Why are online recipes bad?

Why are online recipes bad?

Aug, 1 2023

The Misleading Measuring Mayhem

Ever noticed how Hazel maintains a neat row of measuring cups in our kitchen? I once thought they're just out there for the aesthetics until one fine day, the truth unfurled itself in a rather funny way. I was attempting to prepare a chocolate chip cookie by following an online recipe. With a cup of flour in one hand and a measuring cup in the other, something didn't seem right. The recipe stated 'one cup', but what's one cup in its literal sense? An espresso cup, a breakfast cup, or a generic teacup perhaps? This is the predicament many online recipes put us in - vague, inconsistent, and misleading measurements.

Ingredient Availability: The Global Kitchen Conundrum

There's this interesting incident I'd like to share. It was a quiet weekend, and Hazel and I decided it would be fun to have a Jamaican-themed dinner. The online recipe we selected required Callaloo, an essential Caribbean ingredient. I bet my last penny I won't find Callaloo in any local supermarket here in Brisbane, let alone in our kitchen pantry. This often ends up being the case with most exotic online recipes - they're born in one corner of the world and assume global accessibility of their specific ingredients. This is another point of contention with online recipes. They forget to consider the regional unavailability of certain ingredients, leaving many frustrated home chefs in their wake.

Language Barriers and Translation Troubles

It's not uncommon these days to find instructions in online recipes that boggle the mind. I remember one instance when I was following a Russian recipe, thanks to Google translate. The instruction simply stated, 'cut the chicken leg into large men's fist-sized pieces'. I was scratching my head, wondering if Hazel's fist or mine would serve as the correct size guide. Often, linguistic variations and direct translations in online recipes create hilarious or perplexing situations, leaving room for plenty of guesswork and error.

Wrong Recipe = Eatable Disaster

Speaking of guesswork in online recipes, there's one incident that will forever be etched in my memory. I thought I'd impress Hazel by making Peking Duck - only if I knew what I was signing myself up for. The online recipe didn't specify that it was crucial to dry out the duck skin before grilling it. It turned out, my bird became a sad soggy mess instead of the crisp delight it was meant to be. Of course, we didn't go to bed hungry. We had pizza delivered, and we ended up laughing off the whole episode. However, it does speak volumes about how bad online recipes can be when they miss out on sharing critical details that could make or break your dish.

User Comments: A Kitchen Godsend or a Misleading Mirage

  • The final bone I have to pick with online recipes is those infamous user comments. It feels like walking through a labyrinth, where you meet so many people claiming to have fine-tuned the recipe, turning it into something that's vastly different than the original. "I added extra butter and took out the garlic. It turned out great!" reads one comment. "I swapped the flour for almond flour and it worked wonders!" reads another. It's a wild west out there where everyone's an expert, and deciding whose advice to take is akin to playing culinary Russian roulette.

Through all these humorous anecdotes and unfortunate kitchen mishaps, the point I'm trying to make here is, not all online recipes are bad. However, there's a vast minefield of ambiguity, language barriers, ingredient availability, and misleading user comments that could lead us astray. So next time you decide to follow an online recipe, do keep these points in mind and maybe, just maybe, use that gorgeous row of measuring cups Hazel has in the kitchen.