Search It, Find It

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I once heard a story, likely an urban myth, about the reaction that People In Charge had when they learned that computers could store and organize great quantities of information into a new thing called a ‘database.’   The feeling was that it was a clever idea, but no-one could imagine much use for it beyond the storage and referencing of recipes.  How darling and naive.   These are probably the same People who cleverly thought the best use of the telephone would be to broadcast music to people in their homes willing to stand at the wall with a receiver held to the ear.

Though likely untrue, I can’t say that my first reaction to news of such a thing as a ‘database’ would have been much different; food is never far from my mind and my first thought might automatically leap to the exciting prospect of an automated catalog for all my favorite recipes.  And to be able to search for and find recipes by entering a keyword?!   Swoon!   Indeed, the searching for and finding of recipes is the most use I have for a database in my everyday life.  This magnificent tool is what allows us to think of anything in the world we want to eat, and then cook it. Fish amok?  palak paneer?  chicken schnitzel?  puff pastry?  tom yum goong?  Search it, find it, print it, shop it, buy it, cook it, hot, consume it.


Recently we made good use of this power to satisfy cravings and make cabbage rolls and ripieni.  Two versions of meat-stuffed tubes, one cabbage, one squid, with tomato sauce which would have been impossible without our friendly, global interweb.

To be perfectly honest, neither of these classics fully met expectations of fine flavour or texture, but the beautiful part is that we can peel the good parts from these recipes, search for new versions, adapt, search, learn, tweak and eventually satisfy the cravings.    Oh interweb, is there anything you can’t help us do?