The Mailbag(@ at home cookin’)

Please send me your suggestions about improving the site. 

A comment from Poppy after I posted the recipe for roasted fruit and cake — On 9/8/99 he wrote the following comments on the recipe

 re blueberries & peaches:

6 large peaches is rather vague. What I have done is to measure the sliced peaches. I have prepared the cooked fruit separately from the “leftover” fruit.  I use 5 cups of blueberries and 5 cups of sliced peaches.

You are supposed to remove the vanilla bean after the fruit is cooked. This is quite difficult because the sauce is so dark. The bean is tough but will not hurt anyone. One way to keep track of the vanilla bean is to impale each piece on a toothpick. Then you can find them quickly after the cooking is done.

After cooking I transferred the roasted fruit to canning jars and stored it in the refrigerator. It keeps well for several days, during which time the cake can be cooked or not.
[On the day you plan to serve with a cake, slice one cup peaches and mix with one cup of blueberries and gently stir together with one-quarter cup sugar.  Leave in refrigerator a while before serving.]

Editor’s Note:  If you have a question for Peter about a recipe, email him by double clicking here.

A comment from  Anson,

I was just checking out your website. Looking good!
The index is really helpful. I was thinking it would be nice to have the site set up with”frames”. You know where you have two separate windows on the screensimultaneously (like when you use Explorer). The left frame would be a general overallindex and then the right frame would have the recipe detail of whatever particular recipeyou are looking up. It might speed up navigation. Just a thought.

Also, I could not find the “mailbag” page you mention.
Happy cooking!

Editor’s Note:  any suggestions about how to implement Anson’s suggestion will be gratefully received by the editor, just tap on @ symbol at the bottom of this page and fire away.  I did make an attempt.  See it at table.   No hyperlinks there yet, just experimenting with format.

Fil just sent the following — what do you think?



Going over old email, saw this e-mail (which was a link to anson’s pic
on your website) and decided to visit.

Its pretty cool. I really should see about writing something up to
autoconvert the original Wordstar stuff over…my curiosity has been
piqued (is that the right word?)

Anyway, Some suggestions:

1.    The index
    should really either:

    a. be set up with the titles of the recipes directly linking
    to their respective pages
    b. be set up with two columns, one with the titles and the
    other with the links.

    The current format is rough on the eye

As an example of what I’m talking about, I took your hcindex and
copied it to my machine at work, and with about an hour of reading on
nifty pattern-matching search-and-replace tool called ‘sed’ (aka
stream-editor), I found a way to semi-automatically move the text to
where I want it as I describe in (a) above…I’ve put the output at

(palmpilot is my machine at work, though I’m not too happy about the
name…any suggestions for what to change it to?)

I say semiautomatically because unfortunately ‘sed’ is designed to
only work on one-line of input when it does its pattern matching, and
a number of the links in your hcindex had line-breaks in them. But it
was relatively easy for my to manually go in and delete the breaks so
everything would be on the same line.

ANYWAY, the only reason that I’m going on like this is that ‘sed’ is
one of those nifty unix tools that simultaneously shows why Unix is so
great and so terrible. In one sense, the sheer conciseness is
amazing; this is the WHOLE script that I wrote to do the replacement I
described in (a):

# generic
text title
([^<]*)(<[^>]*>)([^<]*)</a> *</p>/
# title with italic tag
# title with <em>emphasis</em> tag

This is remarkably little considering the relative complexity of
parsing html…a Java or C program to do a similar job would be much
longer and there would be no visible speed gain (in fact usually there
would be a speed loss

But, as you can imagine, these commands are very difficult to make
sense of, even if you’re the person who wrote them. Some people talk
about being given enough rope to hang yourself with; ‘sed’ gives you
enough rope to tie your body to a set of traintracks. But I

2.    The links that map to the same page (such as “DolphinStriker”
    and “Kir”) could actually scroll down to the place where the
    item in question is located, if you want to keep them on the
    same page. You have to muss with things a bit, and I don’t
    know how you’d make Frontpage do it, but I could probably find
    out online for you.

Anyway, just thought I’d send you my comments. C:)


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