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Shabbos in Review - Karen's Musings
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estherchaya
estherchaya
Shabbos in Review
Friday night, we were joined by psujedi, caryabend, beckyfeld, osewalrus, Stevie & Daniel, and Shimon. beaniekins and pocketnaomi were hoping to make it, but neither was able to. I served:
  • Gefilte Fish Fritters
  • Garlic Tofu Dip
  • BBQ brisket
  • Jerk Chicken
  • Rice
  • Cranberry Apple Mold
  • Dilled cucumbers
  • Marinated Tomatoes
  • Spinach & Craisin Salad
  • Potato Kugel
  • Fruit for dessert
It was all quite tasty. Tasty enough that I even ate food other than just tomatoes and cucumbers (which is what I usually eat on Shabbos). I failed to have any salad, chicken, kugel, fish or garlic dip, but I had a taste of everything else. I used the blech this week, which I rarely do, but I find it hard to figure out the right balance to keep food warm on Friday night without drying it out, overcooking it, or not getting it warm enough if I just use the oven. Since our "electric blech" (warming tray) isn't functional right now (it needs a new cord, because the plug cracked and I don't like electrical fires in my kitchen), I've been struggling with the oven. But I decided brisket was special enough to warrant the inconvenience of the 're stovetop blech. It worked really well (as it always does when I drag it out), so now I've got to remember to replace the cord for the electric one, which is way less trouble to deal with.

I've decided I'd really like to get the recipes that I use regularly onto a website. But I'm also lazy. And I want it done right. But I'd like to be able to link to them. And maybe to my menu combinations also. What things work well with what and that sort of thing. I'd probably be better off making a database or something. But for some reason I've got it stuck in my head that I want them on a webpage. I'm a freak. I need to figure out exactly what I want/need so that I can put it to the LJ braintrust to help me figure out how to do it.

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caryabend From: caryabend Date: July 31st, 2005 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
You want a wiki. Without knowing much about how one hosts a wiki, I'm pretty sure that sombody's got a free or cheap one that's open to the public.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: July 31st, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought about that, but might be overkill. Isn't a wiki particularly useful when you've got a group of people who need to modify content in real time? If it's just me modifying it, do I need that? I mean, I could do this with a basic webpage, but I feel like that might not be the most efficient way to do it.
caryabend From: caryabend Date: August 1st, 2005 06:52 am (UTC) (Link)
It might be overkill, but maybe not.

Stating the obvious, you want a database that displays query results on a web page. We'll work out the exact nature of the queries later.

Continuing with the obvious, the database needs a table of records for the recipe of each dish. I'm not a DBA, but something tells me that a table of meal dates where each record contains pointers to the table of recipes might work better than adding an open-ended list of serving dates to each recipe item.

We've already made the query results web-based. We can continue by making the data entry web-based too.

Here's where the wiki comes in: while you would be the only one to decide the actual makeup of meals served, you may also want to collect recipes from others, and perhaps menu planning suggestions as well. Not only that, but you might want others to have rather open query access, because they may come up with some metric on your meals that you might not have originally envisioned. Still with the obvious, you'll need some kind of security or screening process to keep undesirables from entering bogus recipes and suggestions.

If you do wish to restrict data entry to yourself, then you're right about not needing a wiki.

Heck, there might be a cheap shareware-ish software package out there that already does all this, and you won't have to re-invent wheel.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: August 1st, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think you're making it more complicated than necessary. I don't expect a big interactive website. I don't know that I even expect much traffic. I'd just like an easy-access point for me to get my most commonly used recipes. And I'd like to be able to have a picture of the food I'm talking about with it (but I didn't tell you that in the first place). As a bonus, it would be good if I could have menu suggestions as a field, or as a separate thing alltogether. But I could live without the menu planning.

Continuing with the obvious, the database needs a table of records for the recipe of each dish. I'm not a DBA, but something tells me that a table of meal dates where each record contains pointers to the table of recipes might work better than adding an open-ended list of serving dates to each recipe item.

If I'm following you correctly, this is a good point.

I want the database for two reasons: Easy linkage to recipes (and their pictures if possible) so that when people ask for recipes (as is often the case), I can point them to my most commonly used ones. The second reason is easy access to the recipes for me. Though I enjoy having hard copies of my recipes, this poses several problems: First, sometimes they get lost. Second, if I'm at work making up a grocery list, and I don't have the recipe in front of me, I might forget to buy fresh ginger or whatnot.
tscharna From: tscharna Date: August 2nd, 2005 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
What you could do is post the recipes in your LJ and put them in your Memories for easy access.

How to do that is another story, I have no clue.
estherchaya From: estherchaya Date: August 2nd, 2005 05:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah, that doesn't work for me for a couple reasons.

First, I view LJ as somewhat more temporary than I'd like.
Second, I'd prefer a central, searchable repository.
Third, it would become unwieldy too quickly.
Finally, I don't really view the Memories section of LJ as "easy access". It's rather a pain in the neck (though I do have several recipes in my memories section).

For it to work, I'd have to start a journal specific to the recipe keeping and manage it through tags. But even tags are too limiting... I've yet to find a place where I can see a list of all the tags I've ever used and click on one and have it bring up all those entries. I'd prefer, honestly, that my recipes be entirely separate from LJ.

A database is really ideal, but I'm lazy and I hate Access, so I'm looking at other database options (I cook a LOT which, if you're reading my journal you'll soon discover with my weekly shabbos dinner posts).
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