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Infinite Oregano
June 19, 2008 1:13 PM   Subscribe

If geeks talked about cookbooks the way they talk about RPG books, the results would not be pretty.
posted by Artw (51 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
oh lore, how do I love thee. let me count the fpps.
posted by shmegegge at 1:16 PM on June 19, 2008


This begs the question, why aren't cooking club forums as much fun as the ones over at Fortress Ameritrash?
posted by suelange at 1:19 PM on June 19, 2008


Well, since someone else posted it - the line about oregano is perfect. It's everything wrong about rules nerds in one sentence. Well done sir.
posted by GuyZero at 1:21 PM on June 19, 2008


u know, i use to be a big defender of Wizards of the Kitchen....i really believed they we're going to do the right thing and respect the Flambe & Flagons series and youve all hear me stand up against the criticsism that a lot of these not-history-knowing anklebiter ramen kids have thrown at them over tiem...but when there gonna go and nerf boolabase, thats it...fuck em im gonna jump ship, my heart is broke an im a 100% World of Emerilcraft guy from now on
posted by cortex at 1:24 PM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I critical fumbled on my boil water check!
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:26 PM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sure the new Joy of Cooking covers recipes I thought were missing from the older version, but I much prefer cooking the Chopmaster recipes.
posted by drezdn at 1:29 PM on June 19, 2008


My discovered a recipe card combination that creates an infinite loop of eating-digesting-pooping that makes me invincible.

but nobody will come over for dinner to eat with me
posted by davejay at 1:30 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"hey, guys, I'm having a dinner party next week and I want to serve a roast chicken. How could I optimize the dish? I was thinking of just a straight 60 minute @ 400 degree bird"

"well, you could do that, but why not make it more interesting? Maybe, 20 minutes of marinating in yogurt and spices with a 5 minute dip of beer can grill roasting for extra smokiness. Then skin it and cook under a brick for the next 30 minutes, while pureeing half of the skin with a bit of broth for an au jus foam and reserving the other half to toast in an oven for maximum skin crispiness? Then you get crispy skin, hearty gravy and a well cooked, flavorful bird"

"... freaking min/maxing molecular power chefs."
posted by bl1nk at 1:32 PM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I will say I'm a big fan of the site Cooking For Engineers. It (obviously) isn't like the article, but it takes a scientific view to cooking, and the layout of the recipes is great.

Alton Brown also rocks.
posted by inigo2 at 1:42 PM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ever since E. Julia Child was pushed out by Tactical Studies Recipes so they could cash in on 2nd edition Advanced Flambe & Flagons it's never been the same. Now that she's gone, I think we really have seen the end of an era. I mean have you seen 4th edition? Most of the recipes have been changed so they can be made several times a day. That sounds good at first, except now they all call for pre-packaged ingredients and half of 'em use a microwave. And don't even get me started on how they completely took out the pastry section because it was "too complicated."
posted by jedicus at 1:42 PM on June 19, 2008


As I have pointed out MANY TIMES, several of these recipes contain raisins, and I, like most people, am ALLERGIC to raisins!

And why does the Internet keep telling me I'm biased? I'm not looking to confirm anything but my opinion!
posted by kittyprecious at 1:43 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I use my +1 Knife of Carving to chop the gelatinous cube!"
"You now have two gelatinous cubes."
"Argh! I use my knife on it again!"
"You now have three gelatinous cubes."
"Again!"
"Four"
"Again!"
"Oh, lucky roll. Six gelatinous cubes."
"Again! Again! Again!"
"You now have a countertop full of gelatinous cubes."
"Awesome. Kids! It's snack time!"
posted by ardgedee at 1:53 PM on June 19, 2008 [14 favorites]


Hee. And I just read a bunch of the other columns - good stuff. I especially like the one-line bio that changes to match each post.
posted by jack_mo at 1:55 PM on June 19, 2008


*applauds*

BRAVO!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:57 PM on June 19, 2008


I've seen people talk about Joy of Cooking in exactly this way -- there are many 1977 edition partisans (how could those later hacks have taken the squirrel recipes out?!), and the 1997 edition created a huge controversy over ghost-writing and the loss of the original author's voice. A lot of people are upset about the 75th Anniversary 2006 edition as well, claiming that some of the most popular quests recipes have been nerfed in the new edition.
posted by vorfeed at 2:00 PM on June 19, 2008


Why can't my dish be half soba/half chowder? There's a template for it in the Ferocious Fusion supplement and lots of other chefs cook it.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 2:01 PM on June 19, 2008


The previous musing on Flickr not wanting to become YouTube is both funny and spot-on.
posted by Brainy at 2:03 PM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is pretty darn funny...
posted by Windopaene at 2:12 PM on June 19, 2008


Brainy - Heh. Of course I’m kind of ineffectually annoyed at Netflix right now, and moaning about it in a similar way. I'm not far gone enough to sign any petitions though.
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on June 19, 2008


So I'm planning a little get-together and just read the new edition of the Better Joy Cookbook. Nice artwork, but what were they thinking when they revamped lasagna? You need spinach and cottage cheese and cheddar cheese for a 4th level?! Do the authors not give one whit about balance? Suddenly everyone's making shephard's pie; big surprise. I guess no lasagna for this party.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:16 PM on June 19, 2008


And don't even get me started on how they completely took out the pastry section because it was "too complicated."

Does anyone really understand the pastry recipes anyway? We have a perfectly good cookies and pies system here. I mean come on, they were grafted on that back of the 1st edition Joy in an Appendix, fer Beard's sake! Furthermore, the recipes use weights for measures instead of the standard cups & teaspoons. Also, pastries are way more random and finicky than your simple basic bread recipe. It's like it came from a whole 'nother style of cooking or something. I mean, sure, pastry chefs have the fancy and high-end combos like beef Wellington, but pastries don't really integrate well into mainstream cooking like, say dumplings or pie shells, which are delicious savory OR sweet. In short, no pastries in my kitchen, fancy extra cookbooks or no.
posted by bonehead at 2:23 PM on June 19, 2008


I'm just happy that people are still cooking... seems like most the kids today just want to take the easy option and spend all their time stuffing their faces at WoW burger.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:26 PM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


How come none of these recipes mention Mountain Dew or Dr Pepper?
posted by drezdn at 2:28 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


In short, no pastries in my kitchen, fancy extra cookbooks or no.

Just because you don't like them doesn't mean it's fair to the rest of us to take them out. Some of us have weekly potlucks that have been going on since 1st edition. What am I supposed to do, stop bringing pastries for dessert? I always bring pastries for dessert. And now that everyone else will be bringing 4th edition hors d'oeuvres and entrees to the potlucks, my pastries will be out of place. Gah! I told you not to get me started. Sometimes I think we should give up on potlucks and order something online.
posted by jedicus at 2:33 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


How come none of these recipes mention Mountain Dew or Dr Pepper?
Dump Cake (recipe 4).
posted by 445supermag at 2:44 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


WoW burger

Let's, okay, I'll need to—judges? Is that—

No, I'm sorry. We were looking for "Hot n Wow".
posted by cortex at 2:53 PM on June 19, 2008


Woah inigo2. I so love the recipe format in cooking for engineers.
posted by shothotbot at 2:55 PM on June 19, 2008


But if you want to order something online, you have to pay $100 for a year's worth of ordering all at once!

And now that ingredient blocks don't end up half on one page and half on another, the joy of discovering I've been preparing from entirely the wrong recipe for half an hour is completely gone.
posted by subbes at 2:56 PM on June 19, 2008


Braised narwhal with truffles and crushed pearl jelly? Why is this even in here if I can't possibly get the material components?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:12 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


has ne1 seen teh new core ingredient tables their crazy -- i rolled up a few random entrees and main ingr came up etrog like 3 times! too mane xotix not enuf staples oh well lol lates yall
posted by boo_radley at 3:41 PM on June 19, 2008


when ahm makin a new cake wut i like 2 do is crack 4 eggz but den i only keep the best 3
posted by cortex at 4:01 PM on June 19, 2008


This is why I only cook in the dark. Grues will eat anything.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:10 PM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


pot-pies fall down; vinaigrette fries

rolls for artichoke

SEASON, FRENCH AND ENTRÉE
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:24 PM on June 19, 2008


In all fairness, though: I can't believe I spent 35 dollars on a cookbook that doesn't have a recipe for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. When I buy a cookbook, I expect it to tell me how to cook.

I didn't spend $35, I got the D&D manuals at the library. But I can tell you, I spent about a week struggling with them, trying to figure out what I needed to do to create a tiny, simple campaign for my kids (who were bugging me to play). A hand-holding sample or two would be nice and doesn't seem that unreasonable.
posted by DU at 4:25 PM on June 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


So this Joy of Cooking book? I think I vaguely remember this one. Is that the one from the early seventies that has the hand-drawn illustrations of the naked bearded man, and the naked woman in the kitchen, cooking in all manner of curious positions -- on the floor, on the kitchen counter, on the sink, on the washing machine, etc?

I recall that the cooking via the recipes in this book was a whole lot of fun, but somehow I have no recollection of any of the food produced? Not sure why that would be though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:55 PM on June 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


This lends a whole new meaning to random table encounters.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 7:36 PM on June 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I do not appreciate your ATTACKING ME with helpful suggestions!

My girlfriend will rue the day I first heard this phrase, which was today
Thank you
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 7:37 PM on June 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


DU: Check out the first adventure module, "Keep on the Shadowfell" (H1). I haven't read it myself (because I'm going to be playing it eventually), but the guy that's going to be GMing says it reads very much like an elaborate example of how an adventure works -- pre-generated characters, lots of advice on running it, quickstart rules summaries, and so on.
posted by rifflesby at 8:51 PM on June 19, 2008


I feel compelled to point out that the article is from Metafilter's own Lore S.
posted by Monochrome at 9:26 PM on June 19, 2008


"Shit, that sandwich looks delicious.

"That's because I roll twenties."


I can't believe no one put that up yet.
posted by Caduceus at 9:34 PM on June 19, 2008


I didn't spend $35, I got the D&D manuals at the library. But I can tell you, I spent about a week struggling with them, trying to figure out what I needed to do to create a tiny, simple campaign for my kids (who were bugging me to play). A hand-holding sample or two would be nice and doesn't seem that unreasonable.

That's an all too common experience. Several of my gaming friends have told of their first encounter with an RPG manual, of reading it all and then asking "Now what do we do?". One friend tells of generating his first character and only then realising it was just the start of the game.

And these are people who made it through that stage to actually become roleplayers. There must be a huge number of potential roleplayers that never get past the books. Gaming companies have been lax about providing material for starting players, but it's a tough problem. In reality, the roleplaying is largely an oral tradition: you learn how to do it not by reading the rules, but by playing in a game or having someone explain it to you. There is an increasing number of starter modules out there, designed for starting characters and the first few levels. You may also find it worthwhile to chase up a few podcasts that are detailing campaigns (Penny Arcade is doing one).

The Wired article was horribly on target. With the release of D&D 4, I've heard complaints like:

* Why are they releasing another edition? The last one was only 8 years ago! This is just a rip-off!

* Fighters are underpowered when they get to 19th level! Didn't they playtest this!

* They're taking away [insert favourite spell / monster / class]! That's a betrayal of the very spirit of D&D!

* [Insert spell] used to be evocation but now it's abjuration! That's just ridiculous!

(Exclamation marks in the original source.)
posted by outlier at 1:12 AM on June 20, 2008


While we do use the core book Joy of Cooking, overall we prefer using The New Best Recipe. It's got much more detail for each recipe, including playtesting notes explaining how they min-maxed everything for optimal results. Some people scoff at us for using 3rd party sourcebooks, but it works for us, and because it uses the same ingredients as the core books we rarely have compatibility issues.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:19 AM on June 20, 2008


I, for one, do not miss Vancian recipe prep. One egg per day at first level, my ass!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:20 AM on June 20, 2008


Ha! RPG geeks are such NERDS!

And apropos of nothing, this new G.I. Joe movie better not rape my childhood the way Transformers did. Also, Firefox 3? What a rip-off!
posted by Legomancer at 5:42 AM on June 20, 2008


robocop is bleeding -- I'll grant you that Vancian cooking has its simple and straightforward charms, but I've never particularly liked how I'd forget my recipe as soon as I finished cooking.
posted by bl1nk at 6:50 AM on June 20, 2008


In reality, the roleplaying is largely an oral tradition

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. Either that or you start when you're 10 when your expectations are lower.
posted by GuyZero at 8:53 AM on June 20, 2008


Either that or you start when you're 10 when your expectations are lower.

Expectations, starting skills, attributes - everything is lower if you start with a 10 year old.

Not that I'm saying it's not a good roleplaying choice, but you have a lot of grinding to do to in order to become a fully rounded character.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:03 AM on June 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is fantastic, but any good librarian can tell you that new editions don't replace older ones.

Rule #1: Never throw out a CRC Handbook of Chemistry & Physics

Rule #2: Never throw out a Chicago Manual of Style.

And yes, people do collect different editions of the Joy of Cooking. I am particularly interested in finding a copy of the mid-1940s edition in good condition, since its recipes have all been tweaked to cope with wartime rationing. A better example of social history manifest in a handbook cannot be found.
posted by djfiander at 9:05 AM on June 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, hey, neat! Thanks for the link and the comments. I always feel a special glow when something I wrote ends up linked by Metafilter. And it's entirely different from the special glow I feel when I've been playing with mercury.

I've put up a few paragraphs that were cut from the original essay over at my blog: Infinite Oregano -- The Untold Story.
posted by lore at 9:19 AM on June 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


I always feel a kind of spacial glow when you're around, man.
posted by cortex at 9:43 AM on June 20, 2008


kinda related: When bartenders roll dice - part 1
posted by Stynxno at 12:35 PM on June 20, 2008


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