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How long have you been a CH, and has it made you a better person?

I had my 4th anniversary 2 days ago, and did a stroll down memory lane from my first post. Between my pantry, fridge, and spice rack, there are probably 200 items that would otherwise not be there if not for Chowhound, and I actually know how to use about a third of them. I have frozen ducks and powdered shrimp and everything that ever grew from the ground. How are you all doing?

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  1. Well, I'd been lurking for years, but only just posted last spring. Does lurking count? It certainly counted for me. I remember the first time I saw chowhound, whispering to myself, "It's *all* here, wow, baking, cookware, recipes, restaurant reports . . . " And then I was promptly sidetracked by the polite drama of the NAF board, but came back to the cooking eventually.

    I've loved participating on these boards. I love it that someone can post a picture of an odd and obscure fruit, or a description of a cookie they had once thirty-five years ago, and someone always knows what it is, and how to prepare it. I love that people find time to argue (again) over pizza, and chili, and hot dogs, or help a new poster with something very basic, or give yet one more list of thoughtfully chosen restaurants to someone visiting their city. I am occasionally struck with ennui in the kitchen, and a visit to Chowhound cures that pretty fast. I have made quite a few things that I otherwise would never have thought to bring to my table, and I'm so grateful for that, really.

    When I allowed myself to participate here, I set a goal for myself. Every market trip, I buy one new thing, and I also find a 'new' way to prepare something that is very familiar. Chowhound has not only been an incredible resource in my little quest, but is responsible for the quest itself, as I felt that posting here was a responsibility that deserved to be treated with a greater sense of adventure on my part. I would read these boards and feel so provincial sometimes, but now my market lists have way more muscle behind them.

    And I *will* spatchcock a chicken this winter, damn it, but, this week, I'm using the pasta maker I just got for my birthday. Ravioli!

    1 Reply
    1. re: onceadaylily

      you shall! and we will all hear the crack of that bird's spine and know it was done well!

    2. Well, it's certainly made me more interesting and has transformed my cooking and eating. I had no idea how much I was missing before I began hanging around here 5 or 6 yrs ago. Mine is a passion that grows!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Georgia Sommers

        I "joined" chowhound in May, 2001. I don't know if it's made me a better person, but it certainly has enriched my life immeasurably: my knowledge of food, my understanding of my own thoughts and feelings about food, the people I've met (both virtually and otherwise), the innumerable tips I've gotten on everything from cooking to travel (someone here pointed me at biddingfortravel.com, which has saved me well into four figures on travel expenses, enriching me literally), etc.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Oh yes, and meeting people at Chowdowns has made me grow immensely as a taster and a home cook.

      2. A better person? No, probably not. But I was perfect when I came here.

        Kidding aside - I think my man recommended the site to me in 07, so it's been roughly 3 years for me.

        Love the site. Spend way, waaaay too much time on it.... BUT it has been an incredible source of information, and OADL wrote up a good summary of reasons to keep on coming back. Many a lovely dinner (and a couple of disappointments, but too few to mention) are owed to tips from locals whose cities I've visited, and I am always happy to return the favor.

        Plus the NAF boards make for great entertainment on occasion. I am an opinionated, passionate person myself, but I am often blown away by the passion & sometimes craziness of my fellow hounds and their discussions.

        I have also "met" (& ACTUALLY met) some really fine people here. It has truly enriched my life - while also turning my eyeballs into a reddened desert by the time evening rolls around... after hours of surfing the site.

        1. I think I was 8 back in Taiwan when I decided that the petals on a rose made for a fragrant and velvety wrap for freshly roasted peanuts...maybe i was a goat in one of my past lives?

          Not sure how I can find my first chowhound post. I was one of the tasting members in one of Jim Leff's great 2001 potato chip tasting at his apartment, but am pretty there were earlier CH dabbles.

          It's been eye opening to read about such a diversity of approaches to eating through the years.

          1. I believe I've been participating for 5 years or so. Occasionally read comments for a year or so prior to that. Don't know if it's made me better - more broke, on the other hand . . .

            It has proved both interesting and valuable to me, particularly when it works as a dialectic. Consequently, I do try to participate with that in mind.

            1. Chowhound is a new spark plug for me, at age 58. I would not have embarked on my huitlacoche adventure if I couldn't share it here. Even if nobody gives a rat's ass about huitlacoche.
              And when I'm back in Central America this winter, I will double-dare myself to go, risk, try the unusual and report back, because some enjoy my successes and others take equal delight in my failures. And that's ok. I will outlive them.

              11 Replies
              1. re: Veggo

                Go, go, go, Veggo. The sharing makes it more challenging.

                1. re: Veggo

                  Better person? No.

                  But it's not due to lack of effort on the part of the mods.

                  It seemed a good opportunity to offer my aplogies, Veggo, if they have not been conveyed.

                  BTW, I give a rat's ass about huitlacoche and so do others. There's a lot more lurkers than posters. There's a lot of food I didn't give a rat's ass about until I learned about them on Chowhound.

                  Has my life been enriched since 2002 when I found Chowhound. Absolutely.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Thanks, and likewise. My bad. We like all the same stuff. Have you been to Tikal?

                    1. re: rworange

                      Ain't that the beauty of the site? A bunch of folks who DO give a rat's ass, about any number of fascinating things. I've learned so very much over the past 8 1/2 years or so, since back when we were holding bake sales to keep it going. Sparked, enriched, hell yes.

                      1. re: Aromatherapy

                        Pray tell, what IS huitlacoche? (I have a rat who would probably give her ass to find out, since she likes to eat all kinds of things. )

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            But ... seriously ... ONLY if it is fresh. Frozen or canned can range from tasteless to ... "Steve, Don't Eat It"

                            "In just a single serving, you'll experience a wide array of textures. Without getting too gross, it's because the disease is more advanced in some kernels than others. One bite might be kinda chewy, while the next might burst in your mouth like a black pus-filled blister. "

                            According to Steve canned it tastes like something from a rat's ... well, never mind.

                            Fresh, it tastes like mushrooms ... THAT type of fungus. Here are discussions about it on the boards

                            1. re: rworange

                              How many people went out and bought huitlacoche as a result of that discussion? I mean, I found it interesting, but not appetizing.

                              1. re: GraydonCarter

                                It's fabulous -- and I actually like the canned stuff.

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  The canned stuff is kind of like grown-up peanut butter. I like both the fresh and the canned. I think that if you served this stuff to most people, without telling them what it was, they'd like it.

                                  1. re: pikawicca

                                    Perhaps my raison d'etre here is to pimp huitlacoche. I'm ok with that. A freezer full of huitlacoche provides the same comfort as a drawer full of warm socks. And CH was the wind beneath my wings.

                  2. Because of you all, I am much more turned on and tuned in to all things food. Not quite at dropping out yet.

                    1. About three years, and happier for its presence in my life, leading to my being a "better" person.

                      1. I probably lurked for a year or so, and then began posting 4 years ago. I didn't really "come into the fold" until i started posting on the WFD thread, where I "met" incredibly talented, sharing, encouraging and nurturing people, most of them with much more experience than I, and all of them with the ability to make me feel welcome and invited to contribute. I've gained a ton of knowledge from CH, and respect for those of you who really care about the science of food, sourcing, nutrition, wit and intelligent discussion, awesome writing skills, open-minded (usually!) exchange of ideas, and most of all, about taste. It's made me humble, it's made me more curious, it's made me hungry! It's also turned me into an addict and my BF wants a word with all of you.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: mariacarmen

                          It's been about three years since I stumbled across Chowhound. I found it because the egullet in my area had died an abrupt death in postings due to some political stuff that is too boring to elaborate on. I didn't lurk for long before taking the plunge and it's been a lovely ride ever since.

                          I don't know that it's made me a better person as such, but I've learnded a lot more about food and people who love food than I did three years ago, and I've made some fast food friends... wait, that came out wrong :-). Long live Chowhound and all who sail in her.

                          1. re: grayelf

                            Grayelf, are you aware of the history of Chowhound and egullet?

                        2. 10 years for me. And HLing, I remember reading your posts! Back then, the most active boards were NY and San Francisco.

                          Yes, Chowhound has absolutely taught me to explore and made me more knowledgable and adventurous about food, which is what I think you mean Veggo about a better person. I count myself blessed to have met the friends I have through Chowhound. My first foray to stop lurking and meet Chowhounds was in 2001 - in Boston's Chinatown at Ho Yuen Ting. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/141608 I'm still friends with the people I met that night - YumYum, GalleyGirl, and 9Lives, just to mention a few : ) The Chowhound Social potluck in NYC is another great memory. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/1940...

                          For other "old timers", remember what the board used to look like?

                          and I can't be the only one that misses the original Chowhound Manifesto, which is what made the site stand out from every other food board:

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: Rubee

                            very cool to see the inception of CH! thanks for that.

                            1. re: Rubee

                              Darn. Now I actually miss the old board! How is galleygirl? I was thinking I haven't seen one of her posts in ages (looks like she's only active on the Boston board).

                              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                She's doing good! Though since I've moved from Boston, we stay in contact now more via Facebook and Twitter.

                              2. re: Rubee

                                Rubee, I hadn't realize how much I missed how the board used to look until I saw your link! Time really did fly, didn't it?

                                1. re: Rubee

                                  Wow, although I was not active on the Boston boards, that takes me back. I've been around these virtual parts since '99-00 although I moved from my food heaven to a food hell a few years back. Sometimes I come back just to get jealous of everyone with access to the tasty things. And to find recommendations for cities I plan to visit.
                                  I'm not necessarily a better person, but this has been a consistent virtual community so I'll bet something has been gained in terms of netiquette and online citizenship.

                                  1. re: Rubee

                                    How . . .very . . .cool. I am honored to be here. And I'm glad I didn't leave.

                                    1. re: Rubee

                                      How fun to see the old style. Thanks. Miss galleygirl especially on Home Cooking, please wish her well for me.

                                      1. re: Rubee

                                        Wow, rereading that thread about the first No Idea NYC social was a real jolt to the memory, and brought back vivid recollections of some of the food! As I recall, that was the occasion on which I first tried Greek yogurt (locally made, from the Yogurt Place in Queens).

                                        I started reading and posting in the spring of 2000, and my experience is reflected in what Rubee said: "Chowhound has absolutely taught me to explore and made me more knowledgeable and adventurous about food." And also: " I count myself blessed to have met the friends I have through Chowhound."

                                          1. re: Rubee

                                            How do you all remember exactly when it was that you first started posting? I think for me it may have been around 2001, perhaps 2002. What I do remember, and it can be seen so clearly in the way back machine threads, is that nearly all of us used our real names, many of us first names only. In fact, I remember Jim posting a notice asking people to please use a last initial to distinguish among those of us with the same first name. I just always assume, when I see someone who uses his or her real name, that he or she must be an old timer, although I do know that a number of people changed their profile name somewhere along the way. I get a kick out of that thread that asks how you chose your profile name. I always want to say, I didn't choose it, my mother did.

                                            1. re: JoanN

                                              For me, I remember the sequence of events that led to my finding Chowhound, and when that was. It never occurred to me not use my real name, and I've never regretted doing so, but I've never been good at thinking up clever nametags, anyway.

                                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                I changed from my real name when the sale happened and got many more responses to my postings thereafter. Same content.

                                              2. re: JoanN

                                                I knew there was a reason I picked my moniker! Thanks for reminding me! I just don't like using my full name and am so not creative. Plus there's the old memory issue; I'd probably forget my handle if it wasn't some version of my name. But that's another show.

                                                I can't recall how long I've been here but it seems like forever. I think I joined 1999/2000 ish and read for a few years. I remember the old format, the sale, Jim Leff posting a lot....but what I most remember is the details other folks provided on restaurants that made me want to visit them. I planned an entire week in Vegas based on what I found on the board. Each meal at a different place and not a bad one in the bunch.

                                                I love CH; I love reading what everyone else writes. My contributions are small but I'll add my two cents when it's appropriate.

                                              3. re: Rubee

                                                Oh gosh, I don't miss that board! It took SO LONG for it to load!

                                              4. oh wow.. lots of veterans on CH. Okay I am a newbie ( that was hard). CH has made me a hero to my boyfriend's family they all enjoyed my crown roast pork on thanksgiving. they took the turkey to go! And last thing they all said was see you next thanksgiving I guess we know who is hosting 2011.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Jujukit

                                                  welcome, and congrats! no small feat, winning over someone else's family on a major holiday!

                                                2. wow Veggo, my 4th CH anniversary was the same day as yours! however, my account was under a different name back then - i didn't start posting as GHG until about 6 months later.

                                                  has CH made me a better person? no. but it has certainly made me a better and more well-rounded culinarian, diner, customer, hostess and guest.

                                                  but perhaps most importantly, i discovered this amazing community on the heels of the most painful and emotionally challenging period of my life, at a time when i had lost sight of my love and passion for cooking and my connection to food...and Chowhound brought it back to me. for that, i am forever grateful.

                                                  1. I began lurking around 2005 while in search of new dining options in LA. I have since used this site to find good food across the country and for virtually every trip we've taken. It took me a little while to post, especially seeing how "less knowledgeable" posters are sometimes dogpiled, but I did and am better for it. Wouldn't say I'm a better person, but I've learned to value my own food-based opinion more and to respect others dissenting opinions as much as my own.

                                                    1. About seven years now for me - and I was never a lurker, I jumped right in the first time I saw the board. (What can I say - I do a fair amount of public speaking and am not very shy).

                                                      Having participated in non-moderated boards on other subjects, I love the civilized level of (most) discussions out here, and have met some fascinating 'Hounds face-to-face across a dinner table when traveling.

                                                      1. I think almost from the beginning - 1996 or so? Is that possible? Nothing like offering drugs to an addict to get her all the way hooked. And then some. CH has exposed me to places I wouldn't have known about otherwise (or at least as quickly), and has put me in contact with some people who are not only fellow obsessives but are charming and fun in many other ways (virtually and face to face). It has also enriched my travels by pointing me in the direction of places I am likely to like (not a dud among them, yet). It has enriched my cooking and baking by exposing me to tricks and recipes I would not have come across otherwise. Several dozen books in my library are the direct result of having read about them here. In other words, love the site, love the interplay, love the information, love the people, I'm one happy poster.

                                                        1. I really don't know how long I have been a CH member, I know it has been a long time. I do miss the old board., I have met some terrific people, like Buttertart, here and because of CH in person too in many other places. I also communicate with many on FB where the topics can be a lot more varied.

                                                          1. I can't believe I was able to search google and find my very first post, under my original handle, from 4/12/02. I asked a very specific question (hence what I thought'd be a one-time handle -- chowderhead) and had no clue that Chowhound would be a significant part of my regular internet routine 8 years and counting later. What a resource. I give it due credit all the time to my friends and family who wonder where my culinary knowledge comes from.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: Frosty Melon

                                                              Good idea - I did the same and found what I believe was my first post, dated Feb 17, 2004, asking if anyone knew where I could find rolled beef (old Jewish deli specialty) in Boston. Nearly seven years later and the answer is still "nowhere." So sad. :- (

                                                            2. I first started sporadically lurking in '99. Continued this until I got a laptop and moved to an area where I had reliable internet access! Then I was able to start posting about 3.5 - 4 years ago.

                                                              Not sure about becoming a better person, but it is quite nice to have a place to share on a topic so dear to my heart and thick on my hips!

                                                              My travels are enriched from gems mined from the forums. When I moved to a new area the local boards helped me find wonderful shops, CSA's and restaurants. My food trivia and overall knowledge keep growing in often surprising directions!

                                                              Having a chance to "talk" with other people who get it is wonderful!

                                                              1. I honestly have no idea when I started reading CH, as I've done so for years without registering. Then I registered and still lurked for a few years, and didn't even start posting until last year sometime. Is there a way to find out when you registered on your account page for people with horrible memories like me? :o)

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: yfunk3

                                                                  Registration wasn't required until June 2006, so date of registration won't reflect how long longtime lurkers have been lurking, or how long longtime posters have been posting.

                                                                  In your case, your date of registration is the date of your first post. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6013...

                                                                  1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                    The rest of us who posted on the old board have gone the way of the archives, though, huh.

                                                                    1. re: julietg

                                                                      Just think, except for the instant I'm typing this message and you are reading it, our two lives along with the lives of everyone else on this site (and in this world we all inhabit) have gone the way of the "archives." Time runs in one direction. And so we "archive" our memories and our writings along with it.

                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                        oh go smoke another bowl serv...

                                                                        but yes our musings are all milling around a hard fortified data center based nowhere and lookks like the late fifties Corbusiers' Beton Brut Notre Dame du Ronchamps (just not as fluid or religious but fully systems redundant)

                                                                2. I have been doing the lurking thing for several years now and only really recently started posting. I have to admit it took me a long time to post because I was a little intimated by the amazing amount of knowledge that people seem to have on this site. One day I just figured what the heck! Sometimes you just need to dive in. :) Anyway chowhound has been a great resource for me in lots of ways. Projects feel way more approachable (i.e. my own yogurt) when you can read how a whole community has tried, made mistakes, and succeeded. Also whenever I need help picking out a pot, or figuring out where to buy spices online there are already a dozen threads filled with useful information. But I think one of my favorite things is knowing that I am not the only person out there who really really really loves good food and…still…once in awhile still gets that warm fuzzy spot for mac and cheese out of the blue box.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: girleatseverything

                                                                    I love that last sentence - one of the best summations of Chowhound I've ever seen!

                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                      Agreed. Offal and blue box in one place.

                                                                      1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                        A great example of a Chowhound loving good food of any kind was Scott123's post seeking inexpensive food in New Jersey. He used the word "crucifer" in the same sentence with Burger King Buck Double. That's the difference between a chowhound and a foodie.

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        of course! she's standing on the CH-recommended cookbooks she's purchased over the years ;)

                                                                      2. a better person? no. but as someone who has developed appetite issues (fasting, bordering something more serious) it's where I can fetishize things and talk about the preference of a pan-deglaze over a reduction. beats hitting porno sites I suppose. although for a quite different purpose. I don't feel like a weirdo that I want 2 oz. of something good rather than a pound of something crappy.

                                                                        1. I have posted a long time. Not sure how long. I have picked up some good tips and given them (I think).

                                                                          But a better person? Maybe. I have noticed some behaviors (sometimes in myself) that are so obnoxious or condescending or... well you know, and they happen so frequently hear and often with the same theme that I have grown more careful in my posting and in real life when thinking about responding.

                                                                          I sometimes think anonymity of the net has bread (ark!) some rather rude behavior. I do not want that to become... well... ME!

                                                                          Congrats Veggo on your expanding spice rack, varied freezer and growing your own goodies! It IS a great feeling to expand your world through something so basic as nourishment.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                            Back in 2008, I stumbled on the COTM club and I have been happily participating ever since. CH is always there for me when I need inspiration, advice, or just some company in the kitchen. I am especially devoted to the COTM discussions, but I also take part in a variety of threads.

                                                                            Chowhound is responsible for introducing me to The Good Cook site and Eat Your Books, both of which are terrific resources for cooks. While I would not say that CH has made me a better person, I would say it has made me feel better about myself as a person, knowing that I have so many kindred spirits out there!

                                                                          2. I was charming before I started posting in the Leff days.
                                                                            Now, I'm an opinionated bi-coastal snob who hangs out in Europe and Asia when I get the chance and complains about everything.
                                                                            That makes me a social climber. Thanks, CH!

                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                            1. re: steve h.

                                                                              I was charming before I started posting.
                                                                              Now, I'm an opinionated snob who hangs out on the Home Cooking board and really wants to complain about everything but tries to resist the urge..
                                                                              If that makes me a social misfit I owe it all to Chowhound.

                                                                                1. re: steve h.

                                                                                  Steve, I am tied with you as a middle aged, male- menopausal misanthrope. Our difference is that you used to be charming whereas I have been consistent through the ages.

                                                                                  1. re: Veggo

                                                                                    You know you're a chowhound when the owners of your favorite (authentic) pub in Monterey spot you on a flight from JFK to SFO a few weeks ago and strike-up a seriously fun conversation.

                                                                                    1. re: steve h.

                                                                                      nah we're just snotty never-pleased jerks.

                                                                                      and I'm OK with that, I just keep my yap shut usually.

                                                                            2. I began lurking on this site back in 2003.

                                                                              One of my section leaders and I were sitting in his Humvee, having one of our in-depth discussions about what we would like to eat the most once we got home from the sandbox. When I mentioned liking foie gras, and I wanted to try to make a salmon turine, he told me that I needed to check out this odd little food site called Chow...

                                                                              Has it made me a better person? Not really. But, it inspired me to ensure that I never had the stereotypical "bachelor's kitchen"...

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: deet13

                                                                                fab visual deet13!
                                                                                CHowhound turned me into an online lurker and I'm still not 100% comfortable with that admission.

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  It doesn't help that the term "lurker" makes one feel like they're doing something fishy...

                                                                                  1. re: deet13

                                                                                    Percisely! Which is why I started typing....at some point.

                                                                              2. Hi Veggo! My first post was in December of 2006, so I suppose we must have signed up around the same time. Cheers to four years and counting!

                                                                                Chowhound has definitely made me a more informed foodnut and a better cook. I can always count on the hounds to teach me something new.

                                                                                8 Replies
                                                                                1. re: operagirl

                                                                                  Back at you, and may we enjoy four more years, cheers!
                                                                                  My New Year's resolution is fewer "unpaid vacations" from Chowhound.

                                                                                  1. re: operagirl

                                                                                    Also, Chowhound has on occasion made me laugh my head off. I am pretty sure that the Malko's thread is one of my favorite things, ever. Makes me miss Sam Fujisaka!


                                                                                    1. re: operagirl

                                                                                      just read that - that was fantastic. thanks for bringing it up!

                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                          greygarious's posts on it are particularly fun.

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            I loved Sam's checklist towards the end; really spotlights how observant he was
                                                                                            greyg is hilarious on EVERY thread. (yeah gg I said it)

                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                              Always witty, not hilarious all the time. But hilarious on this.

                                                                                  2. Just went back and checked, my first post was also around this time of year, Dec. 07. Don't think I lurked beforehand, at least not for long. And if I'm being honest, I've had a couple of hiatus' from the site when things got a little frustrating around here (usually after a load of posts / responses were deleted etc, if I can't get anything to "stick" onto the board, it's time to go for a bit)

                                                                                    Has CH made me a better person? Hmmmm. Increased my tipping a bit perhaps, and I've discovered a few restaurants, and recipes. Some days CH makes me happy, some days not so much. Sometimes I feel like I fit in, some times I feel like I don't belong around here at all. But I'm definitely more aware, and wiser for my time on this site, yes. And most times it reinforces that many of the things I am doing are pretty ok.

                                                                                    One thing that I will say had an impact on me, and I hope has made a difference in my online behavior, and that was when I returned to the site after a hiatus, and read the posts about Sam Fujisaka, and in turn, moh's passing. Despite missing their posts, like nothing else, that put a "face" on the people I interact with online, and really gave me cause to pause for thought. Had I ever been nasty or even curt to them online? Did I ever cause them to leave in frustration? I didn't think so, but it all brought home to me that there are real people behind online postings of any kind. And in turn, it made me look at the other forums and sites I visit.

                                                                                    So while I might not always be the best or patient poster, and I might lapse from time to time, I try to keep this stuff in mind. Because the person you flame today, may not be here tomorrow.

                                                                                    1. As I noted earlier, I've been here for some time, but I wonder about 'better' or 'worse'. Recently, checking out threads on CH has been deeply depressing. Sometimes it feels like people go out of their way to read (and describe) every situation in the ugliest way possible (with women depicted as shrieking and unreasonable,fat people as gluttonous, poor people without restraint or discipline, etc.) But that's because I've gone back to procrastinating by reading the NAF board. Must stop immediately.

                                                                                      But i should acknowledge the decent people who offer up great amounts of information (such as a lovely list of Asian marks in Paris, before going above and beyond to list other speciality markets). That generosity is the thing I should remember.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Lizard

                                                                                        I believe you've just summed up the glass and the level of the liquid perception test... ;-D>

                                                                                      2. I think my first post was in November 2001 (at least, I haven't seen anything earlier), but I'm fairly sure I was lurking for a year or so earlier, because I remember sitting at my computer in the first apartment I rented in Los Angeles, and I moved to Santa Monica in 2000.

                                                                                        I remember reading the front page and thinking how odd it was and what a shame it was that it was New York-centric, and then discovering the Los Angeles discussion board.

                                                                                        I've grown dramatically as a food lover thanks to Chowhound, discovered a passion I didn't know I'd have, and as my daughter grows up requesting things like ca kho to (Vietnamese caramelised fish) and barbacoa, I think I have Chowhound to thank for that.

                                                                                        I've fallen in and out of love with Chowhound over the last decade or so, but I've never yet quit.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                                                          +1. There have been some significant cultural swings on the site in the last decade. I have stayed away for periods, only to come back to get advice from folks I know I can really trust since 1) I've read so many of their opinions, and 2) none of us get paid to do this so you know our motives are pure.

                                                                                        2. and now I'm able to say with confidence, ehh, that was the pre-1968 version of Chex Mix, you sad late to the party types. (I could dive deeper, but it would mean nothing)

                                                                                          1. I'm NOT a better person - I'm the same as I was always, but that is a space-time philosophical discussion.

                                                                                            I can just rant & rave, pass dubious knowledge along, receive perceived insights & have a fine time with all of the asylum denizens.

                                                                                            1. Actually I think it has!

                                                                                              Participating on this site has made me much more aware of the power of words and choice of phrase. Without inflection, facial cues and deeper knowledge of one another it is quite easy for misunderstandings to occur.

                                                                                              I now choose my words more carefully. I now try to relay my appreciation of the time others expend sharing information. I now have developed a thicker skin - if a response feels like a slap, I try to give the benefit of the doubt. If it still feels like a slap I let it go - too much good stuff to let silliness fester!

                                                                                              I'm not really a joiner or drawn to groups. But after benefiting from so much terrific information here I wanted to try to give back. Hopefully some of my posts have found the reader who was looking for just that little bit of info at the right time!

                                                                                              1. I've been on CH since about 99-2000. A better person? No. Nothing could help me in that department,, being a native NY'r has made me a cranky, cantankerous sob but....I love the democratic spirit that CH @ it's best represents. That means taking the good (discovery, shock of the new...) with the bad( which is better, this 3 star or that 3 star, what should I eat @ Arzak, Bolud etc...). CH has made me the go to person for my pals who wanna know what and where to eat even though my serious posting days are history (1 month old boy has seen to that). Reading posts about a fellow CH's adventures in some far off region (Asia, Africa, Bellrose, San Gabriel valley) is often better than the news or what ever is big in the media these days. No, chowhound wasn't better in the "old days" it has evolved as we all do. Change happens, soemtimes for the better or worse. Still love CH and tell all sorts of folks to get on board. Met a nice fella from India on the plan to Atlanta last month. He was heading to Argentina. Told him my ideas (dating back to 85 + 90) but said get your ass on to CH......spread the love, it reigns supreme.

                                                                                                1. Not sure how OT this is, but can I tell you one of my very favorite things about CH? I can post a question about something I plan on making that day, then go back as I am making it to get answers t my queries, or help with an idea.

                                                                                                  1. Been here since '04, initially under a different alias (sixozpatty), went away for a few years, came back and changed my screen name when I finlly got a new computer in '08.

                                                                                                    As a pretty disabled individual who doesn't get out much, CH keeps me connected to a world that was my working life; through other poster's shared diverse cultural experiences in food, I've expanded my interest and knowledge far beyond my own borders. I relish the sharing that is CH, and like Veggo, I have lots more stuff in my kitchen now, really courtesy of mrbushy, who has the better legs in the family, than I've ever dreamed of. My life, I'm afraid, without CH would be a much emptier place. It's allowed me to continue the adventure.

                                                                                                    I've also made some good friends here, which is priceless.

                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                      Your voice is pretty priceless too. And your advice. And your avatars.

                                                                                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                                        Nice--learned so much more about you in that short post than I have in all the other posts where I think of you mostly as the sharing, expert voice in cooking. The computer is an amazing equalizer in getting people in touch, no matter what they're going through IRL.

                                                                                                      2. FWIW, I registered four years ago to answer a local restaurants question after reading CH on and off since 1990s. (Same question keeps coming up, too. :-) The thing is, the Internet has been around (even publicly accessible, in my region) much longer than many folks realize, and one of its oldest organized public forum subjects is food. (As discussed on CH historical threads occasionally.) Here I mean the Internet proper, not the several private networking firms from the 1980s (Compuserve, Prodigy, etc.), whose business decisions to try to compete with the growing anarchic non-privately-owned Internet delayed their subscribers' access to it, even its email, by up to 10 years before they ultimately joined into it. (Salus's mid-1990s Internet history book documents that in detail.) As the 'net grew and became more mainstream, the number of forums about food grew too, and their user populations fragmented.

                                                                                                        What keeps me reading this one, or any other, is quality contributions. Thanks to informed CH contributors (some of them with particular obsessions), I pick up, and also refer non-CH readers to, outstanding current info on restaurants in the local board, and some remarkable tips on cooking and food writings too.