Frequently Asked Questions rec.food.recipes Last Cange 05/06/07
Changes: a plea for plain text.
Welcome to rec.food.recipes, a moderated USENET newsgroup for recipes and
recipe requests. The purpose of this newsgroup, as stated in our charter,
is to provide a noise-free place to find recipes. Rec.food.recipes is not
any sort of commercial recipe service. It is friendly cooks donating
their time and effort to the net. You should think us as a group of
friends swapping recipes. You don't have to simply respond to requests,
you can submit your favorite recipes or even new recipes you have recently
found and have enjoyed. No one gets paid for doing this nor for moderating
the group. The list is maintained by a human beings not by computers. We
ask that you be polite and courteous in all your e-mail correspondence.
****Who does all this?
The newsgroup is moderated by a team of volunteers.
(Patricia Hill) [Lead Moderator]
(Leo Jongens) [Moderator]
(Valerie Whitmore) [Mailing List/Web Site]
(Stephanie da Silva) [Archives/Recipes CD]
****How do I post to this newsgroup?
If you are not certain how to post to this newsgroup, email your message
to . Please send your message in plain text, since we
can't read html. Ahem. Let me say that again. Please send your recipes
in plain text. We can't read html nor can we read images. html and images
create huge files and maike it more difficult for us to post your recipe.
If you are new to newsgroups we encourage you to about newsgroups at the
news.newusers.questions Web site:
****Do you save the recipes that are posted in the newsgroup?
The recipes posted each day are placed in a searchable calendar format at
An archive of the last 80,000 recipes posted to this newsgroup is
available at Google
Once recipes have been posted in the newsgroup *some* of them are
placed in the archives. We encourage our readers to consult the archives.
There are lots of good recipes there, culled from years of posts to the
****Do you have a mailing list?
The people at cdkitchen.com kindly maintain a mailing list, both single
recipes and digest format. Please note we will send you at least 10 to 30
recipes a day and sometimes even more. This is a lot of mail for some
people. If you prefer not to receive that much mail, please don't
When you wish to subscribe or change your subscription options to the
rec.food.recipes mailing list, you should go to the the online form at
The lead moderator, Patricia Hill, has no control over this list and
cannot remove you from it no matter how vociferously you insist.
****Are any recipes rejected?
Rejection is a harsh thing and we are kind. If your recipe is not quite in
the proper form our editors will work with you to rewrite your recipe. Our
mission is to post recipes and we post as many as we can.
****What may a recipe contain?
A recipe must contain ingredients and the directions for assembling those
ingredients. A recipe may contain your suggestions or comments relevant to
that recipe. From time to time the Lead Moderator may decide to post an
article explaining a recipe or technique in more detail.
For this newsgroup, a recipe is defined as a list of ingredients with a
set of instructions on how to put those ingredients together. We prefer
the form where the quantities and ingredients are listed first followed by
the directions. It is great to add tips or comments on a recipe. These
make the newsgroup more interesting. We also post articles discussing a
particular topic, but every post must contain a recipe. The final decision
of what constitutes acceptable format rests with the moderator.
****How do I know this is a good recipe? Do you test them?
The recipes posted to this group are not kitchen tested to ensure they are
valid recipes and work. They are checked for stylistic and subject content
only and for the most part they are posted AS they have been received.
It it appears to be a valid, cookable recipe, we post it. They are
intended for the enjoyment of the reading public. If you try the recipes,
we are assuming you know enough about cooking and the usage of the
ingredients contained in the recipes to make their own decision regarding
using the recipe. Use the recipe at your own risk. If you notice an
error or omission, please write the original submitter of the recipe. Then
we can post a correction.
Readers should be aware recipes are posted which do not meet current
food safety recommendations. We are not competant to evaluate recipes
so we urge readers to be aware of the issues especially in the following
raw eggs - can be contaminated with salmonella. It is recommended you
cook all egg products
paraffin - used to improve chocolate handling in candies. Not recommended
paper bags - Don't use paper bags for cooking or shaking up caramel
popcorn since the bag may be made of recycled toxic substances or be
botulism - anerobic, low acid environments can support botulism
contamination. This includes cakes baked in jars and oils infused with
garlic and other vegetables
refrigerator breads - dough which is stored in the refrigerator can be
contaminated with bacteria
A source for more details is http://www.extension.iastate.edu/foodsafety/
****How do I make a request?
You can post the request to the newsgroup or send an email to
. We compile the requests into a list of requests
which is posted each day.
****I don't want to get spam mail from posting --How can I stop it?
If you post to a newsgroup using your email address, you will start
getting spam. You can prevent this by using a temporary mailing address
such as hotmail, or yahoo. Or you can tell us to omit your correct
address and we will post your recipes with as the
address. If you have written us and do not get an answer, ask yourself if
you are sending us a valid address.
****What style should I use? How should I type my recipe?
These are some tips that will help us post your recipe as soon as
Use plain text, not html. Avoid special characters such as fractions or
degree signs. These become corrupted and we must guess at their meaning
when we edit the recipe.
List your ingredients in one column. This newsgroup is particularly
popular with blind readers and one column is much easier to understand.
Chack yur spellling. Use measurements that are widely understood. For
example, when someone uses "a stick of oleo" as an ingredient we get
messages asking how big a stick is and what is oleo.
All measurements and ingredients must be stated in a manner that makes
sense to most people. Measurements need to a specific size or quantity - a
package of cream cheese could be a large package (8 oz) or a small package
(3 oz). In either case it is vague if just called a package. Watch for
specific products - It is fine for a recipe to call for something like
Rotel, but it is better to put an explanation of what Rotel is--15 ounces
canned tomatoes seasoned with onion and chile. This gives a person who
lives outside Rotel's distribution area to have a fighting chance at
finding an equivalent. From time to time commercial companies wish to
advertise products by including recipes using their products. These
recipes need to have acceptable substitutes indicated.
The recipe must clearly state the ingredients. Although it is acceptable
to write a recipe in narrative style, it is necessary that the recipe
clearly indicate the ingredients and the quantities needed. Moderators
usually generate an ingredients list.
The recipe should be useful. It should not be trivial, or a prank. We can
assume that all our readers have access to a standard basic cookbook and
we can assume they know basic cooking techniques.
Signature files should be trimmed down to include the name of the user and
information related to the address or telephone number. Mottoes, humorous
remarks and pictures are removed. They should not exceed the Internet
standard of four lines, except in unusual circumstances. Some
organizations send us recipes as a means of advertising. We remove
unseemly exhortations to our readers leaving information that allows
people interested in the product or service to connect with the provider.
This is a recipe exchange, not a medical forum. Our charter does not
permit comments discussing healing therapies or food allergies. It is
great to print a gluten-free bread. It is not appropriate in this
newsgroup to post about gluten allergy.
We do not knowingly violate copyrights. We watch for recipes that include
information indicating a copyright is being violated.
****Why do you let people send recipes containing an ingredient I have
never heard of?
It is a big world out there and many people eat things which other people
consider unusual. If you do not recognize an ingredient, look it up in
Google. Please do not disturb the inner peace of the moderator with
****Why do you keep posting the same requests and the same recipes over
There are some requests that are *made* over and over and over. Readers
will send in their recipes, then someone else will send in another
version. Remember, there are lots of people seeing this newsgroup for the
first time each week. We will often post several versions of a recipe
which are only slightly different from each other. We started doing this
when we observed how many recipes do not propagate all the way through the
Internet. If you see lots of similar recipes be thankful you have such an
****Why is there a delay in posting my recipe?
When we receive recipes, we look at them to see if they are in the proper
format. If they are, they are generally posted the same day. If they are
not, they must be edited. This delays posting. Also remember we are
people with lives, families, jobs and unanticipated life events which may
interfere with moderation
****I have several recipes. Can I send them together?
We call more than one recipe for the same dish a collection and we mark
them in a special way: It should be followed with the word Collection and
the number of recipes. An example:
Cheese Soups (3) Collection
We do this since many people do not want collections and kill them unread.
If you object to collections, please do not read them.
Some newsreaders have limitations on the size of a single post. A good
rule of thumb is a maximum of five or six recipes in one collection,
although sometimes, if the recipes are short, we will post more in a
collection. Another rule of thumb is to limit your collections to 120
****What can not be posted?
Notices for a new web site unless they appear at the end of a recipe
The $250 Cookie or other urban legends.
Joke recipes. An example of this is the rum cake that proliferates during
the holiday season, where the "author" tipples at the rum and the
description becomes more and more garbled as it progresses.
Items that may be considered 'controversial' in nature. This might
include ingredients for endangered species or perhaps ingredients that
might be considered too dangerous, exotic or disgusting for most of our
readers. In short, if we think it might generate a number of negative
responses, we will reject it. We have difficulty answering all that email.
****What if my recipe never appears in the newsgroup?
We swear, we promise, we guarantee that if we do not post your recipe or
request in the newsgroup, we will send you a note explaining why. If you
do not see your recipe or request appear in the newsgroup and you do not
hear from us that means something disappeared in transit. Write us and
tell us. We will look into it. If you do not see your article within two
weeks, instead of resubmitting, email Patricia Hill at
asking about its status. Please include your recipe so we know which one
to hunt for. Perhaps I should say that again. Please include your recipe
when you inquire.
Make sure you are are using a valid email address. Every day people send
us urgent or angry communications, demanding responses from us but they do
not use a valid email address. We cannot reply to you if you do not give
us a valid email address! Sigh.
Just because you haven't seen it, don't assume it wasn't posted. It may
have been posted and it hasn't propagated back to your site yet. Or we may
not have even received it! You might be surprised at how much
recipes-related email bounces or gets eaten. The net is not 100%
efficient and not all articles make it to all sites. We're not 100%
efficient either, and on occasion, we'll lose a file or delete something
****Oops! I sent in a recipe with a mistake. What do I do now?
If you discover that your article was posted with an error, then send the
*Corrected* recipe with a brief explanation of the error to Patricia,
) and your corrected version will be posted.