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One for the cooks - Grin with cat attached
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One for the cooks Sep. 13th, 2007 09:37 pm
Apparently Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson use too many difficult words in their recipes...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/09/12/neat212.xml

Spare yourselves from reading the comments. Most of it's just about how its all a liberal conspiracy.

From: cookwitch
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 08:44 pm (Link)
Oh dear. We had a debate on this the other day actually. Jamie Oliver's recipes are easy for the accomplished cook whereas Delia and Nigella detail it all, because they were either not trained as cooks, or are not so called 'natural' cooks, so they learned from detailed recipes themselves. I have taken yoru advice and not read the comments. I suspect it would not do me any good to get all riled up before bed time.
From: kelemvor
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 09:00 pm (Link)
The comments that I read riled me less than the article. What's wrong with writing a book that assumes GCSE-level literacy and numeracy? Frankly, I'd like to see more of those skills, whether they're applied to cooking or not!
From: cookwitch
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 09:04 pm (Link)
Quite. Catering only to the lowest common denominator is not always the right way to go about things.
From: kelemvor
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 09:13 pm (Link)
Wouldn't it be better to try to raise the lowest common denominator? I mean, in general? And yet there's the Torygraph slamming Saints Delia and Nigella for having larger vocabularies than its readers!
*Kills them with fire, on general principles*

Slap these people

From: webcowgirl
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 11:03 pm (Link)
I actually saw the article as kind of promoting the value of a decent education. "Look, you learn how to read and do math, and you can make this yummy food!" But somehow the tone of the people they interviewed seemed rather snobby about the complexity of the writing! That was pathetic.

Also, the implication was that Jamie Oliver is a moron.
From: babysimon
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 09:38 pm (Link)
Steve Jenner, of the Plain English Campaign... said:

"People just want to know how to cook a basic recipe without all the little anecdotes."


Well, that's just... odd. Normally I agree with much of what the PEC does but this reminds me a bit of Jacob Nielsen designing a nightclub. People watch cookery programmes for all sorts of reasons: for the anecdotes, for inspiration, as a sort of food porn, etc. It's not just meant as remedial basic training.
From: mrph
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 10:29 pm (Link)
Well, yeah. Agreed.

I want a cookbook with some sense of the author's personality - if only because I find that more readable - and yes, I do want some guidelines on how small the pieces should be when they say "chop", especially when it's regarding things where the cooking time has to be pretty exact...

From: drdoug
Date: September 14th, 2007 - 10:22 am (Link)
this reminds me a bit of Jacob Nielsen designing a nightclub

Absolutely. The point isn't (always) the efficient transmission of a basic recipe. I like reading recipe books, but I don't often cook recipes directly from them. They're more for inspiration than information transmission. The anecdotes and context are at least as important as the recipe itself.

That said, I don't particularly like Delia's recipes myself - they tend to be a bit over-fussy for me, since everything's spelled right out (which is their great virtue for some people, of course), which makes it harder work to cook around than a vaguer one.
From: drgndancer
Date: September 13th, 2007 - 09:55 pm (Link)
Well, it's nice to see that not only Americans complain about idiotic crap like this.

"Wait, I actually have to be able to READ? I can't just, ya know, figure out which letter combinations indicate chicken or salt and work from there?"
From: flewellyn
Date: September 14th, 2007 - 07:31 am (Link)
Distressing. I thought that Brits were generally more literate than Americans.

Give me interesting writing over plain instruction any day, thank you. And while you're at it, give me Nigella Lawson! Mmmm.