Monday, May 07, 2012

Sudden Death... Cooking!

Dave and I have a book problem.

Throughout the years, we have accumulated too many books of all kinds, including cookbooks.

Having decided that 22 are too many, I have begun the cookbook-culling process.  Any books we use often are safe, as are the ones with gorgeous and inspiring pictures.

Thus, the following 11 books are left to fight for their lives:

But, how to decide whether a book was worthy of being kept?  I decided that 6 randomly-selected recipes from each would give me an adequate picture of each books' reliability.  For a book to be kept, at least 4 of the 6 recipes must give me good results.  Fewer successes than that delivers the book to the donation bin, whereupon a more talented chef might conjure tastier outcomes.

For those of you with an interest in the actual methodology, I'm using a systematic sample with random start point to select pages.  In cases where there is only one recipe per page, the sample thereby selects the recipe to try.  Should there be more than one recipe on the selected page, however, I will haphazardly choose whichever recipe I think has the greatest chance of success.

Also, I'm going by modified NHL-playoff rules -- once a book "loses" 3 times, it's automatically eliminated.

And since it's more fun to share one's scientific findings, I'll be publishing the results -- delicious and catastrophic alike -- for your enjoyment.  There will be pictures, courtesy of my flashy new camera, a short writeup of the cooking process, an appraisal of the food, and lastly, a verdict! 

Are you excited?  'Cause I sure am!  :-)  Stay tuned...


Alex M said...

Well, I don't know if you will get to audience voting, but I need to give a "shout out" for Cook by Jamie Oliver. I think it is unfair to judge on a recipe by recipe basis for this gem given its thematic approach, and the provision of grounding concepts a cook can build on. This one always gives my great, truthful flavour pairings.

Karla said...

Heya Alex! Actually, I appreciate the heads-up about that book. Its approach did seem different than the other books, and it helps to have someone vouch for it working well for them. :-) Thanks for chiming in!

barbarella said...

Hey Karla,
I am looking forward to your sampling of the Star wars cookbook If it passes may I suggest you get yourself one of these aprons?