Thursday, October 30, 2008

Implementation Recipes

What do I mean by implementation recipes? Well, you may recall my initial post on composite recipes. That's a recipe that I build based upon other existing recipes. It has the benefit of stealing other peoples' work, while still forming that work into something that I can call my own. That sounds a lot like rationalized theft, doesn't it? Let me ask you: You know that prized tomato sauce recipe that you're so proud of? Are you really going to claim that you invented tomato sauce? Or are you going to admit that you're just standing on a lot of other peoples' shoulders, just like I am?

Okay, with that out of the way, let's talk about implementation recipes. Part of the idea is to take a recipe and turn it into a concept. What is lasagna? Alternating layers of noodles, tomato sauce and cheese. Lasagna may contain other components, but those components (or sometimes variations on them) remain at the base foundation.

The problem is, just knowing what defines a lasagna does not actually help you make a lasagna. That's where my implementation recipes come in. Once you know what defines a recipe at its most basic level, you can build a recipe that achieves the purpose, but little else. It is just a basic set of ingredients and instructions effectively becomes a proof of concept, without having much personality of its own. You could make that recipe and be content with it, but don't expect to be winning any contests anytime soon.

That is what I mean by implementation recipe. This is the most barebones recipe that you can put together, just waiting to be tweaked and hacked and modified by other cooks. Part of my goal with my composite recipes is to learn about the recipe itself, and another part is to take my observations and build them into implementation recipes. Then when an implementation recipe has been created, it can be made available along with suggestions for the cook's own personal improvements. And that is where the cook him or herself can really shine and make that recipe their own.

I'm planning to put together a few of these recipes myself. This is why you've been seeing so many composite recipes from me lately. I've started with bakery recipes because they're extremely formulaic, and very easy to derive my own recipes from. Right now I'm working on a composite recipe for turducken, and it's proven to be a great deal more difficult. But once I have a few of these recipes under my belt (literally and figuratively), I'm hoping to make them available elsewhere on my site in a non-blog-type format. Maybe even as samples for the vaporware Open Recipe Format.

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