Saturday, 26 September 2009

Getting Jamie Oliver to help you in the kitchen?

A set of tools I see as useful are ones for cooking. I want a cooking thesaurus and dictionary. Some thing to help me replace items in recipes I don't have in stock with things I do. Like I'm running out of rice. I have couscous in stock. I have tapioca at work. Should I use those and bring the tapioca home.

Whatever I use it has different cooking rules than rice. I need help adjusting the times and amounts to use. A tool to do the maths for me would be so useful. at a basic level adjusted cooking times, measures to use and a basic list of actionss to cook it e.g. are there different steps like coating in oil or steaming I need to do?

The same goes for herbs and spices. I only haqve so much in stovck and I can easily run out. So if I don't have the time, money or inclination to get the suggested ingrediensts I need advice on a replacement and weights, measures and processes to include it. E.g I need oregano for a pizza. don't. Have it but do have basil, thyme, 5 spice and parsley. What could I use? If the recipe says fresh but I have dried and even ground then how much do I use. I need a conversion tool.
Of course these changes will change the flavours and textures of the dish. We'll minimise that as much as we can but then we can use it to stand out and be different. Imagine a curry with pilau couscous or a pizza with basil.
I'd also take it further in time by making tools that can interact with the recipe. Scanning A simple 3d barcode on the page would load in the recipe and instructions. Then scanning the barcodes of all ingredients in my kitchen it would already know what's available.
It recalcuates the recipe for me or finds a recipe I could do given my current mood, desires and ingredients. I then bring the necesary ingredients around, check I've actually got enough, make any adjustments then begin.
I could use the built in alarms to automatically time all aspects. I could use it like a sat nav to help me navigate the recipe by reading aloud the dirwections and say what I should be doing at each point. I'd now have a personal tutor that is therre with me every step of the way. I'd even be able to adjust my plans, pop next door for something, answer the phone or something and it would just recalculate for me and carry on.
Tools lke this would allow me to spend more time cooking, less shooping, calculating and doing admin and less mistakes because they'd take a lot of the burden off. It would be like having a professional chef as your personal tutor. Like having gordon ramsey or jamie oliver as a helping hand.
It's not about taking the fun out. It's about putting it right back in there. The tool adjusts to your skillset and helps you deliver more often. You learn so many ways how to negotiate all the things that go wrong yet you're never nervous scared or overwhelmed because you're never alone.

Going through my old posts I found that I blogged about a similar approach before
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