The Rules (as it were)

Since we’re buying no new cookbooks as of 1 June 2010, there have to be some ground rules on how this is going to work. Most rules are up for discussion, because they’re all sub-points of the one major rule: No new cookbooks until we’ve cooked at least 25% of the recipes from the cookbooks we already own (exception: certain huge books we’re aiming for 10%. I’m looking at you, Bittman). With that in mind, here’s what we’ve got at the start of the blog.

# Online recipes are welcome to be posted but do not count as cookbooks. If we attempted to cook half the recipes on the internet, we’d be in for several worlds of hurt.
# We are not canceling subscriptions to cooking magazines we already have, but we will not subscribe to something new. So, Bill’s mother very kindly got us a subscription to “Cooking Light”, and we already had a three-year subscription to “Cooks Illustrated”, making both fair game, but we are not going to add a subscription to “Vegetarian Times”.

# Anything in the house that has recipes in it is fair game to be posted about, but I am not about to count “Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World.” as a cookbook (sorry, dad). Thus, we might post about a recipe we read in a book, but I’m going to feel free to buy books from Diane Mott Davidson. Not that I have any of her books right now, but I have in the past and may again. Magazines are in this category as well: we might cook from them, but they don’t count against us.

# We’re not buying new cookbooks, but if a cookbook is gifted to us, we will not turn it down. Aside from being bad manners, that’s just no fun. However, we will update the total number of recipes we need to hit appropriately.

# Recipe numbers are an estimate. The problem with having so many cookbooks is that there’s no time to count how many recipes there are in each one (again, Bittman, this is for you). However, we will use page counts and number of recipes per page to get a good estimate. It won’t be a number invented out of thin air. Each book entry will have our estimation of how many recipes it contains, our target number of recipes from the book, and how many recipes from the book we’ve made.

# Beverage recipes are not part of this challenge. It’s not that we don’t drink anything but water, but that we’re not trying to increase the things we drink. Again, if we make something interesting and complicated (or just weird), it’s likely to show up on this site. Beyond that, though, no one cares.

# We will provide links as we can. I have a cookbook published in 1992 by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office (AND it’s autographed!). I’m not going to try to hunt down links for oddball cookbooks like that. However, more standard cookbooks and recipes will have a link.

# Related to the above rule, we want you to know we’re members of the Amazon affiliate program – so a purchase made at Amazon after a click-through from this blog results in a small amount of money being sent back to us. We don’t expect to make much money from this, but it seemed a good choice to help defer costs of hosting and such, given we would be having so many links up. This isn’t a rule per se, but we know many people want to know things like that, and so we want to be open about it.

23 April 2014 Note: So, the affiliate program went away in Illinois March of 2011, then came back in December of 2013. We didn’t really do anything about the no-longer-affiliate links in that time. As of today, 23 April 2014, we elected to rejoin the Affiliate/Associate program. They require the following statement about that, so here it is:

“Natasha is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”

# Related to the above rule, other advertising might appear on the site. It will never be intrusive (pop-ups, pop-unders, pop-who-knows-wheres, talky things, video, etc) or dangerous (downloads). If you think that any of the advertising sucks, please let us know! It will always be a work in progress, and we are quite willing to stop using some provider if they don’t work for us.