I was going through some recipes Amma printed out for me, and it struck me that the original promise of the internet has not been realized. A while back I joked that the internet is really catching on; it helps you keep your recipes organized. The joke being: back in the early days of computing, nobody could think of *any* good uses for home PCs, so they had to fall back to lame grasping at straws like recipe organization.
But, now that I've actually tried to use computerized web technology to deal with recipes, I see that we are living in the Stone Age.
My family loves to talk about food. We email recipes back and forth, ask questions about spices, ponder why you can't get vada pav in SF, etc. So, here is my vision. We should have a Pai family food blog, that lets any of us automatically post to by cc'ing an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org or whatever). Then whenever we got these email threads going, the discussion would automatically get archived.
FURTHERMORE, this food blog should serve as an online repository of all our recipes. It would have to be extremely searchable and continually indexed. (Some data sanitization, tagging & such, might be needed, but no more than putting together a set of printed recipes... probably less.) So anytime we wanted to find a recipe we could just look it up.
FURTHERMORE, (and this is where it gets Jetsons-esque) every kitchen fridge should be a lightweight internet client. It should have a screen that can be used to navigate ones family food blog, and it should be able to print out recipes. AND it should have a built in camera so when you make something you can instantly take a picture of it and include it with the recipe file.
Sounds reasonable doesn't it? In reality, it's surprisingly non-trivial to set up the autopost via email thing I mention above. I spent a lot of time messing with bloggering softwares and email servers and got no farther than registering paifood.com. All the solutions people proposed sounded complicated, boring and like a 2nd job. I even asked metafilter, but metafilter just collectively shrugged.
Will the vision I've described come to life in my daughter's lifetime? Or her daughter's, daughter's lifetime? If not, what is all this technology worth?