I really loved Australian Table Magazine which morphed into BBC Australian Good Food Mag, which I wasn't so sure about. However tonight I adapted their Roasted Pork Loin with Grapes for my family's Sunday Night Family Dinner (haven't been able to find their magazine site online as yet !). I deleted the white wine vinegar and replaced it with extra virgin olive oil.I also added 2 medium potatoes (to serve 4) peeled & cut into segments as well as 4 small onions to the roasting pan an hour before roasting was due to end Then I added sliced capsicum (bell peppers) & eggplant (aubergine) cut into 2cm cubes Served with sliced steamed Carrots & steamed French Green Beans. The pork was so very succulently tender & my "70 something" Mum really loved it - especially the red grapes, as she had never had grapes in a mains before - and it's so important to have older folk keep eating & maintain an interest in food! (PS Mum says she's about to experiment with a new Chocolate Cake recipe made with Beetroot pureed in a blender - now I am not so sure about that - however if she's willing to try my experiments then I obviously have to reciprocate !)
Feb 28, 2010
Feb 26, 2010
The brother-in-law, @llocklee, refers to me as the Librarian - and I guess I do like to collect / organise information for fast finding & later re-use. That includes my foodie interests. The books are all catalogued in LibraryThing and the cuttings piled, then filed in bulging folders.
It's something I inherited from my mother - she tells me that she was forced to give up Asian food when pregnant with me - but ever afterward she has enjoyed experimenting. I remember her favourites seemed to be the 1960's Flemings supermarket magazines & the 1950's Aerophos cookbook (both of these early Australian foodie ref's were surprisingly international in coverage compared with the Commonsense Cookery Book & can still be picked up on Ebay from time to time). She also did traditional Aussie style including a mean Devilled Sausages, that I'd almost forgotten until I came across the remarkably similar 'Mrs Adams's Savoury Sausages' in Kylie Kwong's "Recipes & Stories" (p 40). Coincidentally amazing is that Mum is a Mrs Adams too.
I can't say that Mum specifically taught me how to cook, rather, I absorbed from her the enjoyment of experimenting with new ideas. Now in her 70's, she's still experimenting with newly discovered surprises, brought over for our regular Sunday night family dinners. I do the mains & Mum does the desserts plus "sweet treats" for the week, for my teen, Kat.
And of course Mum also has numerous cookbooks, folders & cuttings stashed around her home. I sometimes say that Mum was born before her time - with the now exploding global foodie scene. Last weekend we took her to the Mecca Bah in Canberra after the twilight viewing of the Masterpieces from Paris Exhibition at the NGA. Tonight it's Nam's Vietnamese in Wollongong (one of the many Vietnamese), after the Wharf Theatre Revue's "Pennies from Kevin".
A few of my favourite foodie websites :
- Mag & Newspaper foodie sites
- TV foodie sites
- Eating Out in Wollongong - The Eating Out Map - Thirroul Seaside Art Festival (always yummy food) - (more than food ... What's Up Wollongong / Viva La Gong / Shoalhaven Wine Trail / Southern Highlands Wineries )
- Maggie Beer / Donna Hay / Ben O'Donoghue / Curtis Stone / Elise Pascoe / Mietta's
- All Recipes / Good Recipes / My Recipes / Recipezaar / WorldWide Gourmet / Korean Kitchen / Sydney Markets
- Cupcakes - AWW Food /Taste.com / All Recipes / Recipezaar / Cupcakes.com / WhiteWings
- Supermarket foodie sites : Coles on Line / Woolworths / IGA
- Sold in Australia - Food product sites : Ayam / Barilla / Bega Cheese / BKK / Cadbury's / Capilano / Chang's / Cheesematters / CSR / Dairy Farmers / Devondale / Fonterra / Goodman Fielder / Gourmet Garden / Hakubaku Noodles / Keens Curry / Kellogs / Kikkomans / King Island Dairy / Kraft / Lee Kum Kee / Market Fresh / Massel / MasterFoods / McCormicks / McKenzies / Nestle / Oriental (Obento) / Pandaroo / Pataks / Pauls / Queen Essences / Red Meat - The Main Meal / Riviana / Sanitarium / Sharwoods / Simply Great Meals / SPC Ardmona / Spice Bazaar / Sunbeam / Sunrice / The Butchers Voice / The Malaya / Vegeta / Western Star Butter / Whitewings
And some of my favourite foodie blogs (in no particular order ... )
- From Australia
- Raspberri Cupcakes - so good - I RSS blog posts to Googlereader
- One Green Acre
- Australia Entertains
- Cookbook Maniac
- Tummy Rumble aka @Reemski's I am obsessed with food - check out her bookshelf
- The Food Zeitgeist - I love their list of Australian foodie blogs
- Thoughts from Becca - Inside Cuisine
- The Journal of a Girl Who Loves Food
- Illawarra Food
- Not Quite Nigella
- A Delicious Year
- The Informal Foodie
- Abstract Gourmet
- Exclusively Food
- At My Table
- I Eat Therefore I Am
- Limes & Lycopene
- Souvlaki for the Soul
- The Food Blog
- Luke Nguyen's Vietnam & Mouthful from SBS
- Vanilla Slice (unrelated - pics from Ouyen's Great Australian Vanilla Slice Triumph)
- The Cookbook
- Beyond Australia
- HomeMades - "across the ditch" by an Indonesian born Kiwi
- Gusty Gourmet - another Kiwi foodie blog from "across the ditch"
- A Slice of Cherry Pie - UK - listed in world's 50 best foodie blogs
- Mainly Sweet - Delicious Delicious Delicious / DayDreamer Desserts
- Frances Mayes' Journal
- Parla Food - fr another Italian based American
- Binnurs Turkish Cookbook
- Turkish Cuisine
- Pizza Goon
- Phnomenon - from Cambodia
- LaoCook - a Laotian based in Spain
- Malaysia Best
- Basta Masarup
- Fuschia Dunlop
- Shizuoka Gourmet - cycling gourmet from Japan - I also RSS these straight to Google Reader
- She, the Epicurious Girl - from Japan
- My Korean Kitchen
- Korean Food Recipes
- The Spice Spoon - from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran & beyond
- Salt Shaker - from Argentina
- Refrigerator Soup Dot Com aka life is short - let's eat
- The Wednesday Chef - fr New York - also listed in world's 50 best foodie blogs
- Cooking for Engineers - so very very different
These lists are eclectic - like my cook book collection at LibraryThing & even more so, my folders.
Feb 23, 2010
Everybody can ... learnings from translating Homer's Odyssey to Clay Shirky - Here Comes Everybody - Ch3
Love the opening quote in Chapter 3:
"Our social tools remove older obstacles to public expression, and thus remove the bottlenecks that characterized mass media. The result is the mass amateurization of efforts previously reserved for media professionals." p55
I was still in politics back in late 2002, when I grasped the potential for Web 1.0 to get the message out, when stymied by the conventional profesional media who were locked into dominant narrative paradigms. Although I had been experimenting with its potential for politics since 1996. However by 2002 the number of people with the internet in their homes had exploded - so self publishing could reach far wider. I began publishing far more material onto my political team's website. And the reach widened - even internationally.
"A profession exists to solve a hard problem, one that requires some sort of specialization... Most professions exist because there is a scarce resource that requires ongoing management ... the scarcity of the resource itself creates the need for a professional class ... professionals become gatekeepers, simultaneously providing and controlling access to information, entertainment, communication ..." p 57
However as I found from 20 years in politics - you can learn, by trial & error, how to do media releases - to attract & sustain the attention of the professional media. I like, many, spend a fair amount of my time in my day job writing reports, memoes etc. Basically you tailor the article etc to the audience. One style for Engineering reports, another for web pages - yet another for political media releases.
So as a politician I found, that if you learnt well, then the professional journalists didn't need to make too many changes to your media releases. Continually improving word processing & desk top publishing over the last 10 years made it all even easier. And technology evolution meant that no longer did you need to hand deliver media releases to the journalists' offices - initially you faxed them in - then emailed them (much easier for journo's to copy'n'paste too !) - and finally self published your own newsletters & web pages. And now Twitter & blogs are taking it all to a new level !
And community pressure groups learnt the same lessons - especially if they believed themselves to be locked out by the professional media.
As Clay Shirky observed "From now on news can break into public consciousness without the traditional press weighing in.Indeed, the news media can end up covering the story because something has broken into public consciousnesss via other means. .... The same idea, published in dozens or hundreds of places, can have an idea, published in dozens or hundreds of places, can have an amplifying effect that outweighs the verdict from the smaller number of professional outlets ... individual weblogs are not merely alternative sites of publishing : they are alternatives to publishing itself" p64-66
Remember the street protests in Iran, in June 2009, tweeted on Twitter, but only belatedly picked up by CNN ?
As described by Shirky, we have an "abundance of publishing options" p 73 .. perhaps as he indicates it is one of the greatest paradigm shifts since the printing press ... "The spread of literacy after the invention of movable type ensured not the success of the scribal profession but its end. Instead of mass professionalization, the spread of literacy was a process of mass amateurization " p 79
Shirky's pronouncements should be well heeded - the influence of social media has become very wide - with challenging paradigms for professional journalism. However my own local newspaper has embraced Twitter part of its suite of communications. Led by their tweep Editor - they're tweeting breaking news & local community interest items - headlining for the next day's print edition & in particular "get the full story" in their bumper Saturday edition
A similar phenomenon occurred in 1946, when Penguin began publishing its first translations of the classics - millions of copies of Homer's Odyssey immediately sold in that post WWII year. Suddenly the classics were no longer the preserve of academics & students who could read Greek, Latin etc etc ..... By the 1970's, the study of Latin & Greek had collapsed, not only in high schools, but also in the university sciences etc.
Shirky pronounces that such mass amateurization is not just causing upheaval for "newspapers or to media in general but to the global society." p 80
But is it possible for mass amateurization to really spread across to the professions in general ? Isn't such a suggestion just too ambitious ?
Forward to Chapter 4 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 6 / Chapter 7 / Chapter 8 / Chapter 9 / Chapter 10 / Chapter 11 / Epilogue
Feb 22, 2010
And inevitably revealed, the books that I always meant to read, continually bobbing up and down in the overladen bookcases around our home.
Feb 20, 2010
0MC%20Cambodian%2040mins%20plus%20marinating.htm). Kat was adventurous even then, in her approach to cooking and she's fiercely independent. Nevertheless I was called on periodically and a whole lot of knowledge sharing took place in our tiny kitchen that night eg how to timetable, adapting from grilling to stir fry-simmer etc. All served on the requisite bed of noodles & finished with coriander leaves. It looked and tasted great - although be warned - it's heavy on garlic ! Kat learnt some Asian cuisine from me & I learnt from her, that we can't dictate to Gen Y how & what resources should be used, plus it's okay to innovate beyond prescriptive guidelines, if that makes sense. That applies inside and outside the kitchen. A metaphor for knowledge sharing, experimenting & innovation between the generations ?
Are you one of those foodies who collects recipes from everywhere ? Magazines ? Family members ? Friends ? Foodie web sites & blogs ?
That's me. I pile them and then periodically file them, plus cull a few.
In particular I've made the effort to collect family favourites for my daughter, Kat, from my Mother (Nan) & my Mother-in-law (Nanna). I gave them each one of those dinky A5 "My Favourite Recipe" folders, which came with preprinted cards to be filled in. Nanna busily typed away on the supplied cards using her trusty older manual typewriter. Luckily so, as Nanna has become very frail, hard of hearing and now lives in another state. How easy it is to lose family favourites in such circumstances. We also nearly lost Nan before her family favourites were collected - in the end I hand wrote many of them myself, while Nan spent months recovering in hospital from lifesaving cardiovascular surgery.
And my sister-in-law, the Apprentice Chef's Mother, was stunned to find out that I had some of the treasured family favourites "captured" from Nanna, in a little A5 "My Favourite Recipe" folder. So I was able to photocopy & pass them on. I've even put a couple on Facebook to share with the widely scattered family.
Over the years the Apprentice's Chef's Mother & I learned that Nanna's tablespoon equals 2 metric 20ml sized tablespoons & her dessert spoon equals 1 metric 20mil sized tablespoon. So, along the way, we both experienced a few very runny disasters with Nanna's usually superb Mango Cream Tart due to our adding insufficient gelatine. But we followed the recipe - we wailed. That was before we did some knowledge sharing & jointly figured out how to convert Nanna's quantities to standard Australian metric's. Disasters ceased.
With so many foodie web sites and blogs, we are now very blessed with the technology to do knowledge sharing in the kitchen, compared with the old days of laboriously handwriting onto scraps of paper or in exercise books. My daughter, Kat, keeps muttering that my own collection of older handwritten items in their foolscap sized exercise book are at risk of fading away. Dropping hints that the contents need to be transferred to one of our pc's & maybe even online - perhaps on one of those nice foodie Cloud apps - so helpful. OK - I've made a start at Taste.com where you can your create own online recipe book - but I've usually been too busy to make much progress. Like Mother like Daughter perhaps ?
However there is also the nagging question - you could invest a lot of time setting up online repositories of family favourites & other saved for future culinary experiments - but how can you be sure that they won't disappear without warning - poof ?
Like when my carefully saved SAI Global favourites list, with associated "what's changed" email updates, underwent a massive bi-section. They changed their business model - after 6 years previously with no changes. Another victim of the Global Financial Crisis in fact. Now my list of favourites was too long for their new model - so they arbitrarily chopped it in two for me - before I could choose which sublists should sit where. Much muttering and hours rearranging online.....
Interestingly a recent New Scientist article, provocatively headlined "Digital Doomsday", questioned the limited longevity of electronic media and basically pointed back to keeping paper records as being more likely to resist the vagaries of ageing. Huh ? Heresy ? "A century or so after a major catastrophe, little of the digital age will remain beyond what's written on paper.... "Even the worst kind of paper can last more than 100 years," says Season Tse, who works on paper conservation at the Canadian Conservation Institute. The oldest surviving "book" printed on paper dates from AD 868, he says. It was found in a cave in north-west China in 1907."
Hence you keep hard copies as backups - and the kitchen library grows and grows.
Feb 17, 2010
Social Capital Rewriting Market Paradigms Beyond and Behind the Firewall - Clay Shirkey - Here Comes Everybody Chapter Two
My take on Coase's theory according to Clay Shirkey is that unless the benefit of a transaction exceeds its costs, management won't be interested and it won't happen. Such potential activities lie under the so-called Coasian floor.
In the name of economic efficiency many large organizations have established internal markets for internal services, where service providers operate in the billable hours paradigm better known in legal firms. An internal customer can only access the internal services on a fee for service basis. If the internal customers are strapped for cash then the internal service provider may only be able to support the poor cousins with the sponsorship of an internal patron who recognises the benefit to the greater good of the organization. However informal networks operating via email such as Behind & Beyond the Firewall provide an alternate way to support the poor cousins. Individuals helping& sharing with other individuals. Social network analysis shows,however that there are linkages and informal networks.
"Sharing creates the fewest demands on participants"...."Knowingly sharing your work with others is the simplest way to take advantage of the new tools." p49
Shirkey argues that with social media the costs of many activities that lay under the Coasian floor have now collapsed. Community minded folks are now able to carry out these activities because they want to : the tools exist, the folks have the skills and the costs are low. Such folks are operating without managerial direction and without a profit motive. A Third Way is emerging - challenging the historical struggle of whether goods & services should be provided by Central Governments or by Business. Social Capital. Going beyond sharing to having conversations and altering your own actions in cooperating creates a group identity. Communities of Practice may emerge from the more informal peer to peer email traffic.
"Cooperation is harder than simply sharing .... conversation creates more of a sense of community than sharing does" ... 'it is famously difficult to keep online conversations from devolving into name calling or blather, much less to keep them on topic". p50.
Yet great good can be generated - eg Gaia's offer to match donations from the online community to the Red Cross to assist Haiti with a $10,000 cheque is an example of a small step in redefining charitable fundraising.
Individuals may go further and agree to collaborate and operate under a set of rules in order to achieve more collectively - the opposite behaviour to that generating the Tragedy of the Commons.
"Information sharing produces shared awareness among the participants, and collaborative production relies on shared creation .... no one person can take credit for what gets created ... collaborative action involves challenges of governance , or put another way, rules for losing" p50-53
Whilst Shirkey argues that examples of collaborative action using social tools are still relatively rare ... yet they can be seen in the world of multi player online role play gaming eg World of Warcraft. So what provides the motivation for collaboration in online games - similar or not to that of face to face team collaboration in competitive games ?
"Ridiculously easy group-forming matters because the desire to be part of a group that shares, cooperates or acts in concert is a basic human instinct that has always been constrained by transaction costs." p54
And so, using social media tools, the poor cousins may be helped in other ways within the organization, not withstanding their inability to pay a fee for service to the subject matter experts. Breaking through the Coasian floor.
Feb 16, 2010
I had been reading "Here Comes Everybody" and Alison's Hornery's tweet encapsulated my own personal learning journey in discovering Clay Shirkey's seminal work.
Chapter One : aka Social Capital 101 redefined - exploding everywhere
Key learnings :
- "The costs incurred by creating a new group or joining an existing one have fallen in recent years, and not just by a little bit. They have collapsed"
- "People respond to incentives. If you give them more of a reason to do something, they will do more of it, and if you make it easier to do more of something they are already inclined to do, they will also do more of it."
- "Tools that provide simple ways of creating groups lead to new groups, lots of new groups, and not just more groups, but more kinds of groups"
- "By making it easier for groups to self-assemble and for individuals to contribute to group effort without requiring formal management, these tools have radically altered the old limits on the size, sophistication, and scope of unsupervised effort."
- "And when the desire is high and costs have collapsed, the number of such groups is skyrocketing, and the kinds of efforts they are having on the world are spreading."
- "Group interaction gives society its particular character, and anything that changes the way groups get things done will affect society as a whole"
I had seen this effect when email & Web 1.0 exploded in the late 1990's - eg skillfully utilised by anti globalisation groups opposing the MAI - MultiLateral Agreement on Investment. Groups from around the globe hooked-up and supported each other in astonishing new ways at astounding velocities. Totally redefining social movements and social capital. Governments struggled to deal with this new phenomenon. Coalitions of disparate community action groups coalesced to form broad social movements. A precursor of what was to come 10 years later.
In my own region the local Wollongong Council axed its community consultative Neighbourhood Committees as they became too provocatively vocal. However as Shirky pointed out, the costs of organizing had collapsed and so these groups continue on years after being officially axed. They could not be silenced by our local council, and subsequently Wollongong Councillors were to find themselves axed for over 4 years following a corruption inquiry.
Who knows ? Had the issues raised by the Neighbourhood Committees been heeded, perhaps a region of 250,000 people might still have its own local government democratic representation, lost 150 years after gaining it back in the 19th Century. Perhaps 4 years on it will be regained in 2012 ? And how will the elected councillors and bureaucracy deal with a Web 2.0 world advocated by Gen X tweeps like @Chieftech ?
Feb 6, 2010
A very wet Saturday afternoon, the Significant Other setting up the new Digital Television & our Teenager getting a grip on top level senior high school maths. And I cleaned up my Google Reader RSS feeds, neglected during a week's family R&R on a coral cay in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. Finally nearly done, I came across a item posted on Australia Day by Dr Laurence Lock Lee Laurie in his Governance in a Networked World blog, where he debated the need for balance between enabling & command/control paradigms - also drawing on his Australian Chinese heritage.
His blog post reminded me of the challenges that Australian Public Authority Civil Engineers increasingly faced over the last 20 years. For decades they were considered infallible experts and so community consultation, aka crowdsourcing was not even on their radar. "Trust me I'm an Engineer" was their mindset & mantra.
I had been an elected City Councillor from the early 1990's and witnessed, at first hand, the struggles Public Authority Civil Engineers faced as they began to realise that community engagement was not going away. Chairing meetings was challenging, as I & my fellow City Councillors sought a balance, allowing the community & the expert engineers both to be heard. Our region is periodically impacted by severe flash flooding, destructive winds & bushfires, as well as Geotechnical landslide instability. The issues are very real. Several have died, properties destroyed - and so trust in the expertise of the engineers was increasingly questioned. Community emotions often run high.
Coincidentally I was also, then, on an external advisory committee to the Faculty of Engineering at our local University. Obviously I strongly supported introducing a community engagement programme into the Faculty's already crowded undergraduate curriculum. A mid 1990's version of crowdsourcing ?
And later when a 4th Year Subject was introduced, viz Human Factors in Engineering, I was only too happy to accept invitations to do periodic guest lectures - drawing from my Materials & Asset Reliability Engineering background, as well as my political experiences. At least today's graduating engineers may be a little better prepared than earlier cohorts.
Laurie's Australia Day post on balance also really hit home for me on another level, as several days earlier I had been in a tense & robust meeting with my org's Corporate IT geeks. The meeting subject ? Termination of our org's COPS - Communities of Practice - set up by Laurie a decade earlier. All of that tacit, unstructured data was not appreciated by many IT folk.
During the GFC crisis period there was inevitably little discretionary time to support our networks & communities. So it seemed some folks of the more Command & Control mindset now intended their downsizing, at least, and even possible outright culling. And yet with the departure of the BabyBoomers it seemed crazy to just jettison all the informal tacit knowledge accumulated in online discussions, that so many had shared & contributed to the COP's.
And in the GFC induced restructuring, our people resources had been stretched as huge leave levels were taken to reduce the alternative of mass job sackings instituted in some other orgs. Although a significant number of BabyBoomer aged employees did leave the organization - taking with them centuries of expertise, when considered in aggregate.
Fortunately our Local IT manager, empathetic & a master of engaging our user community stakeholders, did support moving the COP tacit knowledge to a contemporary repository. So it was agreed that the content would be migrated to SharePoint. Even better, he allocated a team member to develop a collaborative COP style template in SharePoint - but not requiring too much customisation, to enable easier migration to SharePoint 2010 in the future. In the meantime, some remaining users started to respond to the queries of do we need the COP's. Offers came in to take responsibility for being COP administrators in some of our existing SharePoint sites - including the KM COP itself.
Inevitably there will be more wrangling between those from the Command & Control paradigm and those who see collaboration enabling paradigms, especially as Web 2.0 / Enterprise 2.0 & Social Media uses grow. Perhaps it is time for our ICT students to be offered the same community stakeholder engagement lessons that are provided for Engineering students. Human Factors in Organizational ICT ? And they may already exist in some Universities ?
Sadly there are too many stories about "delivering food & drinks to Code Monkeys behind closed doors". We even had one young IT geek avoiding Face to Face and instead doing a "Live Meeting" - when he sitting in his cubicle which was next door & within site of those at the meeting table ?? Much easier to leave it to the BA's to deal with the face to face stuff ! Especially when the User Communities, with their own Folksonomies, generally do not use the same Taxonomies as the ICT folks.
A changed world of engaging Users could challenge some ICT Academics as well. Especially those with a preferred focus on Information Architecture & deployment of ICT solutions etc - ie avoiding crowdsourcing User Communities on their expectations.
However, introducing Human Factors in Organizational into ICT curriculums, on a wider scale, just may help future graduating ICT students achieve the balance that Laurie Lock Lee was advocating.