March 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
I spend most of my days in a science lab, doing biochemistry and a bit of genetics. In the lab, we keep a written record of all of our experiments, successes or failures. The overwhelming majority of these experiments do not lead to grand discoveries; they make such incremental progress, it is often barely noticeable. The notebook is an essential tool for recording the glacial rate of progress, and the very infrequent giant step forward. As I would tell any high school student writing a lab report, there are necessary components to any good lab notebook, including:
- Purpose of the experiment
- Materials, equipment and techniques used
- Results of the experiment
- Commentary on whether it worked or not: Did the experiment succeed or fail technically? Do the results support your hypothesis?
- Discussion of the next steps to improve this experiment, or try a new one
Because years of training have ingrained this notebook-keeping habit in me, I have decided to apply it to my next big experiment, an experiment that most others will find much more enjoyable and entertaining than any experiment I could ever do in the lab. The purpose of my experiment: deliciousness!! My objective is to hone my baking skills and technique to provide reliably delectable baked goods and to create a repertoire of baking deliciousness that I can delve into when necessary. Now, I’m not too terrible of a baker right now– I’ve definitely made a few crowd-pleasers over the years– but my baking habits lack structure. I tend to choose recipes at random and hope that they work. I barely make anything more than once or twice, so I don’t practice at perfecting it. I’ve picked up a few professional tips along the way, and I’ve recently started acquiring much more appropriate equipment, but there is so much more to learn and there are so many tools out there still that will most definitely improve my work. With that, here are some of the items you might find in this notebook:
- Recipes and recipe modifications
- Tips and tricks I learn to make prettier and more delicious baked goods
- Comments on ingredients and equipment
- Reviews of local bakeries and restaurants
- Some food photography, but this is something that is going to be pretty bad to start, and will hopefully improve with time
Finally, I hope not to be doing this in isolation. Please comment, share tips, recipes and suggestions. Happy baking!!