08 October 2007

My Foodie-sense Is Tingling : Greasemonkey for Culinary Pros? 1

What is Greasemonkey you might ask? Greasemonkey is a plugin for the Firefox web browser. Note: If you use Internet Explorer, you can use the IE7 Pro Compatibility add-in to permit some Greasemonkey scripts. If you use Safari, you may be able to run some scripts using the Creammonkey plugin. Opera is also known for being able to run a few scripts on their own.

Greasemonkey allows you to change how your favorite pages behave and look. There are many scripts that have already been written, and if you know javascript you can easily create your own.The Greasemonkey install on firefox is very easy .

You can find the Greasemonkey console,which shows all your scripts, under the "Tools" link on the browser menu bar. The scripts are editable. All you need to do is click on a script from the list and click on the edit button --- to access the script code, which allows for customization (in some cases) or bug fixes (if the script author is not keeping tabs on updating.)

Userscripts.org is a repository to download and install Greasemonkey scripts. You can find a script to pimp virtually anything ---blogger, flickr, gmail, craigslist ect. There is a tag function on userscripts.org for most scripts but unfortunately script authors do not always tag. So I actually scrolled through most of the 300 pages...yikes.

I can't believe I missed out on so many greasemonkey scripts lately. I LOVE firefox and Greasemonkey is icing on the geeky-optimizing-browser cake.

Speaking of cake, wouldn't it be great to create a greasemonkey script that would use specific formulas that apply to bakers or chefs or serious foodies?!

I am talking about calculators to compute formulations for : Specific gravity,Baker's percent, Turn-over rate of frying oil, Desired Dough Temp, Variances of Mixer per Qt = in F degrees , ect.

Even better --- have temp converters , and an editable interface to add special reference snippets that are pertinent to you (said foodie). I know there are alot of conversion widgets at Chef2chef.net ---It would be nice to see some of them hacked into the widget.

I think that the best way to showcase this widget would to code it to appear as a slide-in menu in the corner of your browser window. The calculators /converters would be linked via small icons, and would feature a link to your reference library (which would be text files, housed in a folder on your pc) There would be a link for "grab formula/ recipe", also.

This would be a great utility to edit formulas found on the web, on the fly. And the best part is that you can take firefox with you anywhere --- just copy it to a flash/thumb drive, and plug into a computer away from home. All your scripts / plug-ins /bookmarks are contained in the firefox interface, which you load via the thumb drive.

Oh, how utterly SWEET!

I will try to compose something out of code and see if I can get the ball - I mean the script rolling.

How exciting!

Run your tooltip over the screenshot to see what subject the screenshot covers. click on the screenshot to view it's pic page on flickr; or click "larger" link to view original.

Screen Shots

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05 October 2007

Baking Theory Notes: Mixing Geekdom 2

Popular Dough Styles Methods of mixing dough, in bakery settings. If you analyze your home recipes procedure, you may notice most of your home bread or pastry recipes might mirror:" sponge & dough" or " straight dough" methods.

*Sponge & Dough Method

Very widely made.

--->Basic Formulation / Procedure:
  1. Mix half of the flour, yeast , malt , water @ <72°f> = sponge.
  2. Let it rise 3½ hours --- shake it, if it is done it will drop away from the sides.
  3. Remove sponge from your container, add to mixer with remaining flour, salt etc.
  4. Mix until gluten is developed.
  5. Bake
Advantages of Sponge & Dough method :
  • Better Flavor
  • Flexible --- In sponge stage you can leave sitting on the bench.
  • Better (tighter) crumb
{ This equals to ( 2) mix s and (2 ) fermentations {one in bowl , one in oven}

*Straight Dough Method
  1. 1 mix
  2. 1 fermentation
Advantages of Straight Dough Method:
  • Faster
  • Uses less electricity
  • Easier on equipment
  • Less Labor
*No-time Straight Dough Method
No fermentation. Additives cause "rise" activating Enzymes that normally developed during fermentation.
Basic Formulation / Procedure:

  1. Mix ingredients. Warm up the dough (i.e via mixing friction)
  2. Add more yeast
  3. Add Fructose (yeast can eat this faster)
  4. No Rounding --- Scale & put into pans to bake
Disadvantages of No-time Straight Dough Method:
  • Flavor IS compromised (from lack of fermentation)
  • Bad shelf life (unless you add additives)
  • No flexibility --- from mixer to oven (reminds me of "from zero to sixty")
For more info on dough related baking info go here.

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