RE: OT: Tech writers and cookbooks

Subject: RE: OT: Tech writers and cookbooks
From: "Carnall, Jane" <Jane -dot- Carnall -at- compaq -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 14:38:35 -0000

At 10:48 AM 1/31/01 -0600, David Berg wrote:
> > Funny you should mention eggplants. I had this very experience last week
> > with an eggplant I needed to use.
> >
> > Another TW, indexing, and even internationalization tie-in: some of my
> > cookbooks are from the UK, so I had to remember to look up
> > "aubergine." I'm
> > sure that there are many more examples like this. For instance, chick
> > also need to be cross-referenced with garbanzo beans.

I edited a cookbook a few years ago (not a professionally published one: a
bunch of sf fans all contributed recipes, and I put them all together as a
fanzine). I wanted to provide an index, but I'd never indexed anything
before. Most of the cookbooks I looked at indexed by recipe name or
category, but the recipes in _Witch Recipes_ mostly had memorable but not
descriptive names ("Doctor Prospero's Patent Cold Cure", "Mortal Sin",
"Feminist Pie"...) so instead I listed all the ingredients named in all the
recipes in alphabetical order, and, besides the page numbers, included an
estimate of how much of each ingredient you would need if you were going to
make every recipe described in the book all at once. I called the index the
"Shopping List". (The recipes in the book were all sorted by category:
soups, snacks, chocolate and non-chocolate desserts, vegetarian and
non-vegetarian savouries.)

I didn't attempt to get the recipes into any kind of consistent format,
though I provided a table to convert weights and measures from metric to
imperial and vice versa, plus a note on oven temperatures: Fahrenheit,
Celsius, and what Hot, Moderate, Warm, etc, actually mean. I was pleased by
the end result, though (naturally) I can now think of ways I could have done
it better...

Jane Carnall
Technical Writer, Compaq, UK
Unless stated otherwise, these opinions are mine, and mine alone.

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