But one thing that sets this blog apart is the “Tabular Recipe Notation” technique for recipe visualization. This is the batter for a Pecan Coffee Cake:
When you’re in the kitchen, and have 3 different dishes going at once, it’s easy to forget where you are in a long text-heavy recipe. Cook’s Illustrated is one of the worst offenders. They insist on fitting what should be a 25 step recipe into 5 steps (maybe so they don’t seem too complicated). But as a result, it’s easy to get lost in the middle of the text. Their spinach lasagna recipe has only 3 steps, but step 3 (formatted as a single unbroken 256-word paragraph) includes blending the filling, preheating the oven, soaking and drying the noodles, a complex layering process, baking (bake with foil, remove foil, readjust oven racks, then broil), cooling, and serving. Every time I look away from the recipe, I lose my place in the paragraph and have to spend extra time and effort making sure I’m doing the right thing. And I must admit, I have gotten to the last layer of noodles and realized I’ve only added half the spinach.
I haven’t battle tested the tabular notation, but I think it could help with the “quick – what do I put in the pan next” problem.