Sunday, February 22, 2009

Recipe Key

Here I am at Thing 19, exploring Recipe Key. I remember talking about trying to create an application like this about 20 years ago with my boss at the time. She loved to cook, but wanted a way to figure out what recipes were a match for what she had in her pantry. We talked extensively about how to create a database to do this. (My job largely was designing text based databases, at the time.) I never was motivated enough to really hammer at this idea on my own time -- I don't cook.

Well, as I always say, if I thought of an idea (or in this case, my old boss thought of an idea), chances are someone else did, too, and will make it a reality. Recipe Key is the reality.

It's pretty simple. Just drag and drop ingredients from a list into your digital pantry. Then browse the recipes that "match" what you have. You can filter by meal, ease of preparation, time to prep, etc. Unfortunately, none of the recipes were 100 percent match for what I have in the house, so I'd be running to the store anyway, if I wanted to use this tool. Good thing I don't cook; saved myself a trip.

All in all, a pretty cool app.

Now, as for using it in the library...hmmm. I'm stretching here, but maybe there's some link to the "others with items like yours" type of feature a la shopping sites. Or LibraryThing-like. So you enter what you have in your personal tech library or what literature you've accumulated on a topic and then you are presented with a complementary reading list that goes with the literary "ingredients" you've already got in your pantry. I know, I said it was a stretch. I think the real learning here is that if you can recognize a need, chances are, there's a way to make the solution happen.

Note that I use or have tried a smattering of other Web 2.0 Award Winners. You can even see my HairMixer experiment in one of my earlier posts. If I ever think of a library app for that, I've let you know.

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