Following Instructions

I’m looking up scone recipes on the internet this morning, and they all suck. They all say things like “2 cups of bisquick” (bisquick? seriously? if was into using premade stuff I wouldn’t be looking up recipes!) or “spray pan with non-stick cooking spray” (that stuff is scary and gross!). Maybe it’s my own cooking up-bringing, raising myself on vegan cookbooks that all say things like “your choice of sweetener” to accommodate all the folks who don’t eat sugar/honey/agave nectar/whatever, but I want these recipes to say things like “do what you need to do to prevent these from sticking to the pan.”

If these recipes were in cookbooks, there’d be a whole intro section on nonstickage (or on sweeteners, or about substitutions, or whatever), and the recipes can refer you back to the what-cooking-is-all-about pages. But with the dumb internet, recipes are not part of a collection of anything, they’re one-offs. They’re hit singles with no album.

This makes me sort of sad–I feel like all these awesome skills, like the ability to curate or edit or collect or compile are slipping away. We get things totally disjointed and discrete.

I know that there are plenty of people curating all the stuff that’s on the internet–that’s what all those lovely blogs like CRAFT or Swissmiss or Kottke do. And I like them, but sometimes the endlessness of them feels tiresome. ESPECIALLY with the CRAFT blog–if anyone does anything crafty on the internet, it gets reposted there. And just as a link. It’s pointing: “look at this!” “look at that!” and most of it sucks. I know I shouldn’t get all righteous about something that is so clearly a promotional marketing tool for an overpriced magazine ($15 an issue!), but somehow it’s positioned itself at the head of the internet craft world.

Now I’m actually going to go make some scones.

5 Responses to “Following Instructions”


  1. 1 kurt Wong

    speaking of blogs, i’ve been thinking i should start reading some good blogs rather than the super-posting “multiple bloggers per site” type of blogs that i’m currently “reading” (but not really). ones that make you feel good inside. or ones that enrich your life. any suggestions?

  2. 2 Dory

    I really like Design Observer…and will think of more.

  3. 3 lauren a.

    someone gave us an awesome spray doohickey (atomizer?) where we put in our own oil and then pump air in, so it’s just magically science instead of creepy science.

    yay scones! those sound delicious. i also love the vegan cookbooks. garden of vegan is so straightforward and awesome.

    which fray are joining in september?! are you becoming a planner??

  4. 4 Dory

    Yes! Going to Columbia (School of Architecture, Planning and Historic Preservation) to learn the skills of the trade!

  5. 5 judy

    Dory darling.. i am sorry that you are disappointed in some recipes/cookbooks.. like so many other books, some are good and some arent.. yes recipes that call for campbells cream of mushroom soup .. are to be regarded with some mistrust.. but there are bad dictionaries, bad maps ( as you know) bad novels , bad directions on mapquest…. i think we call it information literacy now,
    learning to judge what you are reading..
    i didnt know they still made bisquick.
    glad your scones worked out.
    talk to you soon love mummy

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