How To Waste Your Life on the Web: Part 3

Horrible food photography, a virtual beer guide sidekick, and a website that tells you what to cook with what's lying around your house ...

THE GALLERY OF REGRETTABLE FOOD
lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html

James Lileks dredges the worst-of-the-worst recipes and food photography from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, where cheerful postwar perfect housewifery was everything.

In The Gallery of Regrettable Food, author James Lileks dredges the worst-of-the-worst recipes and food photography from the ‘40s, ‘50s, and ‘60s, where cheerful postwar perfect housewifery was everything. Every page is somehow unappetizing but stunning, and mundane but horrific. It’s like every featured cookbook is held together by the sheer force of will of desperate housewives and even-more-desperate ad executives. “They’re not really recipe books,” says Lileks, “They’re ads for food companies, with every recipe using the company’s products, often in unexpected ways.” For example, the 7-Up cookbook, where every recipe features 7-Up. For example, 7-Up in Milk, which “gives milk a new flavor appeal that especially pleases children”. Fun fact: 7-Up contained lithium citrate, a mood-stabilizing drug, until 1950, just three years before the cookbook was printed.

GRASSROOTS BEER-RATING WEBSITE
beeradvocate.com

Aside from the time-tested approach of “try everything,” sometimes it’s good to have a little help. BeerAdvocate is an online beer rating site which also rates bars and beer stores.

Standing in the cooler at the NLC, taking in the blessed bounty of new beers, it can be hard to make a choice. Lager, IPA, pilsner, porter, stout… local, American, English, Belgian, German, Czech… Aside from the time-tested approach of “try everything,” sometimes it’s good to have a little help. BeerAdvocate is an online beer rating site which also rates bars and beer stores. The database contains over 3 million ratings of over 100 000 beers. It’s powered by an independent community of beer enthusiasts and industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting and promoting beer. Founded in 1996 by brothers Todd and Jason Alström, the site has worked to wake the masses to better beer options, and empower them to learn, share, and advocate. It’s a great place to learn about beer tasting. You can browse the reviews by registered users, who usually rate the beer based on ASTMO (Appearance, Smell, Taste, Mouthfeel, and Overall). For example, you can see that Red Racer IPA (currently stocked at your local NLC) gets a rating of “outstanding” with 94% of users giving it favourable reviews, while Tuborg Green, the Danish lager in the flashy green can, is ranked “poor” for its watery brew. It’s like Rotten Tomatoes for your beer!

FIND RECIPES THAT — USE INGREDIENTS YOU HAVE AT HOME
supercook.com

You click on the items that you have in your fridge, Supercook keeps a tally, and automatically suggests dishes that you can make with what you’ve got.

Supercook can help you learn how to waste less food, how to use up perishable or seasonal ingredients, how to keep track of everything in the kitchen, and how to save time and money. You click on the items that you have in your fridge, Supercook keeps a tally, and automatically suggests dishes that you can make with what you’ve got. Supercook is particularly great for when you have an ingredient that’s approaching its expiration date. Say you have some kale that’s looking pretty hopeless, you can request recipes that must include that specific leafy green. Then, it makes connections that are positively inspirational, like taking your wilted kale and pairing it with chocolate for Pinto Bean Mole Chili. Of course!

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