly inspiring. The actual role of virtual recipes in our lives has yet to be realized. However, this recipe source takes up no space, requires no ownership, and we can refer to recipes from almost anywhere.
When we most need a recipe usually stems from having a specific food in mind and an occasion to cook for. Maybe we’re serving an expensive fish and we’d like to make an special tartar sauce. We love Chinese dumplings — why can’t we make some ourselves? We want a different way to serve broccoli rabe or eggplant or bok choy.
Here is a suggested method for using the web as a cookbook with a particular food in mind:
- Check Foodtv.com. They have been adding to their collect for some time now.
- Google the food item you have in mind. This will turn up some of the large recipe collections, some smaller collections and usually the dumpling association/board, the broccoli rabe association/board or the bok choy association/boards if any. Like the old back-of-the-box recipes, food associations are also excellent sources for recipes.
- Print up three or four tempting recipes, preferably ones with varied approaches.
- Here is where this method pays off. Make a consensus from all four recipes and jell them down into a single recipe items which sound good to you.
- Make notes and save the whole cluster for future use.
Here is an example of a recent web recipe roundup for Tartar Sauce before I made a composite. Please note, if you save the whole list, you may be out of one item next time you make it, and you have a list of alternatives.
Proportion is up for personal preference
Some of both?
Probably choose one and mince finely
Chopped chipotle pepper
Seems to be in all recipes
Tiny amount about ¼ t.
Choose one, finely chopped:
Choose one, no more than a teaspoon.
Vinegar, white or cider
Choose one finely chopped:
Mix well and refrigerate a day ahead of use.