A comment on numbers.

Occasionally one of us will mention how many recipes we have left to make or how many recipes we’ve made to date. Oddly, both numbers are a bit more fluid than you might expect.

Mostly, that second category is pretty solid. The main thing that keeps it from being a set number, so far, is the two How to Cook Everything books we own. There are several recipes that are duplicated across the books, and we don’t always know we’re making one that’s in both books (such as “Everyday Pancakes”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/87-Well,-was-it-a-new-recipe-or-not.html) Due to that, I “made a decision.”:http://www.metacookbook.com/archives/90-46-Pasta-Carbonara.html As we find recipes that are in both books, we make a note of it. If we’ve already made the recipe once before, our count completed increments by one. In cases where we know ahead of time that the recipe is in both books, we will link to both books in the post and the title format will be “[N] [N+1] Recipe title”. This hasn’t happened yet, but it undoubtedly will.

The first number will be generally stable, but it will change from time to time. These changes are based on one of three things (at least in my experience so far). The first, and most obvious, way the number will change is if we are gifted more cookbooks. That will drive the number up. The second is in the cases where we’ve incorrectly estimated the number of recipes in a book. That can move the number either direction. In the most recent case (and the driver for this post), I discovered that I estimated a small cookbook we own has having 222 recipes. Somehow, until I was getting ready to post it just now, I missed that the cover just tells me how many recipes it has: 112. The final way is also incorrect estimation, but of how many loose recipes we had when we started. That just gives me a headache, honestly. I haven’t changed that number yet, but I see it happening at some point.

So, in the last few days our total recipe number has changed quite a bit. It went up by about 70 total when we were given two more cookbooks, but it went down with the realization about the cookbook. I hope that you all will understand this fluidity, and thus cut me a little slack when the numbers seem a bit inconsistent.

Finally, if you’re curious about the formula we’re using to calculate “total number of recipes to cook”, I think we’ve shared it before, but I will again. We figured out what the total number recipes we have on hand (on paper?), and then took the sum of 10% of the two How to Cook Everything books and Joy of Cooking, and 25% of everything else. As of this moment, that adds up to 2572 recipes, total, to be made.

Hey! That means that, even with the two new cookbooks, we’ve got less than 2500 recipes left to make! Go us!

12 thoughts on “A comment on numbers.

  1. I believe gifted cookbooks count, for the reason Natasha stated and, generally, because we live in the age of the Amazon wishlist and it’s too easy to just put all the books you’d buy yourself on said wishlist and continue to accumulate cookbooks every gift-giving occasion. Plus, it means the gifted cookbooks get added to this site and more people hear about the books and your feelings about the recipes therein.

    Plus, consider the alternative. If these books didn’t count toward the total, how motivated would you be to cook from them knowing they didn’t tick off recipes from your goal?

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