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Dec 13, 2006 03:55 PM

Other than taste, what motivates you to live as a chowhound?

For me, after taste comes immediate well-being. I feel much better when eating my own home-cooked meals from a range of ingredients on hand.
I also like the feeling of carrying on tradition when I make a very healthy olive-oil based and meat-free meal, or from the other side of my family, the occasional sour-cream and chicken concoction that is just so good I only need one piece.
There's probably a number of other reasons, like being generous to my friends w/home cooked meals, the enjoyment and relaxation I get from shopping and preparing food, etc.
And of course, there's the satisfaction from knowing I will probably be able to avoid most diet-related illnesses given the way I eat. Yesterday I had lunch at the hospital Wendy's on campus, ironic location given the prevalence of obesity related illnesses, which makes me feel that chowhounding can adopt a much more serious role.

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  1. We whose find artistic pleasure in food can avoid the worry of where and how to deal with too many possessions. With a gift of food there is never the problem: "We can't get rid of that - It was a gift!"
    Food is simply the most practical way to repeatedly indulge the impulses to create and acquire beautiful, precious things.

    1 Reply
    1. re: atheorist

      Beautifully put. I couldn't agree more.

    2. Food brings people together.

      1. For me, taste would come first--I am convinced that the American palate is losing the battle of quantity v. quality.

        A close second would be that I believe that it's important to remember the old ways, and the care that goes into a well crafted meal. Similar to another post on the boards, we've gotten so casual about how we dress, how we speak--anything goes, it seems. Well, I like to set a table correctly, and to cook from scratch, and to be picky about what I choose to go into a dish. Like Tony Soprano (ironically)said in an episode, "In this house, it's 1950"

        1 Reply
        1. re: thegolferbitch

          I couldn't agree more. Too many people think that by opening a bag of frozen meatballs and covering them with bottled sauce that it means they are cooking from scratch. I can't stand it. They are the same ones who would taste your homemade meatball and tell you it doesn't taste 'real'

          I want people to know what real food tastes like, and I want them to be able to cook it at home. That's why I teach people to cook. And it's why i don't compromise in my kitchen. I spent too many years eating tasteless and boring food because it was all I could either afford or knew how to make. Now that I have expanded my skills and taken it to new heights, there is no end to what I can make in my own kitchen. And it is totally satisfying to me to make a wonderful, unhurried meal and enjoy it fully, to leisurely sip a perfect cup of coffee or bite into bread warm from the oven; a pizza crust from scratch and cookies that actually taste like cookies. Life has been streamlined to DEATH and I hate it; everything is automated and broken down to be easier, cheaper and less healthy for you than at any other time in our history. It's awful. The ability to create magic in our kitchens is worth every moment of time and each cent spent pulling it together.

        2. Second this opinion. I get such a smug feeling when Mme Zoe and I sit down to a table with real silver, nice plates, candles and gasp! one wonderful meal after another made from scratch. Never a prepared box enters this house (other than Trader Joe's pizza for emergencies). Oh, I forgot, real cloth napkins too, ugh to the paper things. I don't see any reason not to live like Queens when we have all the stuff, its called, USE IT, don't look at nice tableware just for holidays.
          We have a lot of fun discussing what to eat for the week. Just had an eggwhite omelet with fresh basil from the garden (this is LA and its in the 70's again) parmesan, onion flakes and a quarter of a chicken pate flute which was our lunch yesterday from Bristol Farms. OK I cheated on that one but Mme Zoe was feeling down in the dumps and needed a stop at this gourmet emporium near our house for her lunch yesterday.
          As GolferBitch points out, things are sliding - however I am happy to see that ChowPupLet (g-daughter) really appreciated a recent dinner party to celebrate her new job and we found her in the kitchen washing the Lennox by hand, together with the silver - I thought she was preserving her inheritance!

          4 Replies
          1. re: ZoeZ

            I know that smug feeling! I live alone, but as my sister says, I'm the only person she knows who cooks 3-course meals for herself. Sometimes, on Sunday morning, when I have a lovely breakfast of perfectly sunny-side up eggs, good bread, good butter, halloumi cheese, and avocado and tomato, and drink my coffee, freshly ground, in a little white cup with a saucer, I feel so happy. Which is basically why I am a chowhound, when the world seems so unhappy and overwhelming, especially in my work as an immigration lawyer, taking the time to make something from scratch, to take some care to enjoy small, basic pleasures gives me the energy to keep going.

            1. re: ZoeZ

              "I get such a smug feeling when Mme Zoe and I sit down to a table with real silver, nice plates..."

              My smug feeling comes from appreciating cuisines the chain-restaurant diners will never know ... and at those places, usually food of a quality the others will never know. Not that they'd know quality if it bit 'em in the rear. "Look, Brad, they've got yet another entree slathered in Jack Daniels sauce out of a 55-gallon drum of the stuff!"

              One other reason I'm a 'hound:

              I'm not young anymore - a lot of stuff that used to work just fine doesn't work now. Gone is the mobility and the energy, and more. Experiencing exciting food is one of the dwindling number of sensual pleasures left. And on the positive side, at this age I've learned to appreciate aspects of food that I just couldn't comprehend when younger.

              1. re: wayne keyser

                I know that same smug feeling. I can't tell you how many times I have gleefully told my husband, "Bet nobody else in Bloomington is eating this!"

                1. re: jillp

                  Funny you should say that, my husband is always saying that about our meals. I love being able to put a healthy, wonderful tasting meal on the table and enjoy the cooking process completely. Being able to have great meals-sometimes gourmet and sometimes plain comfort food, is one of the great pleasures in life. I pitty people who don't enjoy food and just eat to stay alive. They are missing so much!

            2. taste first obviously, but that relates to me directly. Few things give me greater pleasure than the look on other peoples faces when they enjoy what they are eating. So I guess that's still taste - but not my own! To make others happy through my oen endeavours. Now that sounds smug!