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Pen-Pal Guidelines

Updated Guideline: Please note that Worldwide Recipes is now a trans-fat-free publication, so please do not submit any recipes to the Pen-Pal Forum that contain trans-fats such as vegetable shortening (i.e. Crisco) or margarine.

Please be sure to follow the guidelines below to ensure that your submission doesn't wind up on the dreaded Worldwide Recipes cutting room floor.

Thank you for your participation.

1. In order to qualify for publication, recipes must emphasize fresh ingredients. Most canned or frozen ingredients are acceptable, such as beans, tomatoes, green peas, and other items which may be difficult to purchase in their fresh state. Under no circumstances will I publish recipes calling for canned condensed soups, artificial whipped toppings, processed cheese foods, or similar misguided efforts of food scientists.

2. I will not publish recipes that call for name-brand ingredients. If the manufacturers of those products wish to advertise in my little ezine, they are welcome to do so for a fee, but I will no longer advertise them for free. Hey, a guy's gotta make a living, ya know? If your recipe calls for a product from a specific manufacturer, please replace it with the generic equivalent, such as "Louisiana-style hot sauce" instead of you-know-what.

3. Please keep your description of yourself, your family, your pets, and your likes and dislikes brief. Three or four sentences ought to be enough. You can tell your pen-pals as much as you like about yourself once they have made contact, but as far as the Pen-Pal Forum is concerned, less is more.

4. Recipes written in all upper case will be discarded. My readers have been very vocal about this, and I agree that it makes them difficult to read.

5. All overt statements regarding your religion, race, and sexual orientation will be deleted by the editor (that's me). Many people find such statements divisive and offensive, and they don't have anything to do with the food theme. Statements such as "I enjoy Bible study" and "I have been married to the same wonderful man for twenty years" are acceptable. Statements such as "I am a Christian", "I am an African-American", and "I am a Lesbian" will be deleted. Exceptions to this rule will be made as appropriate, and at the sole discretion of the editor (me again). For example, if a Lithuanian person sends a Lithuanian recipe, then it seems to me that the person's ethnic heritage is relevant to the recipe, and reference to it will be permitted.

6. When using canned or packaged ingredients, please specify the size of the can or package. A recipe calling for a "package of frozen spinach" or a "can of tomato paste" is imprecise at best, and downright mystifying to readers in other countries.

7. Please state how many servings your recipe makes. All cookbooks do it, I do it, and you need to do it too.

8. Try to remember that not everyone in the world shops at the same supermarket you do. Recipes that call for "Mrs. Fudpucker's Chocolate Swirl" and "Brumblee's Toasted Oat Clusters" will not make you any friends in the farther reaches of the globe.

9. Please give the recipe a title, even if you have to make one up.

10. Please list the ingredients in a list, rather than including them in the text of the procedure.

11. Please be precise with regard to the sizes of baking dishes, length of cooking times, and oven temperatures.

12. Send one, and only one recipe per theme. If you send more than one, I will discard all of them.

13. Please review these guidelines before sending your recipe to make sure it will pass my strict and somewhat arbitrary scrutiny.

14. Now that you have checked and made sure that your submission conforms to all the silly rules above, please send it to the address indicated at the top of the Pen-Pal Forum section of the ezine-and don't forget to tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you for contributing to the Pen-Pal Forum.

The Chef at Worldwide Recipes


About "The Chef"
Joe BarksonJoe Barkson has been writing and publishing under the pen name "The Chef at Worldwide Recipes" since 1998. He came to food writing late in life following checkered careers in computer marketing, graphic design, and teaching high school Spanish. A lifelong interest in food and cooking ("I've been eating since I was a baby," he is fond of saying) was nurtured by extensive international travel during his formative years, and this accounts for the emphasis on world cuisine in his choice of recipes and themes. Twice married and currently happily single, he lives in rural Georgia with a hyperkinetic schipperke that answers to Cooky when the mood strikes him.

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