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What did you learn on Chowhound this year?

Just a few things that have made a positive difference in my life from the kind and generous souls on this board.

1. Fresh Spices! Wow, what a difference to toss out the stuff from the grocery store and buy fresh spices online and in specialty stores. Penzys and worldspice.com are now part of my life.

2. I can now say that I know how to make one fabulous cake.....Gramercy Tavern's Gingerbread Cake. (And next time you are in NY, stop by and have dessert there....absolutely wonderful)

3. When in New Orleans go to Bon Ton Cafe and order the crabmeat au gratin and breadpudding with whiskey sauce. You will be very happy.

4. When in Key West get a key lime pie from The Blonde Giraffe

5. The Libby's pumpkin pie recipe is delicous AND easy

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  1. I learned that there is a 5th "basic taste" that our tongues can taste. Known as Umami, it describes the savory flavor of meats, cheeses and broths. It is part of what makes bacon so delicious.

    1. I dont know how useful this is but I learned that two or more people that actually agree on something can be so blinded by being right that they cant see that they are arguing with people of a like mind!LOL......numerous example of this and I always get a kick out of reading through threads where I say to myself " are any of these people reading what the other is saying? they are all arguing the same side of the coin!" entertaining, but not so useful.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nkeane

        nkeane, you made my day! too funny & too true.

        Sal Vanilla (friend of Sal Monella?): great observation. I think one of my favorite threads this year was the one on "do you have a jar of bacon fat...."

        I've learned a lot on Chow this year:

        * about chilies from Hatch, NM (thanks Veggo). One of my New Years resolutions is to buy some & experiment. Of course I'll be able to find lots of recipies and suggestions right here on Chow.

        * about the glories of a rice cooker. I just bought myself a Christmas present -- a Zojirushi 10 cup fuzzy logic.

        * about the common threads that weave all of us "foodies" (ok, let's not get started on THAT posting that got so out of hand) together into one big crazy culinary quilt.

        * that even though FoodTV was, in good part, responsible for awakening an interest in food across America (and showing my then college-age son how to cook), I'm supposed to make fun of it. I still can't figure that one out.

        * that even the most experienced CHers have dark little secrets -- like exploding eggs in the microwave, or leaving the top off the blender;

        * that there are people right around the corner (or across the country) from you who love food experiences too & are right here on Chow -- nice people you never would have met if it weren't for Chow. There's a lot more intelligent conversation that goes on here than you'd find at a dozen cocktail parties.

        * about that tab on the box of platic wrap!!!!!!!!!;

        * about the celebration foods of different cultures, and the recipies.

        And most of all that there is a community of people out there -- people from all walks of life, all cultures, all backgrounds, all levels of experience -- who want to communicate their interest in food with others. Sometimes very seriously, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes in the third person (jfood?), but always interestingly. They speak my language, and that's a beautiful thing.

        Chow everyone!

      2. I learned that glass cutting boards dull expensive knives.

        1. Lotsa people like bacon and velveeta but are afraid that someone will see them buy it.

          1. I learned that I really did not know everything about using plastic or foil wrapping! There is this tab on the box...once pressed in, the tube doesn't fall out!

            A good lesson - even the simplest thing has more than meets the eye.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/520294

            3 Replies
            1. re: meatn3

              Your kidding?! I am going to investigate. OMG it is true.

              A handy thing: I store my tongs in the closed position by putting a toilet paper cardboard frame around the end.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                I've told several people about the little tabs on the plastic and foil rolls and not a single one knew about this (and neither did I till I read about it here).

                1. re: Sal Vanilla

                  Don't your tongs have a little "thingy" that keeps them in the closed position? It took me awhile to "discover" the one on mine - at the hinge end.