Cookbook:Grunt Work

Cookbook | Help pages

Building and maintaining this cookbook requires work, some of which is tedious. It is good to pitch in, doing your part to take care of things. Here are some of the many things you can do.

Stop spammers and vandals edit

Notice the "Recent changes" link in the left sidebar. You can use this to see the most recent modifications. There is a drop down menu near the top of the list that lets you select a specific namespace. Choose the "Cookbook" namespace, and click the go button.

Now you can see all the recent cookbook edits. You can revert an edit by going to the page history, choosing the most recent good version, editing that version (note the warning you'll see), and saving the result. If you are fairly sure that the bad edit was intentionally bad, get an admin to block the user. You can report problems in the administrative assistance reading room.

Improve pages edit

Check the stub category and cookwork pages needing improving categories for pages that need help with.

Nominate and judge potential editors edit

Requests for permissions require votes. Without votes, progress will tend to be slow. Without editors, the vandals and spammers run wild. If you see a user who appears fit to be an editor, you should nominate them on that page. While there, vote for all the candidates who seem decent to you.

Add pictures for ingredients and tools edit

See Wikimedia Commons for where the pictures are or should be. Start at Category:Food as a first place to look, but some images may not be properly categorized.

Many US government sites are excellent sources of public domain (no copyright) pictures. You can use Google image search with the site:gov option to find these. To be more specific, or can be used. Use site:mil for military sites (as the military does serve food). In general, do not use these photos for recipes. After you find an appropriate image, upload it either here or at Commons, and add it to the pages.

Add pictures for recipes edit

For recipes, you really should cook the food. For example, this cookbook has two lemon meringue pie recipes. The pies look and taste different from each other, although they are similar. It would be bad to use a generic picture from an unknown recipe. As above, images can be stored at the Wikimedia Commons to make images available for all Wikimedia Foundation projects, or uploaded to Wikibooks for cookbook-only use.

When taking pictures, try to use something other than a yellowish 60W light bulb and Xenon flash. Natural sunlight, GE Reveal bulbs, and most plant (greenhouse) lights will work well, especially if you can hold the camera steady and suppress the flash. Try to show both the inside and outside of foods where this would be applicable. Cropping the image would be a good idea; use the jpegtran program with the lossless-crop option if you have it.

Standardize formatting and add links edit

All cookbook pages should have links at the top to various parent-like pages, with the Cookbook link itself at the left. For simplicity and aesthetic reasons, separate these links with the "|" symbol. Add category links at the bottom of the page. Use <br clear="all" /> if you need to keep pictures from spilling into the wrong section. Use a bullet list for ingredients, and a numbered list for the procedure. Link most alcoholic drinks into the Bartending guide instead of into the Cookbook. Link all ingredients the first time they are used. Also do this for units of measurement and the less-well-known equipment.

The casing for book titles should match that of Wikibook's scheme for titles, that is, title-case (e.g. "Fish and Chips"). Keeping page names in sentence-case violates Wikibook's page naming convention, see the manual of style. To make linking easier, redirect pages should be created, so links to either title appear as "blue" active links, and duplicate pages are not created. At least one contributor prefers actions ("Boiling", not "Boil" or "Boiled") in gerund form. They also advocate keeping ingredient lists in lower-case.

Help describe and rate the recipes edit

Many recipes are poorly described. Beginning cooks can not imagine what the result is supposed to be like. You can describe the food right at the top of the recipe. You can discuss your cooking attempts on the recipe's talk page. If you are able to compute Calories accurately, you might do so. It would be helpful to assign difficulty levels and total preparation times.

Convert units edit

Leave the original units as they are, whatever they may be, and add the new units in parentheses after them. Unit conversion requires more care than most people expect. A "Large" egg in the USA is about the same as a "size M" egg in the EU; you should remove the size indication if you believe it refers to one of these normal sizes. The USA uses Queen Anne units, while Britain uses imperial (and metric) units. Imperial units are generally about 20% larger than Queen Anne units, so look for signs of a non-USA recipe author (based on food terms and spelling) before you convert the units. Be aware of the distinction between ounces (mass or weight) and fluid ounces. Proportion is important: if you convert 1/2 t as 2 mL then use 4 mL for 1 t and 190 mL for 1 c, but if you convert 1/2 t as 3 mL then use 6 mL for 1 t and 285 mL for 1 c. Adjust the pan size, serving count, and eggs (ouch) as required to match.

Get junk pages deleted, and save the legit pages edit

Simply add {{Delete|your reason goes here}} to the top of any page that no reasonable person might want to keep. If there has been significant human effort put into the page, you should instead place the page up for a deletion vote and use {{RFD}} to mark the page. At the WB:RFD page, you can also vote on other pages that have been put up for a deletion vote. Be sure to vote based on the quality of the page; for example a vegetarian should take care to vote in favor of something like the Cookbook:Beef page in spite of any personal disgust at the concept of eating beef.

Link from Wikipedia to the Cookbook edit

Many topics (recipe, ingredient, tool, activity) discussed here in the Cookbook are also covered in Wikipedia. From a page over there, you can link to a cookbook page called Cookbook:Example by using {{cookbook|Example}} to make the link. This should be placed at the very top of an "External links" section, alongside other similar sister project templates; the result will be a box on the right side of the page. See the template page for more advanced usage.