Thursday, December 16, 2010


It figures: I find out about something inextricably linked to new social media by going to the library and picking up a print-bound cookbook. But that's just what I did the other day, when I found Eat Tweet by Maureen Evans (@cookbook on Twitter; her secondary, recipe-free handle is @cookbookmaureen). If you know Twitter at all, then you can imagine what this is: complete recipes in 140 characters or less. And it's not just the mundane stuff that I've tried to describe in as complete a sentence as I could. Maureen has very complex recipes, boiled down to their grammatical abbreviated essence. Take her October 27 recipe for Beef Wellington:

Beef Wellington: sear,chill 4filet/2T buttr. Brwn 2c mincdshroom/s+p/T oil; simmr9m+⅓c wtwine/¼t thyme; top4puffpastry,wrap filet. 30m@400℉.less than a minute ago via web

Embeddable Tweet courtesy of Blackbird Pie

As you can see, the lingo makes it possible to write a rather long recipe in Twitter format:

"Sear, then chill four filets and 2 tablespoons butter. Brown 2 cups of minced mushrooms, salt & pepper, and at tablespoon of oil. Simmer for 9 minutes, add 1/3 cup of white wine, 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Top with four puff pastries, wrap filets. 30 minutes at 400°F." And she has to find special characters that take up as little space as possible ("1/3", "1/4" and even "°F" all exist as one character each apparently). It doesn't take too long to figure out, and she has a key in the cookbook if you get lost. And now that I have the cookbook (again, library) I can scroll through the recipes even when I am off line!