Holiday productivity? Ho, ho, ho

There’s been way too much silly season… well, sillyness, so I’m not yet ready to share news about another great meal until I get all of the eggnog (well, in reality it’s copious amounts of wine and beer) out of my system and down to non-emergency levels. In the meantime, I’ll share some glimpses into food technology. Now that should sober me – and you – up for a least a few minutes.

The first is the launch of the Twitter cookbook, which shows how you can turn a two-page food-as-fashion book spread with glamorous, glossy photos into a meager unadorned scrawl that’s 160 characters or less. If you haven’t used Twitter yet, it’s a nifty way to broadcast messages to your friends or the world at large, whether via email or, even better, free text messages. Don’t know how they do it for free, but I’m not going to ask in case they change their minds. In any case, the Twitter cookbooks is a quick, dirty and impressively effeicient way to get a full recipe onto your mobile phone, so people don’t see you peering through that heavy, dog-eared cookbook in the supermarket aisle. Instead, they’ll think you’re reading raunchy text messages.

yourRestaurants mobileIn just a handful of weeks, there are already some 1400 people keeping tabs on the daily influx of mini-me recipes. Here’s an example of an apple pie recipe submitted just in time for American Thanksgiving. Once you get used to the shorthand, it’s fairly simple (usually):

Pumpkin Pie: cook 5m 2c pumpkin/c brn sugar/2T pie spice/.5t salt; +2/3c cream&milk. Put in running blender +4eggs. 25m@400F in baked crust.

The other is the latest example of how mobile phones are trying to revolutionise how we collect recipes and order food. Mobio is a US-based company that’s created a number of handy phone applications, including a recipe book that instantly creates a shopping list that can be easily compiled from multiple recipes. Heck, they even have an application that lets you look for the cheapest petrol (‘gas’), which is handy if you have to fill up on the way home from Woolies.

Finally, while Mobio does have a restaurant finder, it’s nothing compared to the yourRestaurants dining guide, which I helped set up for HWW (now part of Ninemsn) a couple of years back. I have no vested interest in it these days, but it still works so amazing well, I use it everywhere I travel throughout Australia. It has mammoth listings in every capital city and is getting pretty decent at covering the regional ones as well. The website works great, but nothing is handier than having it on your phone, so if you have a 3G-enabled handset, I really recommend it. It’s also now part of the yourTime package, which gives you movies, music gigs, a TV guide and a bars guide.

Well, that’s enough geek speak for one day. It’s still the holidays and I think I just heard the alarm for beer o’clock.

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