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Interpreting Our Recipes

  • Abreviations: - ar=As Required, n/a=Not Applicable, tt=To Taste, lrg=Large, sml=Small, med=Medium, t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch
  • Measures & Conversions - All measures are U.S. measure unless stated in metric units (rare).
  • Capitalization   Ingredients requiring significant preparation are shown in ALL CAPS at the point where that effort is needed.
  • Schedule: is how long the recipe takes - not how long you have to work on it - check "Effort" for hints there. ** and 3 hrs would mean moderate prep work and long cooking with little attention. Schedule times tend to be tight so don't think you can beat them.
  • Effort:
    • * - just do some cutting and toss it together.
    • ** - pretty modest, probably mostly cutting.
    • *** - average difficulty, needs a fair amount of tending.
    • **** - complex and a bit demanding.
    • ***** - heroic effort needed
  • Serves:   Our portions tend to be quite generous (2 = one man and one woman, both of whom are "good eaters") and presumes there will be little else served except a starch (if not included in the recipe) and maybe a salad. Common starches are rice or some other grain, noodles or pasta, and potatoes.
  • Structure:   Most of our recipes are divided into Prep and Run sections. Those that are not so divided are most conveniently done "on the fly".

    We very much believe in "mise en place", having everything completely prepared, measured and ready at hand before starting to cook. This is particularly critical with Asian recipes where the cooking may last only a minute or few and you won't have time to do anything else at all.

    In general the Prep section can be be done well in advance, even the previous day. In most cases the Run section must be carried through from start to finish all at once.

  • Diet codes:   v=Vegetarian strict, ov=Ovo Lacto Vegetarian (contains eggs and/or dairy), mv=Modifiable to Vegetarian, x=Pagan / Christian - definitely not kosher or halal. We don't have a vegan designation because moral hair-splitting as to exactly what qualifies as vegan is beyond the scope of this site. In general v items can be made vegan. Similarly we don't designate what is kosher or halal, just what we know for sure isn't.
  • Chili codes:   0=none, 1=very mild, 2=mild, 3=spicy, 4=very spicy, 5=incindiary, +=feel free to make it hotter. All hotness levels based on Southern California practice - northerners us caution.

    In some cases (mostly Southeast Asian) the spiciness comes from black pepper and ginger rather than chilis but we rate it the same.

    Chili tolerance comes from exposure. Chili hotness is not real but exploits a specific nerve receptor (birds lack this receptor so don't find chilis hot). With exposure this receptor is partially deactivated so persons accustomed to chilis can enjoy lots of them without sufferng - and the "after burn" effect goes away entirely.

    For these reasons you must use your own judgement as to how sensitive you and those you cook for are. For mixed groups go light and serve fiery sauces and condiments on the side.

  • Service:   Recipes reflect current Euro/American practice of relatively few dishes served in separate courses. Two services are used:
    • Russian Service: The courses are brought to the table already portioned onto plates or in bowls.
    • European Service: (U.S. "Family Style") The courses are brought to the table on platters or in tureens or casseroles and portioned to plates and bowls at the table.
    • Buffet Service:   Everything is out on the side board for guests to partake of as they please. Note that if there are many dishes available, portions taken will tend to be smaller, so a recipe will serve more people.

  • Asian Dishes   Throughout Asia, the main dish is rice, bread or noodles (depending on region). Everything else is a side dish to these. There will be several sides and everything is served at once - no courses. We presume readers of this site will use the recipes in a more Euro/American style, with larger portions and fewer dihes, and with the rice, noodles or bread as a side.
recipe   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@clovegarden.com - Photos on this page not otherwise credited are © cg1 - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page permitted