I have some items which are either mandatory or not mandatory for a recipe. I am listing them in a table. I have a column which will say either an item is required or not. What could be the proper word for the header of such a column?
I'm guessing this is really a database design question.
I would submit that, no, you don't want to do that. What is blank? Is it a place where you forgot to write required? I would suggest you want a postive indication one way or the other as to the category in which each item should be placed.
I second JLG's suggestion that necessary and optional are friendlier. If you titled the column "Importance?" and populated it with the values neccesary and optional that might work.
I am no great cook myself but would love to see the table with columns that say 'Required' and 'Optional' -- that would be amply clear to anyone and also have the ingredients conveniently separated from each other.
Listing all the items in one column with another column showing which are required and which optional is thoroughly confusing.
By the way, saying that anything is 'mandatory' is like if you don't use those ingredients, the police will haul you up before a court of law. :)