Tag Archives: cooking

Death of the expert. Or was it demise?

This semester I am taking readers’ advisory in addition to digital collections. The other day in class we were talking about reader reviews on Amazon and their usefulness. Another girl was in agreement with me and our professor mused something about amazon reviews being part of the death of the expert. or demise. It was death or demise.  Same concept. I suppose she’s right, people don’t have to rely on expert opinion anymore. Pre-online customer review (pre-my own adulthood) I suppose people probably had to wait for formal book reviews in newspapers or magazines or tv (you get what I’m saying) or a word of mouth recommendation before gathering an opinion of an item. Now you can have multiple opinions (good and bad) of a bookor movie or cd within moments of release or announcements of releases. As an almost librarian, I know I should keep on pushing the expert opinion (and I will) but is it acceptable to be ok with consumer reviews as well? I use them all of the time! Before most of my major (and not so major) purchases. It’s not like I read one and call it good either.  I really read them. Good, bad, so-so…all of them. And I think they’ve all helped me out when selecting materials. However, when reading book reviews I don’t really let user comments sway my purchasing decisions like I do a movie or product unless it’s nonfiction. I don’t think I could let myself buy a poorly rated cookbook or parenting book. It just would feel wrong. But I would buy a poorly rated novel if I thought I was going to like it anyway, does that make sense? Like, it doesn’t matter if Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 4 is rated 1 out of 5 stars (don’t know if it actually is), I’m going to get it because I liked the other 3 and I want to read it. For the record, I checked it out the library and thoroughly enjoyed it. But I digress. Oh how I’ve digressed.

Death of the expert…

One place where I really appreciate user reviews is allrecipes.com. This website has helped me plan countless dinners. Reading the reviews here is so important because users give great suggestions for modifications and substitutions. You can search by keyword, by ingredient, by type of recipe, the list goes on. It’s a great resource for bumbling chefs or experienced cooks looking to share their wealth of culinary knowledge. My only complaint about the site is that recipes are user submitted and there are lots. Meaning, type in banana bread and you’ll get 169 results. It can be a bit overwhelming but I usually look for one that’s highly rated AND been rated many times. This means I probably overlook gems but the technique seems to work for me. It also means I must cook like the masses but, eh, who cares?

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Note to Self

I Like You
The holidays make me want to cook. Unfortunately, since we are going out of town for the weekend I won’t be able to cook anything fun. I got to bake some mini pumpkin muffins last night for Frank’s Mother’s Day Out class today and the house smelled wonderful. By the way, that recipe is fantastic. Anyway, I had the greatest idea so I’m sure it already exists. Is there such thing as a Cookbook Book Club? Picture it, a group of people and one cook book. Everyone makes something out of it and gets together. It’d be so fun! It would be more like a book club if you used a cookbook that’s more like a book e.g. I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence. For what it’s worth, I Like You has a lot of great recipes and is quite funny. A+.

So that’s my idea. It makes me hungry just to think about it. I need to find some more friends in Norman so I can make this happen.


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