Skip

Lemme show you how to cook that.
November 16, 2010 1:21 AM   Subscribe

Another kind of cookbook. For a couple years now, as evidenced by this old English cookbook, or this old French cookbook, or this even older Italian cookbook, recipes have been conveyed with language. Fitting with our age of copious visual information, Katie Shelly has made a cookbook using just illustrations. Eat your heart out.
posted by From Bklyn (24 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I don't want to be that guy, but she does, in fact, use words in the illustrations...
posted by smoke at 1:33 AM on November 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


This raises a question: could a TV show about cooking ever be popular?
posted by chavenet at 1:39 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


This will really piss off all those old people out there who still read words. Those old-school word reading bastards!
posted by russmaxdesign at 1:53 AM on November 16, 2010


This is sort of the beginning of a good idea. If you created standard icons for recipe ingredients, for different types of processing (mixing, baking, etc) you could create a visual Recipe Language.
posted by vacapinta at 2:05 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like the style, but, as smoke points out above, there are words, and I am not sure if these are either easier to read or more space-efficient than more word-oriented recipes. They are nicer to look at, however, and a couple of the recipes look tasty...
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:48 AM on November 16, 2010


Related: Macro girl's infographic recipes.
posted by charles kaapjes at 3:16 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Children's cookbooks already use a minimum of words.

I think this post would have gone better if the focus had been on the infographicy recipes (which I like) rather than the supposed novelty (which is in dispute).
posted by DU at 5:09 AM on November 16, 2010


I like this. It's inconvenient to print recipes out from my computer, so I often take recipe notes similar to these (with arrows, using words/abbreviations instead of pictures). One advantage: it's a lot easier to remember recipes written in this sort of format.
posted by Knicke at 5:11 AM on November 16, 2010


Hm, I just learned about different types of pesto sauce. I was surprised that hers uses no garlic and has Parmesan in it. Turns out, pesto can be made several different ways, and the one I'm used to, pistou, is unique to this area.

Pistou recipe
- Loads of fresh basil, chopped
- Nearly as much garlic, diced
- A few tablespoons of olive oil

Pound-grind your basil and garlic together with mortar and pestle. Drizzle olive oil into the mix while grinding. Once a lovely, rich, but not too thick — and certainly not runny — paste, taste it carefully. Should singe your tongue with a delicious basil-garlic zing, gently muted by the olive oil. Put on hot pasta. Once you've made it a few times, you'll get a hang for judging ingredient amounts according to your own taste preferences and the quantities needed. I've never seen cheese used in pistou. (Will have to try the Genovese type though, because I can see how pine nuts and parmesan would be tasty instead of garlic.)
posted by fraula at 5:21 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool. Thanks.
posted by Ahab at 5:23 AM on November 16, 2010


I liked this, but it's really just a Mollie Katzen knockoff, isn't it?
posted by padraigin at 5:27 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


It needs to be printed on big sheets you can stick to the fridge with magnets. Something you don't have to touch with messy hands. Maybe on laminated sheets that can be used as placemats or hung on the kitchen wall.

But the IKEA cookbook is still prettiest.
posted by pracowity at 5:29 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


One advantage: it's a lot easier to remember recipes written in this sort of format.

Well now this is interesting. How do different cooks remember recipes? I certainly don't visualize either text or pictures. Instead, I rely on muscle memory. That's why the first step of ANY recipe is getting out ALL the ingredients. Then my image processor has them in the visual field and can prompt my manipulators to do the next thing for each one. If there are ingredients still on the table, I must not be done yet.

And I just realized this is why I am constantly forgetting things when I make tacos. Each "ingredient" is itself the outcome of a process (making the salsa, cook the meat, shred the cheese, etc) so I can't assemble it ahead of time. Instead I have to imagine actually making a taco on my plate and then check if I have finished that "ingredient" yet (oops, forgot the hot sauce!).
posted by DU at 5:32 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've never tried tennis racket in my rice
posted by rakish_yet_centered at 5:53 AM on November 16, 2010


It's a bit stringy.
posted by pracowity at 5:57 AM on November 16, 2010


When I write out a recipe, I like to use the Cooking for Engineers format (scroll down to see an example). No pictures, but it's still somewhat visual. It lets me know at a glance if there's something else I should be doing while I wait for the such-and-such to simmer. Doesn't work well for recipes where you take a few ingredients and do a lot of different things to them in sequence, but for most things I find it better than the list of ingredients + numbered steps method.
posted by echo target at 5:59 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I look at this image, I can easily imagine more than a few can't-boil-water-without-first-consulting-the-web-for-best-practices types counting the number of cubes the avocado has been cut into and measuring-out that exact number of cuts on their own avocado.

And it makes me giggle.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:12 AM on November 16, 2010


I was just thinking about how I cook -- I like a fairly linear procedure I can use as a checklist. "OK, that's step 7. Now step 8: add the butter." I wonder whether I'd make more mistakes with a two-dimension recipe map. "Crap! I forgot to do the third branch where you add the butter."
posted by pracowity at 6:16 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really like that 2D format but it isn't very space efficient.

Or maybe it is. That whole recipe fit on an index card, just like it would have before. Plus when you say "combine" you don't need to specify what you are combining anymore. It takes up the same amount of space, but more of the space is blank now.
posted by DU at 6:41 AM on November 16, 2010


I love this, whether or not it's practical. However, if you want to make oatmeal that's truly magical, replace the water with fresh apple cider.
posted by slogger at 7:20 AM on November 16, 2010


Echotarget: that's how I write or copy recipes. I had no idea it had a name.

The picture method at the link just looks to me like someone trying to make video instructions less annoying by making them static. So instead of having to sit through ten minutes of video, you have to parse someone's cartoon. Just give me a list of ingredients and the method. I'll figure it out.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:45 AM on November 16, 2010


I don't feel the love on this one, sorry.

If there were ANY kind of measurements so I could at least figure out ratios (more garlic than onion, etc.), that would help. I tend to putt out all the ingredients, like DU says, and go through the steps in order to make sure I don't leave anything out (like the time I made "one-egg cupcakes" and forgot the one egg!) and then improvise from there. But I like at least initial measurements to get me started.

So these recipes are neither linear enough or specific enough to woo me, even though I normally love picture-based how-tos.

The Cooking for Engineers echo target linked is awesome, though!
posted by misha at 8:03 AM on November 16, 2010


This is sort of the beginning of a good idea. If you created standard icons for recipe ingredients, for different types of processing (mixing, baking, etc) you could create a visual Recipe Language.

In other words, could Ikea branch out into food?
posted by madcaptenor at 8:38 AM on November 16, 2010


vacapinta: "This is sort of the beginning of a good idea. If you created standard icons for recipe ingredients, for different types of processing (mixing, baking, etc) you could create a visual Recipe Language."

I used this concept roughly two years ago. Unfortunately I am a programmer not an illustrator, so I lack the skill to boil "place vanilla wafers into the bottom of a muffin liner" to a single icon. But for illustrating the concept of visual programming, cooking is a decent analogy.
posted by pwnguin at 11:55 AM on November 16, 2010


« Older Can you draw the internet?   |   I read the news today, oh boy Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post