This document is not current, and is kept only for archival purposes. Please refer to Everything2 Help for all up-do-date help documents.

  • Why do we need a recipe FAQ?
  • Food and cookery have always been an important element at Everything2. Noders love their food. We are striving to make other elements of the database the best they can be, and recipes are no exception.

  • What format should I node my recipes in?
  • In most cases, the tried and true Ingredients / Method layout works the best, especially for web based publishing. List your ingredients clearly and with as accurate measurements that you can provide. Hardlink all the major ingredients so people can easily check if they are unsure what they are.

    Have a look at E2 HTML tags and try a few new tags to help layout your recipe. A combination of <li> and <blockquote> can do wonders for the readability of a recipe.

    Compare the following examples:

    <br>1 onion
    <br>1 carrot
    <br>1 potato 

    Which presents as:

    1 onion
    1 carrot
    1 potato


    <li>1 [onion] </li>
    <li>1 [carrot] </li>
    <li>1 [potato] </li> 

    Which looks like:


    The second is much clearer and takes only a few minutes work. Try it.

  • What title should I choose for my recipe?
  • Choose the title of your recipe carefully. Make sure you have the correct spelling - you may know it as lasagna, but the correct spelling is lasagne - do 2 minutes of research before you create your node.

    Be descriptive, but not overly verbose with your title. The aim is to get readers interested enough to read your write-up, just as reading menu should make you hungry. If the main ingredients are tuna steak, potatoes and a tomato salsa, then 'tuna with potatoes and salsa' may seem appropriate and expedient - but it is also bland and tells readers little about the dish. Explore the main ingredients and cooking styles and work from there. How are you cooking the tuna? Char-grilling? What sort of potatoes are you using? Kipfler? What else is in the salsa apart from tomatoes? Coriander? Then try the title 'Char-grilled tuna with tomato and coriander salsa and kipfler potatoes'.

  • What about ingredient names, weights and temperatures?
  • This is a tricky one. With so many noders from different backgrounds it is inevitable that some confusion may arise. Try to provide both metric and imperial weights and volumes, as well as both Celsius and Fahrenheit oven temperatures. All this information can be found at the Everything kitchen conversion table.

    Try looking at nodes for the key ingredients in your recipe to find alternative names for your ingredients. A lot more people will be comfortable with your rockmelon sorbet recipe when they learn that it is simply a cantaloupe sherbet.

  • How detailed should I be in the method for my recipe?
  • As detailed as possible. Try to go through the recipe step by step, explaining to the reader what to do at each stage. Don't assume everybody knows how to cream together butter and sugar or how long it takes to boil a potato. Explain any special techniques, mention any equipment required, give exact (or at least approximate) times need to complete a stage of the recipe. Make it easy for even a novice cook to attempt the dish, if at all possible.

  • Is there anything else besides the recipe I should include?
  • Yes. Writing about food is very different from other forms of factual writing. Food is a sensory experience, and your writing should reflect that. Your aim is to get the reader motivated to try your dish, and a simple ingredients list and a brief method is unlikely to achieve this.

    Tell us a little about the dish first. What does it taste like? Why is it so delicious? Why should we cook it? Where did you get the idea? Tell us any funny or interesting anecdotes. Was there a disaster the first time you cooked the dish? Were the ingredients difficult to procure? It all adds up to a more interesting experience for the reader - and ultimately, the feedback you will receive via /msgs and upvotes will reflect this.

  • What about copyright issues?
  • Legally, a list of ingredients cannot be copyrighted. However, detailed directions for making a dish can be, especially if substantial intellectual effort was put in to compiling them. What this means is that, in order to avoid violating copyright law, you must completely or substantially rewrite the recipe method. Don't just copy something out of a book or from a website. And if your recipe is based on something you read somewhere, you might want to give credit to your source in your write-up.

    A well known chef once summed this up nicely; "There are only so many ways of transferring heat to a piece of meat". It is more than likely that someone has already made something very similar to your dish before. If you are noding a recipe you found in a cookbook or magazine, just make sure to put your personal stamp on the dish.

    See also E2 FAQ: Copyrighted Material, US Copyright for Recipes.

  • Do I need to prepare the recipe myself before I node it?
  • Ideally yes. Not all recipes are infallible - in fact, some are just plain duds. If you are not a food editor or professional chef, it can be very difficult to gauge whether a recipe will work simply by reading it. You need to be the test kitchen for us - make it at least once and change the recipe if necessary. If for some reason you have not cooked the recipe, perhaps a friend gave you permission to use theirs, state this fact clearly in your write up.

  • Is there a list of recipes on Everything2?
  • The recipe usergroup is working to list all the recipes that can be found on Everything2. The main node for this project is Cookery; there are many sub-nodes of Cookery that categorize recipes by type of dish, main ingredient, country of origin, and so on.

    The project of cataloguing the thousands of recipes noded is a huge one, however. If you find a recipe that hasn't been listed on one of the Cookery sub-nodes, find the name of the user who maintains that node (it's listed in the text of the node) and /msg them to notify them of the addition. If you node a new recipe, do the same thing. That way the list of recipes can be as complete and as up-to-date as possible.

    You may notice that there are a number of blank sub-nodes under Cookery. If you want to contribute, /msg anthropod and ask to join the group and begin the herculean task of indexing. We need help!

  • Whew! This all seems kind of complicated. Will my recipes get nuked if I don't follow these instructions?
  • Not at all; these are guidelines only. Just remember this: cooking is fun, and noding is fun, so noding about cooking should be double fun. So get cookin', and tell us all about it.

    This information has been posted for your edification and enjoyment by anthropod and sneff.

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