Saturday, March 03, 2007

You how dictionaries have all the words alphabeticalised? Not so with cookbooks. Some cookbooks (members of what we'll call the 'annoying, but passable' variety) have the recipes arranged by type of food: Breads, cakes (turns out Marie Antoinette was right), cookies, pastas, meats, vegetables, soups, and so on. Now, I think cakes, cookies, and pastas are all breads. I'm also under the impression that some recipes mix multiple ingredients, such as pork (meat) and beans (fruit, but categorised, no doubt, by these books as a vegetable). Still, if I want to make lasagne, and there's a pasta section, I can guess where to look.

Other cookbooks like to arrange the dishes by when the author thinks you should eat them. Breakfast, lunch, snack, supper, or dessert. Usually I can probably guess whether a type of cake is considered by the author to be a snack or a dessert (though I haven't tried), but are hod dogs lunch or supper? Are all cookies snack, or are some dessert? And why the hell does this old bat think it's her place to tell me I can't have pancakes for lunch or pizza for breakfast? Or roast beef for lunch, for that matter? When I make a list of people who should be making that decision, it comes to one person, and his name's not Betty.

'But, ah!' you might say. 'Ah! These books have indexes! Indexes are alphabetical!'
'Tis true. The index is alphabeticalised. But by this I mean 'Pasta' comes after 'Meats'. The index oftentimes is no flatter than the contents itself. Lasagne still comes after Sugar Cookies.

You might think this is what we refer to as a 'Table of Contents'? No, the TOC is at the front of the book and lists only half the sections. I don't mean, 'Only H2 and H3', but 'Only H2 and some of H3'.

There are only three ways to cook: Know what you're doing, trial and error, and Google.

I mostly cook for people who would dislike my taking the second route, so I tend to use Google.

(In the textarea, 'use Google' is wrapped onto its own line and makes me wonder what amazingness such a package could do. Prolly just an interface to the web search. Bah.)

Almost forgot: When you finally do find the lasagne recipe, it assumes you already have pre-cooked noodles. No, dumbass, you're supposed to tell me HOW to cook the damn things. Luckily, my brother noded it years ago.

1 comment:

Leif K-Brooks said...

Seems like the best thing would be multiple indexes; one by ingredients (a recipe with pork and beans would have one index entry for pork and one for beans), one by calorie count, one by sweetness, and so on.