I do recipes on here. Many people do. I was initially shocked at how 1950's food is on here when I started! Cut corners, quick, easy, and quite simply poor recipes are all pervading it seems. Quick, or easy is one thing but these days with microwave meals done in minutes I think quick and easy has actually become authentic in itself, and quality dishes have suffered. Jars, prepacked, canned and ready made commercially produced ingredients are added to dishes instead of making them properly. Nobody can makes a curry any more without adding a jar of supermarket sauce! You cook your chicken and onions, add some spices and maye some chilli or pepper then comes the jar of pataks or something similar! You have done half the work, why can't you mix the cream or yoghurt, a bit of stock, garlic, tomato purée and other spices yourself?
Are our pallets simply dulled and altered by years of this? Are we over commercialised and unnecessarily reliant on this poor quality gloop? What are your thoughts on cooking hubs? Are your own more traditional? Why are there so many deluded chefs? And why do they think this is cooking?
Maybe your criticism is of cooking today in general as opposed to the recipes on HubPages. Many people are searching for quick and easy recipes. We are in the business of producing well-written articles on searchable topics. May sound like a sellout, but this it what we do. I imagine traditional recipes have a good target audience, but so do quick and easy. Keep doing what you do well. Cheers.
There were and still are some poor quality hubs on hubpages.com. There are a lot less than there were when I first came here three years ago, so it is a work in progress. As far as recipes, I see good and poor quality recipes at every recipe site out there, not just this one. Like another poster said, those not only make yours look better (I suppose since I have not actually looked at one of yours...and do not plan to), but the readers out there are the ultimate critics of what constitutes a good or bad recipe.
I am not a gourmet, but I like good food. I do not want foie gras or truffles on my burger or my steak. We are also very busy with other things and do not look at every meal as as gastronomical delight. To us, sometimes it is just dinner. We need quick and easy recipes and appreciate time-cutting tactics like prepared sauces for week-day dinners. On the weekend, or when company is coming, well, that is a different story.
As far as "1950's" meals go, my grandmother was a recipe buff and meticulously cut out recipes from newspapers, magazines and any other place she could find them. We have tons of yellowed clippings and I do not see that much difference in the quality of recipes today. Not everyone was into beanie weenies back then either. There were plenty of gourmets even back in the stone ages of the fifties.
As far as hubbers not being able to take criticism, I believe that the difference is in how the criticism is given. If you see someone who obviously wants to do recipes, but does not do them well, maybe a pointer or two from an expert like you would be a great help to them. That would then be constructive criticism and most hubbers love to get that. I know I do.
I believe that it has just been a few months since hubpages decided to get serious with the recipe capsules. I believe that will go a long way in making recipe hubs look more professional. As far as what recipes they choose to do, well, again, not everyone is a gourmet and this world is full of people of all tastes. That is where you messed up, in thinking that the only good food is the kind you make. I might not even like it. Where I come from, a good bowl of soup beans and corn bread would most likely be chosen over any dish you prepare, and believe it or not, the quality of even a bowl of beans can vary from one cook to another, depending on mom's recipe that was handed down. I just think that you need to realize that we are a melting pot of hubbers here, all different and unique who all have different tastes and guilty food pleasures. To think any differently is to be a food snob.
Poor quality? surely not...These types of hubs get Hub Of The Day for Christs sake!
Unfortunately this is the world we live in. Everything has to be quick and easy, nuked or fried that's why many people get fat these days (it's all that processed food). I'm a hobby cook myself and understand your frustration. I wouldn't call these hubs poor quality, it's just that some people are into different food than you. Why don't you check out Jamie Oliver's cooking. He does use Pataks as well, simply because it's easier, but just about all other ingredients are fresh & healthy. I've published the odd quick & easy recipe myself (that's what seems to appeal to most readers), but most of my recipes are cooking from scratch (especially the baked ones). I'm appauled that some people will publish hubs on how to bake a cake and then use a packet mix, I guess that's what you would call a poor quality hub. But you will also find some quality recipes on hubpages. Just check around, you will be surprised. At the moment I'm cooking a pot of rhubarb chutney (no preservatives in there....). Wait for the June cooking contest on hubpages. I intend to release some high quality hubs there...
Ive found many are nothing more then recipes found on the net. Different in a sense with new name, ingredient order, and ingredient amounts changed just a bit to call it their own. I don't consider those type of recipes the hub authors own. Back in the day, true recipes were handed down, generation to generation. Most appear to be spinoffs of excellent chefs using can goods. An example would be an apple pie using canned apples. Unheard of years ago. Only fresh ingredients were used. Maybe it's because of our fast paced lives? All I know are most are kidding themselves with many of the recipes I've seen on this and other sites, being called the authors own.
Why are you starting so many threads that seem to do nothing but disparage other hubber's work?
Everyone is free to write here and there are many different levels of ability and reasons for writing. If you don't like a hub then just don't read it? If it is obviously substandard or breaking the rules, flag it and let the moderators sort it out.
We are a community here, and although there are the inevitable arguments, most hubbers are supportive and try to help, rather than just criticize.
I think the response to my threads says it all, I'm not the only one thinking what I am thinking, I have seen recipes on here that are literally offensive. Its like watching American idol sometimes as a reply to another thread said. And you really don't want to hear someone who sings like a strangled kitten as I don't want to read the work of someone who cooks like dog crap.
He's from Liverpool. You'll have to excuse him. It's something to do with the nature of seaport cities. It's that thing that made John Lennon so feisty.
I told you before Matthew, easy there tiger. You'll get a reputation. Don't bite the hand that may one day feed.
Well, I missed the other threads, so can only respond to this one.
I, too, get annoyed to see recipes that involve opening a pack of ready-prepared sauce or whatever.
I think supermarkets started that trend by offering cheap recipe books that included their own brand sauces etc to make them up.
Living out in Spain I couldn't buy any of those sauces - I was always on the look-out for recipes that used natural ingredients that I could actually buy in the shops.
I don't have anything to say about anyone's food hubs, just on the general theme of 'does anyone actually cook these days'?
Some of the recipes look and sound delicious, but I do agree that it's really not original if they're simply modifying a few words and copying it from another site or book and making it look like it's their own creation.
Who died and made you a food critic and editor? If you are going to ask such a question, why don't you open your eyes and realize that HubPages is a mix of writers. In the case of recipes, we have chefs as well as home cooks. And they are given the the freedom to write what they want to write. If you don't care for the recipes written here, don't read them. And while you're at it, get off your friggen' high horse.
Up one Arlene. Up one. Granted since I write mainly recipe hubs I tend to question who has what authority to claim one bad and one good.
If you are doing or writing recipe or food hubs on a traffic money sense they may differ from those who just love to cook. But what do i know.
"Insult-a-lot-of-other-Hubbers-who-are-just-doing-their-thing" threads can be hard to resist, can't they? I'm guessing you started an "insult-other-people" thread in order to get people to read your Hub about making a cheese sandwich from leftovers (a Hub to which you've tacked on at the end the line about how making or growing one's own will make it even better). Sort of clever, I suppose - but not likely to get you any outside traffic or followers on here.
There are a lot of different people with a lot of different preferences. The OP may not be "the only who thinks" like he does, but then a whole lot other people think very differently from him. Not everyone cares about, of wants to be "all involved" with the kind of recipes he's suggesting. Some people just don't care about food all that much and want to come up with meals that are quick. Others may like the "real" recipe now and then, but may also have interest in the quick approach. Besides, to be honest, I wouldn't trust any recipe I find on a site like this. If I want a "real" recipe I'll go to a site like a well known cookbook/cook's site for it. It goes right back to the thing that searchers tend to prefer authority sites to sites like this. "Quick-and-easy" from a site like, though - people don't have to worry as much about ruining expensive food with a bad from-scratch recipe. No, "quick-and-easy" isn't gourmet; but people at least know what they're getting when they dump in those ready-prepared products. Whether or not "our pallets are dulled", I don't know. I just know that a lot of people are like I am, and that is being someone who doesn't live life with the idea that what I have for dinner is all that important in the scheme of things, as long as it's healthy. These days, a lot of people have finally figured out that we "eat to live, not live to eat". (Snobbery about attitudes toward food can go in both directions, can't it.)
The OP is yet one more person who thinks he knows what's on the minds of other people (with the "deluded chefs" and "think this is cooking" in the last couple of lines of his post. People who write the "quickie-meal" Hub don't necessarily think it's "cooking" or think they're chefs. They're very likely to be thinking they're writing a "quick-meal prep" Hub (I've done a couple of those even though I hate cooking, food, and writing about food.) There's a difference between "quick-meal prep" and cooking. Most people know that difference. People who have more interests in life than just food often think quick-meal type material is actually kind of handy. Instead of starting a whole thread about what other people do that I don't happen to like, I think I'll add what a lot of people don't think much of here: a) people starting Hubs to knock one kind of Hub or another for whatever reasons anyone does that kind of thing, b) people who worry more about what others write than they ought to and not enough about what they write (or how much they've written) than they should, and c) people who think they know what other people are thinking when they do one thing or another.
*This* is a dull pallet:
Sorry, but when someone comes on here and starts slagging off other people's writing, I reckon any spelling and grammar howlers of theirs are fair game.
I agree with the OP about hating the "saying nice things about other people's hubs in order to be social" thing though.
This is where a picture is worth a thousand words.
I might as well go into full-on Spelling Nazi mode while I'm here.
Pallet: wooden thingy used in warehouses
Palette: funny amoeba-shaped thingy with a hole in it, used by artists to mix paints
Palate: your taste in food.
It's a euro pallet. They're not worth much at the moment. Bit like the currency.
Well, Lisa, I was going to bite my tongue about this thread until I read your post, specifically the part about the cheese and leftovers. Isn't that exactly the kind of hub being protested? Cheese, chutney, crackers, smoked meat...don't all these come out of a store? Or did the OP make the cheese from milk and rennet, the chutney from fresh ingredients, bake the crackers from scratch, and smoke the meat from a butcher's cut of hog?
I thought more than twice about whether or not go with "the full reply bit", because I can most often remain silent about a lot of threads that kind of bug me. My weakness tends to always be that thing when someone starts insulting people who are just minding their own business and writing their own kind of Hubs. (Well, that and the thing that people do when they believe the know what other people are thinking.)
No, but I think I'm about to lol. Wait, it's opening post right.
I asked because shortly after he posted that question it was answered. If you managed to read through the thread, then you would have found this out.
But, since I didn't know, I figured I would ask. To answer your question- OP means Opening Post.
I haven't insulted one specific hubber at all and I could have, if that would of wound you all up more though I would have.
And Sally I have made cheese and smoked meat and you should too
Well I hope the OP isn't referring to my food hubs which have been prepared to the same high standards as the, er, food itself.
Granted, there is an element of using canned food to provide a nutritious meal for a very stoned person but I have had very few complaints and even fewer readers.
Now I have upgraded it with the Star rating, and voted it five stars (not stupid) I am looking forward to an increase in sales.
As for what other people write. Eventually the search engines and readers determine the cream, which floats to the top - much like my recipes if I had used cream, which I didn't.
There is such a diverse range of writing abilities, standards, goals, attitudes and most importantly AUDIENCE - that it is hard to be judge and jury. Or critic.
A while back there was much mumbling about an iPhone 5 review which got something like twenty million views. It was essentially a piece of crap BUT people liked it. They shared it, it must have gone viral or something.
That is the ultimate critic. People out there.
Sorry about the pictures but it's the weekend and I don't seem to have anything I want to write about. I hope you don't mind. I mean, let's not get into an art discussion and as a word of advice - do not pick on the poets.
If that isn't delicious then I don't know what is.
It looks beautiful Mark.
Did you make all the ingredients youself?
I've no doubt you're already selling them.
P.S. What is it? I hate people who post pictures of things on green plates without telling me what it is. No place on HubPages for the likes of you if you ask me.
Thanks Horatio. I slapped a bit of cheese (processed) on a piece of bread and warmed it up until it was slightly burnt. I drew a picture of it and threw the toast in the bin.
I didn't ask you about my place on HP but am grateful for your comment.
ps. Thanks for the green plate feedback. Invaluable.
I think you all missed the point jumping on the ploughmans band wagon, that wasn't a recipe but just a ploughmans... you can buy supermarket cheese and you can buy real cheese...
You all seemed to miss out the best baking hubs that are on this site (that I write) and decided to twist something else into your own meaning. To be honest there are a few good baking and cooking hubs, I would say 90% of them are crap. I am passionate about food and thought i don't ever comment when something looks like dog crap in a pan, I do think that I would (and should) if the nicey nicey hub pages world was not so restrictive.
This is what freaks me out about hub pages, its taboo to criticise.
Mathew, respectfully (and I honestly do mean that sincerely), what has gone on in this thread isn't about HubPages. People criticize all the time. They criticize the HP team. They criticize individual Hubs. They criticize everything. So criticizing isn't at all off-limits here.
The problem with some of what happened on this thread (at least as far my thinking goes) is that a) there's a difference between criticizing one particular thing and blanket-insulting whole bunches of people on here. (I don't write cooking Hubs at all, so I didn't happen to take the insulting thread personally). Then again, I suppose, for me, I took it as an insult to suggest that anyone who is happy to run into one of those "quickie recipe" kind of Hubs, and who thinks that kind of Hub actually has its place on this site, is in the "don't-know-anything-about-real-food" category.
I find it hard to believe, though, that you don't know the difference between saying something like, "I think HubPages ought to raise it's standards for what are called recipe Hubs," and saying, instead, something like, "All food Hubs that include prepared foods from the store are junk".
Here's what you started your thread with that set the tone for the rest of it:
"I was initially shocked at how 1950's food is on here when I started! Cut corners, quick, easy, and quite simply poor recipes are all pervading it seems." You ended the thread with the remark about "deluded chefs" and people who "think" a quick recipe "is cooking". "Pervading" isn't a word people generally use when referring to something that's neutral or positive. Calling the ingredients to other people's recipes "poor quality gloop" is obviously not a matter of recognizing that people just have different degrees of interest in food.
I'll admit (as I did above) that I tend to be someone whose buttons get pushed when someone comes on here and seems to insult a lot of other Hubbers out of the blue (and I'm not usually someone who has all that many buttons that ever become pushed, but I do have that one; and I'm always fighting off the urge to defend other people who I see as "minding their business and not bothering anyone else". So, partial apology for some things about my post above.
Then again, I don't think there's any twisting of what the following implies: "What are your thoughts on cooking hubs? Are your own more traditional? Why are there so many deluded chefs? And why do they think this is cooking?"
Anyway, maybe some of the wording of your thread lacks diplomacy; and maybe my "defending-other-people" alarm is a little more sensitive than it ought to be. Even so, and either way, the "deluded-cooks" remark pretty much amounts to implying/suggesting something that isn't very flattering to any of those people who have quick-recipe type Hubs. (And, you have to admit that there's irony in the fact that a person who has a sandwich-making Hub is the one to start this thread).
On the other hand, your discussion topic about food quality and/or what constitutes a "real" recipe is a legitimate one. It just could have been presented without the "crack" about "poor recipes on here" linked to "cut corners" and "quick". I think one point with regard to "criticizing" HP's food Hubs is that HP doesn't present itself as a cooking site, It presents itself as an all-purpose, writing, platform with all kinds of different Hubs. Suggesting that all meal-prep-related Hubs meet recipe standards that a cooking company/site would have just seems to disregard the fact that not all meal-prep Hubs are designed to be "official recipe material".
In any event, don't be freaked out. Criticism is more than allowed and widespread on this site, but one thing about it is that it's likely to get criticism back to the person who posts it. (People may not have missed that you have baking Hubs, but when you have that one sandwich-making one on the first page of your profile, and then when you make the issue here that you have; all a lot of people are going to notice is something like the sandwich-making Hub. )
Anyway, "sort-of" (but not complete) apologies for my first reply.
Appreciate your post. The reason I was not specific on hubbers or hubs was so that I am not directly attacking anyone.
Just to be clear - a ploughmans is a well known and loved dish (and widely varied by region) - its not a sandwich, and not at all what I am getting at or being critical over.
I have stayed out of this thread for specific reasons, but now I find myself getting into it.
First off, there are different levels of cooking to begin with and those levels is solely based on education of the individual. Many people are taught by their parents "how to cook?" and it's a generational thing(it's passed down from generation to generation). This is the uniqueness of family.
Secondly, I don't think everyone is educated on the proper format for writing a recipe, which will lead to many hubs being a mess.
Thirdly, if you're going to talk about what to use in a recipe or what is proper to be used in a recipe? Then you are wasting your effort in this thread. It is understood by your initiating this thread, that you seem to have a problem. What that problem is? Is most likely related to your own experience and education. If you are expecting to see results as per your standard, then just as in Life, you're going to be sadly disappointed.
Lastly, people write hubs for many reasons and not all of them are going to be completely educated. When things are not known to an individual, that individual doesn't always go in search of learning how to do it. They just simply pass it up and move on to the next thing. This happens because of the previous systems of our environment have been manipulated by others, so as to distort almost any real perception of reality, as it should be.
I'm sorry to hear you have a problem with many of the hubs on here and I can understand your reasoning for starting this thread. However, there are too many variables/factors to weigh, in order to get a correct conclusion for your question. Are you to be the decider of what "poor" quality is when it comes to a recipe? I don't think so.
Either way, that's my two cents about it. Take it for what's it's worth.
Take your point cagsil, however I am simply asking the question - I got into hubpages by following a link to an excellent recipe hub, after I joined I kind of felt a bit cheated in some way by many of the recipes - it sticks in my gullet to see so much praise for such twaddle in most of them - i don't agree with praise for praise's sake.
There are a lot more narcissistic ppl nowadays than there used to be. To think you're so much better than all the rest is not going to win you any friends. And you likely don't care about friends, because they can never meet your standards anyway.
I didn't say I was better, to be fair thought its not tough to be better at cooking than many of the hubs; just add water to the packet and you have created a gourmet meal - it says that on the packet, don't publish a hub about it!
Starting to worry that people are a bit touchy on here... maybe I should move my hubs elsewhere?
People nowadays are very touchy. Do you not get out much?
Then you must live in a nice section of the world. It's a shame I cannot say the same.
I don't know about that but we're not so touchy at all in this part of the world; self deprication and criticism is taken pretty much in-stride.
So in the space of a forum thread or two you manage to alienate the very community that HP represent.
A largely supportive set of writers who try to encourage rather than criticise.
There is a lot of rubbish, and in between... and very very good on here.
There are some fantastic recipe hubs which I could not begin to get anywhere near.
The thing is Matthew that HP is a community. That is what makes it so good. It is not a lonely place to write web pages, but a network of fellow writers.
Yes, there is false praise... and real praise. There is plenty I don't like but it is far outweighed by the good.
If I were to offer a suggestion it would be that you check out some more recipes, follow those writers, learn from them, comment, make friends and find out why a lot of people really enjoy the HP thing.
Why wouldn't you expect most food Hubs on this site to be poor quality?
If you don't like what you are finding, you have a few options:
a) Don't read other people's Hubs. A very easy solution.
b) Flag violations and/or rate down the weak stuff. Admin truly appreciates this and it can make you feel really good to see horrible crap removed from the site.
c) Make Hubs that outperform the dross. It's quite easily done.
d) Take your content elsewhere. Another very easy solution.
Here's what I would like to have seen about the Ploughman's hub...if these things would have been in place in your hub, you never would have received the flack you did here for criticizing sub-standard recipe hubs while producing one of your own (you did put your hub in the HP recipe category):
---In your hub, you have a link to Wikipedia about ploughman, which also offers the earlier history of ploughboy. Instead of writing about this rich tradition as a focus of your hub (which I think many would find fascinating), you just threw out a convenient link.
---The lunch you describe has an American history as well, although the American version has no famous name. School children and workers throughout the 19th century in America carried tin pails containing cheese, bread, and preserved meats, because these items fared well in the absence of refrigeration.
---There's a wonderful connection between bringing the past into the present (people were pretty smart then about perishables in the old days) and showing how the present has capitalized on the old knowledge - snack packs! I hate them and would never buy them (things like pre-made tuna salads in a plastic pouch), but they are an evolution from the idea of ploughman.
I hope you use HubPages to bring the knowledge you clearly have to educate and inform.
I think I'm a little offended by this thread (I'm trying to decide. lol) I have a few quick and easy recipes here, but I also have many of my own creations, with lots of details.
You write stellar hubs on food. Anyone who wants to enter into your life and experience about food will have a super adventure. You have nothing to feel offended about. The OP has his own point of view, and that's fine too.
Its not the quick and easy that I view as a problem - for the main part its the quick and easy that just uses packet recipes - its not a recipe if it is ready made in a factory.
I rarely use "packet recipes." I even make my own BBQ rubs, shrimp boil, marinades, cocktail sauce, tartar sauce, dipping sauces, salad dressings, etc.
I am not offended. Anyone who writes '100 healthy Pesto" articles and then doesn't bother putting 100 recipes for pesto in the article, has no leg to stand on.
Let us know when you have added the other 98 recipes and we will talk.
There are 100 potential variations mark - the titles are there for SEO
Is that so? SEO in a packet huh? Misleading titles will not do you any good at all.
Personally–I hit the back button the moment I come across a misleading article like that, so excuse me if I'm not impressed with your SEO skills either.
I've only been learning for a few months, I use the adwords keyword search tool and as I'm not a genius at it just yet I try and build as many regular searches into a title as might be sensible - if it should be done differently then I would appreciate any assistance.
Why don't you try matching your article to your title? There you go - 1st bit of free advice.
Then perhaps you can start slagging off everybody else.
That one already matches - If you use the combinations on the table then you can get to 100 recipes.
That will be the last piece of advice you get from me.
People such as yourself writing misleading articles with no information in, and then attacking other people for not writing good enough quality articles make me laugh.
People who spend every hour of every day attacking others for fun in a semi passive fashion out of some sort of superiority complex because you went to boarding school makes me laugh.
Darn you Habee!!! Let me guess that was out of the smoker. This lady can write a mean recipe
@Habee, I was offended as well but I did realize that it was also true based on some recipes I do read while hopping. Most if not all my recipes are either original creations or my version of what is.
I think there's a balance of quick and easy recipes and more complicated recipes. Everybody is busy these days and want to cook food that tastes good but doesn't take hours to make.
I think there's a balance of quick and easy recipes and more complicated recipes. Everybody is busy these days and want to cook food that tastes good but doesn't take hours to make.
Then you obviously have not chanced upon mine
I have found many great recipes on Hubpages and especially step by step videos by some great chefs.
Of course I seek many sources,but I feel the OP may be just a tad hasty in his/her's first impressions
In my experience recipes are like music; there are only so many melodies out there, you pick one an then tweak it until it suits you. After you tweak a recipe it is yours be it good or bad.
Anyone who has read my hubs knows that I believe in avoiding processed foods as much as possible. That being said, recipes that are passed through families or existed prior to 1950 had some good qualities. Most of them were from scratch and did not contain processed foods. Updating these recipes for today is not a bad thing. There are whole generations of novice cooks and young experienced cooks who have never been exposed to culinary history in any way. We learn from the past, even when it comes to cooking. So, look at those old recipe as an education for those who simply do not know.
As for blanket critiquing hubs, some things are better left unsaid. We know that there are a variety of writers out there with different levels of experience. Some of those that may fall under your blanket may be new, young, inexperienced (you don't have to be young to inexperienced), or have only found a recent fascination with food. Some are just set in their ways and believe that their way is they way it should be done.
Quick and easy is not an insult to cooking. People are tired and have busy lives. Some people have to go to day jobs and have little time to create fabulous sit down meals. If you find fault with quick and easy being shortcutted then, by all means, introduce some hub that are quick and easy without the shortcutting.
Please, Mr. Kirk, just breathe and this too shall pass in favor of more diverting pleasures.
Just to be clear to everyone - when I said 1950's is because a lot of the food then in the UK was pretty bad because of rationing, post war rationing gave a bad name to British food which kind of clung to us until around the 1990's. Little things like adding milk to scrambled egg before it goes in the pan just to bulk it out (because eggs were rationed) and packeted, dried food were everywhere so that it remained preserved. Anyway eventually we got used to this and many local cuisines died off a little and we got a bad reputation in Europe for cooking. Those local cuisines have come back now in many places.
When I refer to 1950's cooking it doesn't mean it is all bad it just means what I said above.
The good ones do
I think your initial comments revolved around the poor cooking methods. Like you say a bit of meat, onions and whatever...then the jar off the supermarket shelf!
I think what happens today is both parents are working, they don't have time to come home and start blending sauces, so it's quick and easy recipes.
My mother spent hours cooking from scratch and I was fortunate enough to taste 'real food' so I know exactly what you mean.
It's shame things are so factory produced - cannot think of another way to explain.
I enjoyed your article and you made some very valid points.
Jenubouka, as you know, I am very disappointed in HubPages when it comes to this new layout. I always believed that Hubs should showcase the writer's work. In this case, recipes on this site have been treated like the redheaded stepchildren. Although there is a "guide" for people to use when writing their recipes, none of them are edited for quality. So, we've got a collection of everything written by people who could not cook themselves out of a paper sack to professionals with years of time and valuable experience in a professional kitchen.
Even when I Hub-hop, I spot many recipes that are written as desired by the writers. They have no direction. Since a lot of recipes don't have the proper measurements or anything close to nutritional guidelines, the reader has to decide which recipe is something they can follow. I am not a professional chef. Therefore, I have decided to leave the cooking and baking recipe-writing to professionals like you.
I refuse to add to the madness.
As long as HubPages does not have an editor to screen the Hubs that do not follow the recipe pattern, all kinds of recipes will be submitted and published on HubPages. Unfortunately, there is no quality control here when it comes to recipes.
So true Arlene, Thank you for the compliment; I try even as a professional or perhaps that is what is making more difficult for me to write recipes for the moment.
Does this not depend to a large extent on how a person cooks? Personally, I do not give a flying "duck" about nutritional "guidelines" in a recipe. If I happen to be following a diet, I already know which ingredients are acceptable to me and which are not. I can decide whether or not to cook from a recipe on that basis, make my own substitutions, etc. I do not need a nanny to lecture me. If people want that sort of information, they can restrict themselves to recipes providing it, but do not deprive the rest of us of good meal ideas, which refuse to be constrained by artificial rules!
Likewise, measurements are fairly arbitrary. I know how many ounces of pasta (or whatever base ingredient is being used) will feed how many of the people for whom I cook, so I do not need someone else telling me what portion sizes to use. Sometimes, I have taken recipes supposedly for 6 people, knowing full well they will feed 4 at most, or conversely taken recipes supposedly for 4 people and halved them knowing that the 4 people I am feeding will not want such huge portions.
Instructions and exact ingredients are arbitrary too. I mix and match at will, especially if I am unable to find certain ingredients, or if they are things I do not like.
To me, a recipe is a starting point, which gives me ideas for interesting combinations, but on which I improvise at will. Thus, I like recipes that give a general principle and suggest variants on it and leave me free to experiment. When such a recipe is presented in narrative form, with some interesting background on the origin of the dish and/or ingredients, it delights me even more.
My favourite cookbooks read like novels not like chemistry texbooks.
I do personally despise the sort of "recipe" that is riddled with brand names of pre-packaged stuff. It is possible to use things out of boxes and tins as a short cut in places, but if a recipe consists simply of throwing such things together, it's simpler and probably no more expensive to buy a full packet meal, microwave it up and be done! However, I know there are people who like to amass a heap of processed stuff and convince themselves that by doing so they are producing "home cooking". So be it. There is room for that sort of offering as well.
Those who write recipes for a restaurant or for publication also need to write for those who are not as experienced as well. Thus, creating a confidence level in that cook to follow a recipe as is; then fly by wind.
Some do need an easy "packaged" meal to feed the family for cheap; although, my hope is that they venture to a whole food approach and realize it will be just as easy and cheap with natural ingredients.
Again, if we are talking about high quality recipes that are one-of-a-kind versus gaining traffic and earning money; hubbers should take a step back and look at the content as a whole. Perhaps that particular recipe and style offers the best traffic.
I know for the most part most of my recipe hubs are extensive and require a certain level of skill; however, that is my personal preference. With the new layout...well I won't be publishing that category any time soon.
Why? Surely there are many different types of cooks looking for different types of information.
In her "A Book of Mediterranean Food", Elizabeth David devoted two pages to bouillabaisse without giving any weights, measures or other prescriptions, but giving an abundance of suggestions. This is one of the best known cookery writers of all time, whose books remain bestsellers.
I am responding to your statement, which I cited in my response:
"Those who write recipes for a restaurant or for publication also need to write for those who are not as experienced as well"
Why should anyone be forced to do so if this is not what they want to do? Surely there is also room for people to write purely for the interest and gratification of people who do not want their hands held and are not interested in portion control, as practised by restaurants, or in nutritional statistics! Why impose the same rules on everyone who writes about food?
People will find and use the sort of recipes that suit them, whether these be highly prescriptive or totally non-prescriptive. Why try to squeeze everyone into the same mould?
Oh, well on this site I will write for those who need specifics; it helps the traffic and sharing; plus many will ask "how much is that?"
On my own site I do sway with about this much or broaden the directions and exact measurements, I try to explain with touch, site, smell, and that feeling you get when just know its right.
I do agree with that some people just love reading about food and the journey how it comes to the table; me being one of them. I have found in my professional cooking that there are many that still "fear' using their free hand.
My hubs provide a little of both ( I think) the journey, some background, and the recipe specifications.
If you provide both, that's great!
I'm playing devil's advocate, because I personally do not like being told exactly what to do. *evil grin*
I think that is why peasant-style coooking from all ethnicities appeals most to me. This way of cooking has arisen from situations where people had to make a meal out of whatever was available, so recipes fixed in stone were out of the question.
My favourite way of cooking uses the same peasant principle. I like to go shopping with no plan whatsoever, buy food that is on offer at excellent prices or has had the price reduced because it is near the sell-buy date. I bring it all home and then decide how to combine the various bits into a series of excellent meals. I don't need to do this out of financial strictures, but shopping and cooking like that adds a bit of challenge and makes kitchen duty more interesting.
I got to thinking about it over the weekend, Jenubouka. I mean, when it comes to poetry, I hate it. I don't even want to read it, so why should I even try writing it? I will leave poetry to the poets.
My recipes are truly lacking, and since I do follow a medical diet, I know the value of eating healthy. But it's more than that. Yes, anyone can open a box or a can. It's called "Sandra Lee Cooks on the Food Network."
And that's how you usually separate the professional chef from the home cook. The professional chef is the one who makes the quality stuff.
It is slang that simply means that you are not given a shot at the opportunities usually offered to others.
In other words, it would be someone like me, the American-born daughter of immigrants, having tea with the Queen and rubbing elbows with royalty.
It ain't happening.
Is there no Equality and Diversity in place where you come from? Because your answer would suggest this. So all redheads are exempt from opportunities provided for fair, brown or black haired people?
Our queen welcomes a diverse society. All nations are welcome in her presence.
The mind boggles...tongue in cheek!
I agree with Janhorner - maybe that was slang a long time ago, but not in the modern world.
I don't believe that the difference between a home cook and a professional is the use of pre-made/packaged ingredients, like I said in the original post; this is the problem perception, if you don't know whats going in and didn't make it yourself then its not home cooking.
Agreed Matthew. My mother would make ham soup ready for me and my sisters when we came home from school in the freezing winter months until the evening meal was ready. We lived near Scotland and in a remote village between Edinburgh and Newcastle. Boy it was freezing between November and March! There was no packets of this or that to buy from the shop (no supermarkets where I lived) so it was all 'your own.'
I got the drift of what you were saying originally and it is absolutely true.
My most popular HubPages recipe is a "quick and easy" recipe, made partially from packaged foods. People are always wanting that recipe and asking me to make that dish for them. That's why I published a hub on it. Judging by the popularity of that recipe, quick and easy recipes made with convenience foods are in demand and being searched for on Google.
BTW, Arlene, I'm a redhead, too, but that remark didn't offend me. I have heard that phrase a million times and I know it's just a silly expression. I always assumed it alluded to someone being excluded because they were different from the rest. Being a redhead has always brought me positive attention rather than negative, though.
It seems to me that this is a content site. Content sites are not edited or juried, in any category. They are open to anyone who can construct a sentence. That has always been pretty clear.
I thought they were edited! I'm absolutely sure that Hubpages have editors! Is that not why sometimes an article may be given the 'revision needed' code?
I think "monitored," "moderated" or "flagged" might be more accurate words than "edited." It is up to us writers to edit our own work here at HP. Some do, some don't, and the results are mixed.
Thank you, SmartAndFun. Actually, some people would die (DYE) to be a redhead! I have black hair, but it had plenty of red highlights in it before the gray set in. Someone once told me that there was no way I could pass myself off as being an American Indian because my black hair had too much red in it. It was not the common flat black.
I did not mean to offend anyone by my remark, but the phrase is very common, and its roots go as far back to Europe. There was a time when biological children were usually favored over stepchildren. Now, we have blended families. And since TRUE redheads only make about 1-2% of the population, many myths go with that red hair. The most common one is that redheads are easy to set off. They all have bad tempers.
There are redheads around, but how many of them are natural redheads? So being of this rare breed, in the past, they were treated differently.
I am still waiting to have tea with the Queen . . .
Sometimes it's better to think about what you are going to say, especially on the internet; what may not offend some people could offend others. All about thought really.
Matthew this appears to have gone from your cookery lesson to redheads!
Oh man. People. I got the joke, thought it was very funny. The whole point of the remark is to subvert the ignorance shown by casual racism, sexism, hairism, etc.
If we are all going to live in some po-faced world where we think it... but don't say it.. then count me out.
It was funny and made a good point.
edit: Oh yeah. I just realised. I tick both boxes. Had plenty of the real nasty stuff - Arlene's remark absolutely wasn't.
That's my point, Girl. I am forced to be careful with what I eat, now. I eat to protect my kidneys, so anything packaged is packed with sodium and potassium. Preservatives galore! This is why I look to professional people like you for guidance. I've taken a good, hard look at what I eat and what I cook. Although comfort food and the food we grew up with is all good and familiar to us, it will also kill you down the road. All this in the name of L-O-V-E. With obesity on the rise, it's all in the way we eat. Just by reading the side of a can and a box, you have the answer. We automatically crave this junk because it is familiar. We grew up with it, but that doesn't make it right.
I applaud you for using all natural ingredients in your recipes. It must be frustrating to you--knowing that many recipes online are not worth it nutritionally. It's all about short cuts.
You and your work deserve to shine on your own. Unfortunately, most readers have to wade through crap. And the crap keeps coming. All you need to do is Hub-hop. No quality control here unless we do it ourselves.
Although Matthew Kirk is new to HubPages, he does bring up a good point. Unfortunately, he felt the need to insult people in order to get his voice heard.
Actually, Matthew did not insult anyone, he has a right to his point of view just like you and I. His hub began as a starting point about the methods of cooking. It then got pulled towards another point (redheads) not his fault?
Quite frankly Matthew there appears to be some kind of blank space here. Carry on Cooking and deliver your opinions; if people can be so outspoken so can you. How about a new article? Let's leave the debris behind!
Arlene you just keep brightening my day. I appreciate that you recognize the quality and the hard work it does take to write a quality recipe. Think of those who try these recipes that have not been tested; some random list of ingredients slapped together....Those who do them right have tested them, then retested them.
You have some great recipes that offer an awesome story the boss man and the burrito (I think) and your beloved Lumpia recipe. WHICH ROCKS!
Doesn't the pioneer lady have a cooking show, now? More and more, I am getting back to eating healthy. Lots of fruit and vegetables to change the Caveman Diet that I grew up with. I am rewarded by feeling so much better. More energy and an easier time sleeping.
It has come to the point where I don't want to spend loads of money on my meals and waste ingredients. I am now forcing myself to work with what I have. Good, fresh food. There's no excuse when you have access to farmers markets and all that.
This is such an adventure for me, but the people who eat and cook right all along should be leading the pack. I have always enjoyed your Hubs, Jenubouka, because you go more than the extra mile.
These are my two recipes mentioned by Jenubouka:
Lumpia is fried, so once it gets cold, it loses its crispy wrapper.
My recipes have stories attached to them. The story is, my mother used to work for Campbell Soup. After all those years of eating soup, it is hard to take that this same soup is usually at least 500 mg of sodium per serving. Then there's my college friend who worked for Rainbow Bread/Hostess. She called them "The poisoners of America." Not too far from the truth.
Well, so much for the formatting.
Mark, anything you post is the highlight of my day. I would like to know how Theo is doing. Have you fired him???
Thanks Arlene! Now there will be no stopping me...
As for Theo. He is talking about setting up his own HubPages ID and showing me how he rolls, in a literary sense rather than, er, someone who rolls around. He can be a bit dismissive of my skills as a writer or a person.
I said he could join via my referral link if I set one up but he said he'd rather eat dog's doings. Again, quite topical for this thread, although not strictly speaking a recipe... more something you might find when foraging.
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