recipe writing for students

recipe writing for students

The Art of Writing Effective Recipes for Students

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1. Introduction to Recipe Writing

But the key to the use of recipes in teaching cooking is that they be properly written. A poor recipe will do more to fog up the process of teaching cooking than to make things clearer, and simply preparing a particular quantity of food does not transform any verbal description of about how to cook it into a useful recipe for actual preparation. It’s also quite possible to use a different approach to how recipes are written to achieve other educational objectives than the teaching of cooking. Personalizing a particular recipe or making a recipe less instructive and more of a stimulus for learners are two other goals where stylistic differences come into play. We feel there are a few simple principles to follow no matter what your aims in using recipes. What you decide to use recipes for is pretty much up to you.

What is a recipe, after all? Besides a guide for preparing particular foods, a recipe is a guide to a single cooking session. Like other forms of technical writing, a recipe needs to be designed to deliver useful facts to an audience of readers in an intelligible form. As a teaching aid in a community or family studies room, a properly written recipe can make unfamiliar cooking techniques seem simple and straightforward to students. It can communicate the distinction, for instance, between separating egg yolks and whites and the far less intentional separation of broken eggs. It can make the matter-of-fact instruction, “grains and legumes expand during cooking,” seem more like a reason for a myriad of little woes and worries. It can make explicit the importance of combining the right ingredients properly.

2. Key Components of a Student-Friendly Recipe

The number of servings would be stated as “1 recipe (x)”; if the recipe yields 4 servings, for example, “4 servings (x4).” This component is necessary if the qualified statement, “yields 4 servings” indicated: “8 servings (x 2); 12 (x3).” Three pieces of related information (number the servings made from one recipe, how many times a recipe needs to be made, and the amount of each serving) need to be stated.

Ingredient statement: This should tell the reader what is needed to prepare the dish and what is in the recipe. All ingredients are listed in order of use. Precise measurements are provided, if necessary. Metric conversions may be used. Any preparatory king of an ingredient should be in parentheses after the ingredient.

Title: This is a concise description of the dish. It should stand out and catch the eye of the reader.

Each recipe or formula should contain the following key components: the title, ingredient statement in order of use, yield, and clear, concise directions. Label the cooking method and make the size and type of pan clear to the reader.

3. Tips for Clear and Concise Instructions

Mastering a recipe writing activity can be a highly motivating means of learning how measurements and mathematics are applied in everyday life. Cooking also stages an important transition from engaging in mere theory to realizing that what is usually learned in a classroom from textbooks is expected to be applicable. Making and eating food provides an immediate opportunity to determine whether a given mixture has been successfully concocted. Success at cooking from simple recipes can thus facilitate the attainment of students’ first taste of self-directed production. Providing a caring and casual environment for cooking prior to the students’ maturing into later stages of self-awareness about appearances, cleanliness, and personal image is also an advantage.

3.2 Scaffolding Learning

Recipes demand clear and concise instructions that are easy to follow. Use simple and straightforward language that students aged 11 to 13 can understand easily. A list of the minimum ingredients and tools required, as well as step-by-step instructions for each activity, is necessary. Avoid jargon that might confuse beginners and provide pictures of both the ingredients and the finished product to facilitate understanding. Be especially careful with directions about using household items such as knives and blenders. Give students thorough and detailed explanations so that they can use these items safely and effectively. The cook’s vocabulary can also be expanded to include the names and roles of the tools used in the kitchen. For example, it is useful to know what a whisk is for and to ensure that a whisk is readily available in the classroom kitchen.

3.1 Clarity

4. Importance of Visual Aids in Recipes

Verbal instruction is the most important technique an educator must use, but it is much more impressive when performed with a visual aid. The manner in which instructions are delivered, most times, seems to be the difference necessary to create something joyful or hated. Each milestone in the recipe needs to be accompanied by a visual aid. The goal is to instruct as many with ease as time allows, as the hind abilities of our learners differ so greatly. Make the visual aids interactive, durable, and stimulating. An interactive visual aid is created, allowing for those learners who have not learned to pick up written information to verbalize the instructions received. The less visual contact with the teacher, the response conjured from them. Visual appreciation is thereby developed, i.e. a sense of color, size, shape, and dimension, which is vital for efficient combining of ingredients during the food production.

“Since we eat with our eyes,” most students initially choose a recipe based on visual appeal. They eat foods they have seen prepared, foods that look like those shown in ads or restaurant chains, canteen, and often ‘fast food’ places. The recipes that will attract the widest range of students will have a firm ‘taste’ tone, a hint of nostalgia, with appealing garnishes and plate presentations, while at the same time, the ingredients must be written precisely and to scale. Recipes involving lots of complex procedures or dishes with several components are not the best place to ‘stretch the boundaries’ of this approach, nor to introduce unfamiliar foods. While some recipes might not be as visually appealing, generally a picture can be drawn up at the end of the food procedure, always showing the finished product.

5. Conclusion and Final Tips

My last word of advice touches on a core principle that underpins most of what I have written in this brief collection of suggestions on the art of writing better recipes for students. The suggestion is a simple one: Treat your students as if they were grownups who have chosen to be in your classroom. In turn, this means being respectful, kind, inclusive, fair, clear, and inspiring. It also means that your written communications should reflect a commitment to the same values. Good writing always tries to bring out the best in others, and the recipes we use to guide students through our topics are arguably the most important things we write as pedagogues. In any case, these five principles and one last piece of advice have become through the years my own recipe for writing effective recipes. The demos are perhaps not so secret, after all—so I hope you find them helpful to you, and most importantly, to your students.

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