Bean Plates - MetaFilter Over Thinking Food
March 6, 2012 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Bean Plates - MetaFilter Over Thinking Food
You've been asking for it. And now, it's finally here. Bean Plates, the MetaFilter recipe blog, is ready to help you share and find recipes that are actually pretty good.

First, a little background. I'm currently in culinary school so this is right up my ally. I know people have wanted to do this before, but nobody has actually put something together yet.

Now we have it. A central place where we can share all those recipes. Run by someone in culinary school. Really, unless we had some sort of Master Chef I don't think we could do much better.

How do I submit a recipe?: The submission page has a form you can fill out. If you want more control, you can register for the site and write a new post. We have the Zip List Recipe plugin installed if you want to use it. I am, but it doesn't really matter.

When will my post be published?: When I or one of the editors approves it. We want some level of quality control here. That being said, there's no reason why we can't see about giving individuals the ability to publish articles without editorial help on a case by case basis.

You're not going to mess with my recipe are you?: We might. But only to spell out measurement types, put in the other measurement system equivalents, and fix any spelling/grammar/typographical errors.

Metric or USian measurements?: As a matter of fact, we'll have both as much as possible. We want to be inclusive, but if you're adding 5 grams of salt it's a little weird to say that it equals 0.18 ounces.

How do I get a featured post?: Have pictures. Really, that's it.

What if I'm not any good? Do you still want recipes from me?: I once burnt the cheese making Kraft macaroni. I think you'll be fine.

Will I need any fancy equipment?: I really recommend that you get a scale. There's just so useful it's not even funny. So far that's the fanciest thing we have up there. Knives are always good to have. Something sharp enough to cut what needs to be cut.

Are you going to have ads?: If we are, I'm not going to handle it. And I haven't talked to anyone else about having ads. I'm not going to say it will never happen, but for the immediate future it's not going to happen.

All of that being said, it's a bit sparse right now. We have a few sections with no recipes. So far only 1 recipe has a picture.

But I have faith. The MetaFilter community has shown me that this is something that they want. And I want to do something like this too. It's like we're reading each other's minds.
Role: Administrator, Creator, "Designer",
posted by theichibun (15 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

I suggest adding a category for "Cakes & cookies" alongside Desserts? I've got a few to share that definitely aren't desserts.
posted by humph at 3:41 PM on March 8, 2012

That sort of thing is one of the biggest problems, and one that forum admins have to deal with all the time. The original Projects post that prompted me to do this had 11 categories. My textbook for culinary school has 22 chapters looking at different kinds of food.

It's a battle between having the perfect category for everything and have so many categories that each one is nearly empty.
posted by theichibun at 6:11 AM on March 9, 2012

Submitted a recipe yesterday, yay! How free form do you intend to keep it? From the MeTa discussion it sounded like several people suggested a fairly regimented approach (eg T vs tablespoons), but I wonder if a Metafilter style loose moderation post-posting might not be better, to encourage interaction amongst users. And so that people who just throw foods together don't feel discouraged from writing up their recipes.

That said, writing up the recipe was a good exercise for me. I usually make daal by chucking some lentils, water and spices in a pot; this time I actually paid attention to the measurements and what each cooking stage looks like, and was less careful only when suggesting tweaks and variations.
posted by tavegyl at 7:17 AM on March 9, 2012

Since the point is to have recipes, having some sort of measurement is a must in my eyes. Even if you're saying a cup of diced ham, that's still measuring somehow.

Obviously something like "put the lettuce on your sandwich" isn't really that big of a deal. You grab lettuce, you put it on. But for pretty much anything where you're actually cooking as opposed to putting something together, you really should have some sort of measurement.

Even if it's approximate measurements, that's fine. If I put my grits recipe it would call for 1/3 cup grits, 4/3 cup water, 1/3 cup cheese and 1.5 tablespoon butter. I've never measured the cheese or butter, but I know those are close. And really, outside of baking you don't have to be exact to get good results.

As for the writing out of measurement types, tablespoons vs teaspoons are the only things I'm really worried about right now. Well, that and making sure people use ounce and fluid ounce when they're supposed to and not mixing them up. Everything else has a pretty standard abbreviation. But tablespoons and teaspoons have T, t, TSP, tsp, TBSP, tbsp, etc. I have some people in my classes who always write TSP/tsp no matter what and just hope they'll know if it's table or teaspoon when the time comes.
posted by theichibun at 9:05 AM on March 13, 2012

I think you need photos to entice people to click through. Really good photos.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:31 PM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think so too. The theme I have on there originally had a spot for thumbnails on the newest post in each category. Right now 3 of the 12 posts that are published have a picture to go with them. That percentage will go down even more when the pending ones are published.

Really, if you or anyone else have any ideas I'd love to hear them. It seems that getting to be the featured post isn't enough for people to get the cameras out.

While I was writing this I thought that maybe giving people the ability to have the post published without needing me or one of the editors to come along and approve it might be a good way to get people to add pictures.
posted by theichibun at 8:41 PM on March 13, 2012

Two of those without photos are mine, I'm afraid. One recipe was tried out before beanplates went up, and the other I just didn't bother. Maybe allowing registered users to add photos and tags post facto would help? Along with a note saying something like 'Tried out this recipe? Post your photos and notes if you're a registered user'.
posted by tavegyl at 2:28 AM on March 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Actually, you can go back and edit things. As long as it's your own post anyway. I don't see us giving people the ability to go and edit someone else's post anytime soon.

I'm working on a way to get images into the comments. It's looking right now like people will have to manually put in the img src code and have it hosted somewhere before they comment. Not the ideal solution, but it's better than nothing.
posted by theichibun at 8:15 AM on March 14, 2012

Time to sweet talk my sweet South Asian mother into giving up all her recipes.
posted by infini at 6:38 AM on April 20, 2012 [4 favorites]

Metric or USian measurements?

"US" works perfectly fine as an adjective. Even if one objects to "American" for things or people associated with the United States (a misplaced objection, IMO, but I won't get into that here) "USian" only needs to be used when one needs a noun to refer to citizens (or possibly residents) of the United States.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:02 AM on April 20, 2012

I don't see the contact form on Chrome (just a tag saying "[contact_form]" but I would like to submit Fake's Four Hour No Knead Bread.
posted by fake at 9:17 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

posted by peagood at 8:37 AM on April 21, 2012

posted by carter at 10:05 AM on April 22, 2012

[submit_form] problem.
posted by infini at 8:14 AM on April 23, 2012

The form is fixed. Submit away. Although I think it's a lot easier to register and write a post because then I can look at it and publish from my phone.
posted by theichibun at 1:23 PM on April 24, 2012

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