Log in

No account? Create an account
Notes from a Medium-Sized Island [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

[Apr. 2nd, 2014|07:17 pm]
[Tags|, ]

I remember once being kinda skeptical about the book Ratio a while back, but I saw a copy around here and skimmed it and found it very pleasing. I think my skepticism was based in thinking "well, of course it's the ratios that matter, because everyone knows that you can double a recipe to make more". The book's point seems more... pointed, though. It specifies which ratios it thinks are most important, most essential to various food-genera. And the pedagogical style is refreshingly honest about the fact that the ratios given are just first-order approximations to what is anyhow an ultimately subjective system of classifying foods into types and suchlike. I find I really like the structure of "okay, here is the basic idea, stripped down as much as I possibly can to leave it still recognizable as the thing you want to make, with no bullshit... and then here are eighteen variations you might want to try after that." I feel like I'd like to see this applied aggressively to teaching other things to see how well it works. It might well not work, because cookery is cookery and, say, programming is not quite the same. But who knows. Could be some useful ideas there.

[User Picture]From: queen_elvis
2014-04-03 03:31 am (UTC)
I don't really understand how to program, but I think there's a lot more room for error in cooking. My food will still compile if I forget the salt.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: wjl
2014-04-03 07:07 pm (UTC)
But it won't if you, say, put the food next to the pot instead of in it, or if you leave the water out of a soup. In both programming and cooking, what's interesting isn't so much getting anything to work at all, but rather in getting a thing that works the way you want.

I'm not really sure how far the analogy can be pushed, but I suspect further than you suggest, at least :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: jcreed
2014-04-03 09:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah I like thinking of Ratio as a guide to "how to get (e.g.) Pie to at least compile and run". My frustration with software projects is very often insufficient documentation for exactly that minimal bar of success.

Hmm. Maybe it actually says something about my research habits that I seemed to get the bulk of my satisfaction from "basically figuring out how the thing should go" and only less satisfaction from dotting all the is and crossing all the ts.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: _tove
2014-04-03 09:03 pm (UTC)
Most cakes won't compile if you forget the eggs or flour, though. Salt is more of a runtime error.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bubblingbeebles
2014-04-04 03:33 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)