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Am I The Only One Who Feels Like Everyone on Chowhound is Amazing?

I guess it started wtih the person who smokes their own salmon. Most recently someone who makes their own pastrami and now a woman who has her own beehive. Honestly, I read these things and just feel like the only thing I'm really good at is making reservations!

I get answers to my inane problems/question such as, there's no fat on my brisket! And everyone who answers knows about marbling, fat myths,oven temperature, etc.

And the truly ridiculous thing is that my family raves about my cooking. But alas, I feel like a failure compared to the woman with the bee hive and the man who makes pastrami.

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  1. haha, don't worry, my family and friends think i am a great cook but I don't even make fresh pasta or jams.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Monica

      Monica, you know that we are the only two people on this board who don't make fresh pasta and jams. We are alone! I'm taking a class at the CIA on pie making. (It is my dream to be able ot make a pie from scratch). My husband BRAGS about this like I was accepted at Harvard.

      1. re: DaisyM

        I guess you can't spell espianage without pie. I wonder what other government agenices are doing in these tough times.

        1. re: DaisyM

          no daisy and monica - i too do not make my own pasta nor jam - BUT, however, i have asked for a pasta maker for my bday, and am contemplating classes at CIA - let your hubby bragg, lol!!

          ~ angela :)

      2. Daisy, please, buck up, I'm sure you do things that would make me and others envious as well. Everyone has their thing in life. I'm sure you've got lots going for you, and if not in the kitchen, well, then, you're in the right spot for a unbelievably thorough and free culinary education. Keeping bees and smoking your own pastrami are extreme sports; just being a good cook, and developing the skills as an adventurous, intuitive, creative cook, making others happy with your food, providing nutrition for the body and nourishment for the soul for family and friends, is a commendable goal. That I'm sure you already do.

        So stick around, don't let the big girls/boys get you down, and concentrate on what's important and meaningful to you. I've read some of your posts; you're no babe in the woods.

        There are lots of amazing people here, I'm always blown away by some of the things people do with food, the skill level and, especially among non-professionals, is truly astounding. Although I was a professional chef for many years, the education I've gotten here rivals what I experienced professionally. And maybe more so.

        Btw, I'm a female, I used to keep bees also; it's not that big a deal, loads of fun, kinda scary sometimes, frustrating other times, very educational, totally worth it. Looks harder than it is; the bees do most of the work.

        1. We all start small, Daisy. None of us were born with a silver spatula in our hands (although my mom put one in mine soon after LOL). To quote Chef Anton Gusteau, "You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define your limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul. What I say is true - anyone can cook... but only the fearless can be great. "

          1. DaisyM,

            You are probably combining all to these amazing things into one person. Someone here rises bees, someone here makes jam, somone here make kitchen knives, and someone here is a professional chef ... etc, but they are not the same person. :)

            Of course, it would be super amazing that a single person does all the cool things you read about, but they are not. I am sure you do some wonderful things, you just don't do everything. No one does.

            Think of the online website wikipedia. Someone knows about the history of Richard the Lionheart, someone knows about the President Obama approval rate trend, and someone knows about the Chinese wok, but these articles are not written by the same person. In fact, each article are written by many people.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              ... mostly people with strange minds.

            2. DaisyM, I often feel the way you do - I can't imagine making my own pastrami (the closest I've come to anything like that is making my own beef jerky in the dehydrator). I'm terrified of bees, but love honey, so couldn't see doing that one either (and my neighbourhood probably has something against it as well). However, I have made my own jam and pickled beets (it's been awhile). I always feel like there isn't a challenge I wouldn't take on in the kitchen, but I sure am amazed by the people of this site - the level of skill, creativity and ingenuity are second to none.

              I also know that no matter what my question is (most recent being dim sum sticky rice recipe) someone on here will have the answer (or lots of someones)! This site has changed how I cook, shop, even think about food, in so many ways. It's supportive and cooperative, sometimes controversial and always entertaining - when you need a laugh just jump on one of the boards and you'll find it! The best part is everyone contributes, whether you think you do or not, we all get something from everyone and you don't need to be an expert to teach someone something!

              1. I'm the opposite: I cure my own meats, grow a bit of my own greens in my 400sqft apartment, make some cheese, bake sourdough bread, ferment saurkraut and other real pickles, used to smoke salmon when I still ate salmon, now I just smoke duck breast. BUT, (but is the keyword here), none of that is really all that good, (even the DH admits it sometimes!) but I enjoy it and it's funny to eat something I made myself.

                1. Lots of good advice and encouragement here.

                  I smoke my own cheese and beer, make my own andouille and bacon, scratch-make and can my own stocks....but that's the HOBBY.

                  The fact that I have access to the wonderful people on Chowhound only enhances the experience.

                  Hearing about others' successes only makes me want to go out and try my hand at the next thing...Oh, and RE-try my hand at Creole Creamcheese.

                  Think of these wonderful folks as resources and inspirations!

                  Glad you're here, Daisy!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Monch

                    How do you smoke beer? I think that is a party I want to be invited to...

                    1. re: lisaress

                      You know, I thought the same thing....

                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                        Whoops....typing fast before the boss sees....the bane of cogent writing!

                    2. re: Monch

                      Since you have benefited so much from CHOWHOUND, I think it is time for you to give back, please share the "smoked beer" methods.

                    3. Daisy, a lot of shared information on this site and others has helped me be more accomplished in the kitchen. We all have different levels of involvement but it's the shared information that helps us learn and doing helps us grow.

                      PS: I don't play golf

                      1. Agree with what others have posted. It's a collection of people on the internet from around the world. It's an amazing resource. And it is what people think are the silly and mundane questions that make this place go. That person that knows the fat myths might not post what they know unless someone asks.


                        6 Replies
                        1. re: JuniorBalloon

                          I feel like I'm surrounded by generous souls! I'm truly amazed at everyone's knowledge and skills. I can't tell you the number of times I've said, "the chowhounds told me how to make this" or "the chowhounds told me about this restaurant".

                          1. re: DaisyM

                            To actually contribute to this thread, I would not travel anywhere without checking Chowhound first, myself, and I regularly check the areas i do visit often to see what is new or what I have missed. Far more reliable than yelp or sites like that.

                            1. re: DaisyM

                              "'I can't tell you the number of times I've said, "the chowhounds told me how to make this" or "the chowhounds told me about this restaurant".'

                              Who do you say these to?

                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                My husband and family....on a regular basis!

                                1. re: DaisyM

                                  Do they know what CHOWHOUND is? Or they don't bother to find out?

                              2. re: DaisyM

                                Daisy, it's not just knowledge and skills but the sincere desire to share and help someone out with a question or a technique that makes internet message boards so great. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned on message boards to fuel my many hobbies. People on message boards are eager to help the next guy and that's what makes it great.

                            2. There are great differences in the levels of intelligence, education, experience, patience, etc. among 'hounds. What is common is the obsessive love of food, drink, and related issues. What is similarly mutual is a willingness to share and learn, as well as some recognition that those desires are often intertwined.

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: MGZ

                                Agreed. I have learned many different things from many different people on CH. And at the end of the day, I have become a far better cook because of it. My friends and family come to me with all sorts of questions now about cooking, recipes, ideas and I owe much (most) of it to the people on CH.

                                And restaurants? We have a friend who always says "this place got a xxx in Zagat" so it must be good. My husband and I laugh since I have not consulted a Zagat book in years and we have good meals wherever we go...again, thanks to the people on Chowhound.

                                1. re: valerie

                                  So true, Valerie...when you use the wonderful human resources that comprise Chowhound, you don't even DREAM of using a guide.

                                  Example: From looking on Chowhound, I directed my parents to a restaurant in Effingham, Illinois...on their drive from Wisconsin to Florida for the winter. They were blown away and admitted they would NEVER have found it on their own....settling for an interstate Olive Garden.

                                  No guidebook is going to tell you about Firefly in Effingham...but the Hounds nailed it!

                                  1. re: Monch

                                    When traveling I search Chowhound and Egullet to find where food centric people like to go. Never have been disappointed. These are two sites where I trust the reviews

                                    1. re: Monch

                                      Please forgive me for this brief sidebar. I always thought it was "Effington" because of the song by Ben Folds. I googled and found this:

                                      Effingham must be a wonderful effing place after all--with a fab place called Firefly, no less. :) And I effing love this tune:

                                      Back on topic...I trust so many posters with great taste on my local board for reviews. Other boards have helped me out on the few occasions I've wandered away from home. But the home cooking board, well, that is the shining star of this site, IMO. Chowhound has upped my game in the kitchen thanks to SO MANY nice folks who have introduced me to new recipes and ideas over the past few years I've been here. I had never made my own gelato and now make several of my own recipes. And I've shopped for ingredients (and cutlery) I'd never heard of before landing here on the playground. I can remember being new here and getting a kick out of the fact HillJ would "remember" me with new uses for sweetened condensed milk. Or thinking how cool it was when Sam F. would tell someone "Welcome to Chowhound!" I always kinda considered him our mayor. ;)

                                      1. re: kattyeyes

                                        Ha! I still recall those threads fondly. Good to see you kattyeyes. Sam was the Maestro of chowtown.

                                        1. re: HillJ

                                          Same here. Straight back atcha, HillJ!

                                2. Nah, some of us are just common people. I rarely eat out, and don't buy fancy cheeses -- eat meat once a week.

                                  I could teach ya how to make a pie (they're cheap and tasty! -- great lunch food!)

                                  1. "ODE TO CHOWHOUND-ER'S"

                                    dearest daisy - i often feel the same way, and actually thought of doing a similar post, but as usual, someone always thinks of it too!

                                    i am, i think, a half way decent cook. everyone brags about what i do - what little i do. i am working on expanding my repertoire as there's so much out there that's so exciting.

                                    and just like you dear monica, i feel the folks here are amazing - for all that they do and know, and willingness to share. like you, i can ask the most non cerebral questions with little to no admonishment for being a culinary dweeb. i can come and figure out what to have for dinner in a basic way or in a most exciting and extravagant way.

                                    yes, it's definitely love.

                                    ~ angela :)

                                    1. I agree with the others DaisyM. what I find remarkable is this group of people who share the interest and passion about food the way I do; most people in my life do not. well, except my chowhound nephew who prefers to call himself (and me) foodies. I don't prefer to call myself a foodie; but he knows who I am referring to when I say chowhound.

                                      It is remarkable to have this group and I really appreciate it. thanks for posting this.

                                      1. I just love me some Chowhound, I log in a few times a day to keep up with posts I follow but I don't always contribute just read. I have found great places, given suggestions on where to eat, how to cook things, and I have gotten great advice when asking questions on cooking or how to deal with a situation. Even better some of us from CH have met a few times having organized a few Chowdowns.

                                        CH has got me more interested in food and cooking and more willing to try different ingredients or methods, and I have found restaurants I would have never even known about.

                                        1. I love Chowhound because of the range of people we encounter here every day, and because I love to learn more stuff about eating and cooking, and sharing what I have learned however I can. I will never be a GREAT cook, but I work very hard at being a good one, feeding two fairly picky eaters every day (me and Mrs. O) and sometimes other friends and family. As for those special skills, I don't make pasta anymore because there's so much good stuff available now; I don't can anything or preserve anything, smoke anything or brew anything (except coffee!). I make sausage sometimes because it can be fun to do, but I have yet to stuff any into casings; I'm saving that for some chilly day when the opportunity appears and the mood strikes me.

                                          There are some extraordinary people on here, especially Sam, who left us a couple of years ago, but who continues to share his experience and wisdom in the archives. Of course we have some disagreements, sometimes pretty sharp ones, and every so often the mods (our Hall Monitors) step in and call a halt to the odd slap-fest. But a good place like this is like a good bar, where most of us know many of us, where the conversation is mostly intelligent and always lively, and you know that as long as you watch your language and don't call names you'll be welcome.

                                          Oh, and it's a great place to work on your writing skills!

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            As so often, well said, Will.

                                            I just checked in to assure the OP that praise for the posters is just praise for the collective of positive conversations we ignite.

                                            It's a stable, safe harbor where you just get to know folks in an internet way.

                                            I've learned very much here.
                                            I've shared very much here.

                                            That same balance abounds among those who like food.

                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                              And more about Sam, last name Fujisaka.

                                              He was schooled as agronomist/botanist/subfield of rice and a really nice guy. Recognized by those polled of his professional cohorts as the best and the brighest...

                                              He was also a great home cook
                                              with a rich sense of humor

                                              Sam was so able to keep loft in agronomy and also descend to Chef Boyardee
                                              and talk of added pepper on flaccid canned noodles.

                                              A thread, with his name, resurrects him.

                                              Good balance.

                                              1. re: FoodFuser

                                                I will be forever grateful for his setting me straight about my beloved Peruano beans, about how the seed company that developed them is encouraging indigenous farmers to abandon their traditional varieties in favor of those, in the process propelling the region's bean farmers into a monoculture situation. This was the food lover, agronomist and socially-aware man speaking in unison, and it was quite beautiful to read.

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  Sam knew his rice and his beans
                                                  and also their place on the mandated landscape.
                                                  And that rascal could write, couldn't he?

                                          2. Ditto what most everyone else said but also wanted to add that I think the only thing that stands between any one of us and any one of these projects is just the decision to do.

                                            Most of us have access to the ingredients and/or equipment it takes to smoke salmon, make pasta, make pastrami, and even herd bees. And as long as we're willing to accept the learning curve, we can find ourselves on the *have done* rather than *can't do* side of things. :)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                              Absolutely true, amen! Sometimes all any of us needs (besides the inspiration from Chowhound) is that CAN DO attitude!

                                            2. DaisyM, For a year now, I have been lurking on CH. You have inspired me to join finally! I only thought I was a good cook before moving from Alabama to Norway. Not only did I have incredible homesickness but I could not cook what I was used to cooking with familiar ingredients. The people here have inspired me in the kitchen and have helped to alleviate my longing for home. Inaplasticcup reminds me of my sister, I want to hug Mamachef's neck, Passadumkeg seems like a character amoung many, many others. I have to admit, though, what I find truly endearing is that everyone is respectful and nice to each other, regardless of confessions of a McDonald's craving or questions involving homemade pastrami.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Ikkeikea

                                                Glad you joined, Ikkeikea! Looking forward to your posts.

                                                1. re: Ikkeikea

                                                  lkkeikea, boy can I relate to the homesickness you mention. CH's keep the oven and stove top memories running for me all the time. Dishes my Russian-Ethiopian relatives, now gone, raised me on and passed along. Special food with equally special memories attached...and so many here share fond food memories of your own that brings visiting this site and participating in these threads such a delight.