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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.