I have been adding my personal recipes to malak.ca since the beginning of December, 2017.
It has been a sort of starting from fresh to create my personal cookbook, a project I started, I think, long before 2011. (I remember discussing the cookbook with someone somewhere around 2012, and it couldn’t have been before 2011.)
Several years ago, I’d put together a personal cookbook, but at a certain point during its construction, somehow the main file either got corrupted, or I had several copies which I didn’t manage properly (and presumably, in this scenario, began overwriting previously entered recipes with newer versions of other versions.) However it all happened, I became disillusioned and lost interest on a practical level to reconstruct it all, despite a certain allure it had.
Back in December, I decided to start from scratch, doing a rather 90’s thing — or perhaps even an 80’s, or 70’s, or 60’s thing — I used a basic text editor and started retyping each recipe, sometimes using what I did still have as a reference, and in at least four cases, just reusing the recipe as I’d entered it back a few years ago, with the remnants of the original cookbook file.
In the case of some of recipes I’ve been typing in, I’ve actually been able to tune the text based on recent memory of just having made the items in the last couple of weeks (as in, as I was making the item in question, going over to my computer to make adjustments), or up to a couple of months ago.
I started posting pdf’s on my website. And, I’ve been using a “post early, post often” approach to each recipe, as in, check recipes, fine tune them, repost the update, and, fine tune them again, adding sections like “equipment” as I’d start to be using that in other recipes, and so on. I even have been recalling a lightning talk I rather liked at a linux conference I attended in 2011 which, ironically, used baking and recipes as a way to demonstrate the need to developers the importance of clear, concise, and complete instructions and documentation in order to encourage others to join their software projects.
And, fun fun fun, today I took advantage of another day of holidays, er, waiting for the garage to call me back and say that my car, in for servicing, was ready: I went through all my recently-typed recipes and did some basic editing. Lists and sentences / semi-sentences were capitalized. Lists received dash points. Instructions which hadn’t already been fleshed out, were fleshed out. Sentences with multiple steps were broken up into discrete instruction lists. A number received sections “do this part, then while that cooks, do this part”, etc. (And then, transferring the updates to my webserver, to my laptop as a backup, and to my backup server which is also my webserver.)
Obviously, the likes of “cooking sausages” isn’t there, even though apparently when I make them for a Santa’s Breakfast, they are highly rated beyond the fact that I’m the only volunteer who actually relishes in making 200+ sausages at home in advance. And, that having the sausages pre-cooked so that they only need to be reheated in the oven is quite convenient when you’re serving 100+ people.
Eventually, if you look at the eggplant, first meatball, cheese biscuit and zucchini dish recipes, I may update them in the style of the newly retyped recipes as above, while converting the texts of the newly retyped recipes to that format (the original format for my “personal cookbook”), and take photos.
Finally! My recipes are now documented, accessible, shared, sharable, and, if I ever get around to it, ready for transfer into a “cookbook”.