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The best compliment you've received

Last night, I was watching my favorite, Ina Garten on TV with my 5 yr old daughter. As we were watching Ina making her delicious caramel syrup, my daughter said, wow, mommy, she looks like she is a good cook'er' but I think you are a better cooker.
Made my day. =)

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    1. That's really adorable :)

      1. That's lovely. My picky adult nephew ate the entire pot of black bean chili I made. It was like watching an eating contest. He said it was the best thing he had ever eaten. It's just chili.

        7 Replies
        1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

          well, do share the recipe! Sounds so healthy too!

          1. re: Monica

            Sorry Monica, but it is not healthy. This is my approximation...no real recipe.
            4 cans black beans, drained.
            4 cloves minced garlic
            1 brown onion, diced
            2 Tb olive oil
            32 oz can diced tomatoes
            1Tb chili powder
            1tsp cumin
            1 dark beer (I use dos equis dark)
            3 Tbs cilantro, minced
            1lb spicy bulk breakfast sausage (I use Jimmy Dean)

            Saute the garlic and onions in olive oil. Brown the sausage. Deglaze with the beer. Add the beans, tomatoes and spices. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20 minutes. Add the cilantro before serving. I top with sour cream.
            There is nothing unique about it, it just fits my taste.

            1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

              And how is that not healthy? Actually the word is "healthful....."

              1. re: jmckee

                I figured the beer negated the healthful and proper grammar of the recipe. :)

                1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                  Nope - that actually looks darn healthy. The alcohol in the beer cooks out, and yes you are using sausage, but more for flavor - looks at all your beans and tomatoes!

                  Kudos to you : )

                2. re: jmckee

                  Jmckee, Thanks for pointing that out.
                  Sad to see the word "healthful" become archaic in my lifetime. I used to correct people using "healthy" for healthful all the time, but now I have pretty much given up.

                  1. re: Tripeler

                    I forget who it was -- possibly Roy Blount, Jr. -- who pointed out how frequently sports reporters make that mistake: "Joe Blow is not healthy." "Well, yes, he is healthy. However, he is also INJURED, and that's why he won't be playing."

          2. that is a nice moment Monica - mine is when the grumpy fusspots who have nothing good to say about anything have thirds. speaks volumes.

              1. re: JulesNoctambule

                HA! Similarly, from one of my uncles re the oatmeal M&M cookies Nanny always baked: "These are just like Ma's--'cept you didn't burn them!" :D

                This one really touches my heart, though. Someone who follows my blog--who is not related to me--told my mom she has a folder with printouts of all my recipes. Just wow!

                Whenever my #1 taster says, "That's a keeper!" or "____ is f*cking awesome/the bomb!" Music to my ears!

              2. I love these positive threads. Mine would be earlier in the summer when my son's girlfriend (an accomplished horticulturist, cook and home-brewer in her own right) leaned across our dinner table to thank me for teaching my son to cook. Those two have so many interesting dinner adventures cooking together; I'm grateful to have played some small part in promoting that.

                1. That's an awesome compliment you received! Love this thread!

                  I don't get lots of compliments, but when my nephew eats something relatively healthful that I cooked, I do a happy dance in my head.

                  1. My grandson was about the same age as your daughter when he turned to another guest at the table and said "Joan is a good cookie."

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: JoanN

                      I would be using that phrase as a self-affirmation forevermore!

                    2. From my mom, who used to own a restaurant and catering business, "you're a way better cook than I am."

                      1 Reply
                      1. Recently from a casual friend (who is a very good friend of my sister)

                        "Only my mom makes better cheesecake than yours!"

                        *five minutes later*

                        "You know, I think your crust is actually better than my mom's."


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Violatp

                          Your story reminds me of years ago when my then boyfriend told his mother that my mother's chopped liver was better than hers. It was. I thought that was about the highest compliment ever paid anyone! If you knew his mother, it would make complete sense!

                          To be fair, though my mom made the best chopped liver ever, his mom made her own gefilte fish from scratch--something my mother never did.

                          1. re: Kate is always hungry

                            both dishes are not really easy to pull off.

                        2. When my son was about 5, he told me during dinner once, "You're a good cooker lady".

                          That was 20 years ago, and it still makes me smile.

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: lagatta

                              As a matter of fact, he is! Both of my sons are good cooks. One is quite the gourmet, and the aforementioned son is a comfort food guy.

                          1. This one has nothing to do with cooking but it is SORT OF food-related.

                            I was distributing Halloween candy at my mom's house one year. I am not a one-piece-per-person candy giver. I am a whomping handfuls of candy giver.

                            After I handed out all the treats to the latest group, I was watching the kids walk away and heard one of them, as he gazed into his bag, say "That lady is cool!"

                            Yay! I made my mom's house the cool house! I still remember the good houses when I was a trick or treater. :-)

                            The look on the face of the last kid of the day was also memorable as I emptied half a mixing bowl of treats into her bag. Hey, I didn't want to be tempted!

                            1. 1. "Restaurant quality" from my husband.
                              2. I make a dip that the boys at work have dubbed "Crack Dip", in that it's addictive and you can't stop eating it. If I put it out at 10:00, it's gone by lunchtime.
                              3. I've been accused of buying food and passing it off as my own because I buy deli containers from a restaurant supply store and it looks like it was purchased somewhere (for my chicken and/or potato salad).

                              4 Replies
                                1. re: sydthekyd

                                  The healthiest possible thing - mayo, sour cream, and cream cheese blended with chicken boullion and cayenne pepper. Spread out to about 1-inch deep, then topped with chopped parsley, turkey, tomatoes, swiss cheese, bacon, then some more bacon to be safe. For some reason it goes perfect with Tostito's Scoops. I think it's actually called a BLT dip or something, but Crack Dip has stuck.

                                2. re: NonnieMuss

                                  NonnieMuss, could we hear more about your now famous "Crack Dip" please. Perhaps a recipe?

                                  1. re: Bacchus101

                                    Okay - mix one cup mayo, one cup sour cream, and one block of softened cream cheese. Sprinkle in 1 teaspoon of chicken boullion and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and blend well. The boullion will dissolve. Spread out prettily on a platter or large plate. Top with about half a cup of chopped flat Italian parsley, four ounces of diced turkey or chicken, two or three diced roma tomatoes, 6 ounces of shredded swiss cheese, and about 6 slices of bacon, crumbled. A little more sprinkled parsley for color. Serve with Tostitos. It's my aunt's recipe and always disappears at parties. It's also a pretty thing, and I don't make much pretty stuff.

                                    Like they say, hunger is the greatest compliment. Or is it appetite?

                                3. My favorite... (one friend to her friend that was visiting as we are discussing what to do for lunch) ... "you don't pass up an invitation for any meal she cooks".

                                  The other one I get from dear MIL who eats out most the time ... "I never feel sick after eating at your house" Which I take more as a comment on the general state of food in America than what I'm cooking.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: firecooked

                                    LOL mother-in-law compliments... the roses always come with thorns. :)

                                    1. re: firecooked

                                      ... "I never feel sick after eating at your house"


                                      1. re: PotatoHouse

                                        rolling on floor, pissing my pants, laughing my ? a## off?

                                        1. re: seamunky

                                          Rolling On Floor Peeing My Pants Laughing My Silly A$$ Off!!!

                                          Old code me and my dearest friends used many years ago. Intended to show the highest level of humor found in a post.

                                    2. I had a mess of arugula in my Nashville weed-patch that was on the verge of bolting and pretty strong-flavored, so I thought, "What the hell, I'll make a pesto with it." That was too strong on its own, so I got some sour cream and cream cheese and made a dip. Then my wife tells me our friends are throwing an opening for their new dance club and want us to bring crudités … and some kind of dip. Ooookayyyy … again, what the hell.

                                      I have never before seen raw vegetables become the center of attention, at a nightclub or anywhere else. I thought some of those folks were going to lick the bowl. A couple of the friends involved said they loved the dip and did I have a recipe (uhhh, not really), but the most earnest compliment was the way it disappeared. I wish some things I'd slaved over went that well!

                                      1. "Your kid's really turned out well", and they did!

                                        1. Made my Dad a vodka and Wink. After he sipped it, he said " you can be my bartender anytime" . He never gave up much, but when he did, I was all over it....

                                          3 Replies
                                            1. re: seamunky

                                              Wink was (is?) a citrus-flavored soda pop. Closer to Fresca than to 7-Up.

                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                I think it's still around, but it may have become one of those strictly regional brands.

                                          1. When I moved the last of my belongings form Georgia up here to northern Maine it included my Espresso/Cappuccino machine. I made my wife (the world traveler who studied for 2 semesters in Spain) a Cappuccino, afraid she would turn her nose up at it. She took a sip, her eyes lit up, and she stated "That tastes JUST LIKE the ones I used to get in Spain!!".

                                            1. I make a chocolate almond toffee (not often, as it's a real PITA).

                                              My BIL (not known for a love of sweets) refers to it as "candy crack." In my house, a batch can last weeks (if not months). In his house it has never made the 24 hour mark.

                                              My sister (not the one married to above BIL), takes hers and hides it from the rest of her family. Like me, she likes to savor a piece at a time, not wolf it down as quickly as possible.

                                              When I bring it to certain co-workers around the holidays, they say they feel guilty accepting it--they feel like they should be paying me. (As if working with them isn't reward enough ;)

                                              1. 1) I had some French "orphans" over for Thanksgiving when we were all in grad school. I made the Fine Cooking Classic Potato Gratin, and one attendee told me it reminded him of his grandmother's. I make it every single year now.

                                                2) Like Indianriverfl said upthread: When people can't believe I made something all the way from the staple ingredients. I love that one.

                                                3) Every time I make olivata (a pretty basic chunky kalamata tapenade), at least one person thinks I need to sell it commercially.

                                                1. Just this past week from a picky friend:
                                                  "Here's that jar from that mustard you made me. Fill it again."

                                                  And before New Years' from a couple of peeps at work:
                                                  "You're making that black-eyed pea dip again, right?"

                                                  1. My Granddaughter, to her Mom (my daughter) when she was 3.5 and anticipating coming to my house for Thanksgiving: "Mom, when I go to Grandma's House next week, I will be very, very hungry. So expect me to eat a lot of the food." :-)

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: susancinsf

                                                      Too bad my daughter's grandma literally refused to cook for her.

                                                    2. I served six tasting courses to 15 friends / colleagues at a wine tasting. One was fried chicken: honey/sage/buttermilk brined, cornmeal-crusted.

                                                      One guest is a food writer and blogger. She told me she had eaten at the French Laundry, as a preface to proclaiming my fried chicken "Keller-esque".

                                                      1. Cashew nut pesto dip - I make it for girls night. I get calls now before events: "I know we said on the invite not to bring anything but please make that dip."

                                                        Made carbonara years ago for a colleague that had done me a huge favour at work - even though it was brought in cold and microwaved in the office kitchen (something I had advised against) his only comment while eating was "Marry me."

                                                        A friend brought his new girlfriend to my place for dinner - as I was serving I said "don't expect too much, but it's hot and filling!" and she said "he told me we had to come, because you're a better cook than his mother. And he wasn't wrong."

                                                        And peanut butter cups (I use the Nigella recipe, but there are plenty out there, so simple) "you made these? Do it again. Tomorrow."

                                                        I seem to get the most enthusiastic compliments for very simple dishes - not sure if that's because it's comfort food, or just because my complicated stuff just ain't all that!

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: ultimatepotato

                                                          ulti-tater, could you give up the cashew nut pesto dip recipe, please?

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Sorry for the late reply! It's not anything special, literally just pesto but chunkier with less liquid than I would make if I was using it as a sauce. You can buy these all over New Zealand as chilled dips, but I'm only just starting to see them on offer in shops in England. No idea if they're a "thing" in the States, however I'm well aware it's not possible to generalise about food there state-wide, let alone for the whole country.

                                                            Bunch of basil (two good handfuls), rinsed and dried
                                                            100gms roasted, salted cashew nuts
                                                            1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped into a couple of pieces (or crushed if you have a crap hand blender)
                                                            30-40gms hard Italian cheese - Parmesan, grana padano etc
                                                            Olive oil, at a guess 75 - 100mls, depending on how loose you want the dip to be

                                                            I bung it all in a hand chopper, with half the oil first, then add more until you get the consistency you want. Quick pulse blend so it stays a bit rough. Pistachios and almonds work well too, and you can sub rocket for the basil, or a mix of 'soft' herbs.

                                                            1. re: ultimatepotato

                                                              Sounds easy - I like the idea of using this as a dip. Thanks!

                                                        2. The best compliment I got (and this may horrify the manners police) was when I caught a friend scraping the bottom of the sauté pan with a fork and eating the leftover bits and pieces right over the stove top.

                                                          When "caught" he said "but its just so good"

                                                          1. a friend who shared a leftover dessert i brought with his boss told me he said that it was better than anything he had had from a highly-regarded local bakery.

                                                            1. "Wasn't fit to eat!' My uncles highest accolade after finishing the second or third helping.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: mwhitmore

                                                                My SO does that... he'll come back into the kitchen after eating his first helping and I ask him how it was, he says "DISGUSTING!" and then gets another serving :)

                                                              2. This is non-food related but still it warms my cockles.
                                                                A friend having observed me over a decent period of time stated ' When you have finished talking to someone, old friend or someone you just met, they always walk away smiling'
                                                                l can't do better than that.

                                                                1. Both of my parents love food and are great cooks, but I inherited my obsessive food-and-drink nerddom from my dad. When my he retired, he took a "Retirement Road Trip" - visiting our family farmland in Illinois, a friend in Iowa, and stopping off at my house in Indiana as a waystation before the long drive back home. I was in grad school at the time, and had only been cooking on my own for a few years. The night he spent at my house, he had driven down from Iowa, in torrential rain, through hideous Chicago traffic, and arrived looking exhausted and sodden. I made an old family favorite for dinner, but with side dishes I had certainly never had with it growing up.

                                                                  His comment while eating was "This is awesome!" When, from my Midwestern dad, "pretty good" is considered highest praise...I think it's the only time I've heard the word "awesome" come out of his mouth. But the best compliment was the involuntary "mmm" noises he made as he ate. :D

                                                                  1. Reverent silence from the most talkative, food-opinionated group of women I know, great cooks all, as they inhaled my creme caramel, each one of them keeping an eagle eye on the single portion left in the pan, timing that last bite, planning the final assault.

                                                                    1. Years ago, before the yard was fenced, I had a trolley cable for the dog. He did his business at the far end of the lead.
                                                                      On a late afternoon one winter, when snow had melted and then frozen over into thick ice, I noticed that an opossum was eating dog turds. Softie that I am, I went to the fridge to find something for it to eat. I had cooked, unsauced meatballs in the freezer. So I pried off the largest one and quietly tossed it toward the possum, which was too busy eating to be disturbed by the noise of the window opening, or the object traveling in its direction. He continued turd-chewing for a second, then lifted his head, sniffed, and trundled over to the meatball. He grabbed it in his jaws, growled loudly, and scuttled away with his treat, as fast as he could.

                                                                      "Way better than a turd" is not the BEST compliment, but consider how I'd have felt if after smelling the meatball, he'd gone back to his first course!

                                                                      I guess the most meaningful compliment was overhearing my elderly mother (who was the best cook in my neighborhood when I was growing up) tell her friend that she liked my cooking better than her own.

                                                                      1. Last year, while planning a girl's night, one of my friends suggested we try a new Thai place. My neighbor and best pal said "Nah, screw that. You want good Thai food, we'll do it at Al's apt. Her place is seriously the best Thai restaurant in town."
                                                                        It just touched my heart. I've spent a lot of time trying to recreate my favorite cuisine in my own home :)

                                                                        1. ..ok that's easy. one of my middle son's friends said to me some years ago (when they were middle-school aged).
                                                                          "Gee Mrs. U. You must've been quite the knockout when you were younger".

                                                                          From then on, that boy was just as well-fed as my own children were!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jarona

                                                                            LOL, I am going to train my daughter to learn to say something similar. A bit of compliment goes a long way.

                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                              I still laugh when I think about that compliment. It was so funny!

                                                                          2. "I'd suck your pipes."

                                                                            Context: had friends over for dinner, made a decadent chocolate dessert, and there were a few leftovers. Since I was perennially dieting, told my friends to take home the dessert leftovers, lest I run the leftovers through the garbage disposal.

                                                                            Then the pipe sucking comment. She took home a plateful.

                                                                            1. My favorite "compliment" is when my 16 yr old son asks "What's for dinner?" and when I tell him "My spaghetti", he just walks up and hugs me.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Christina D

                                                                                Cherish that! My now 27-year-old son, who lives over a 1000 miles away, used to do that when I would make "breakfast for supper."

                                                                                1. re: Christina D

                                                                                  we were out at dinner, and my teen boy ordered lasagna. When we asked him how it was, he said it was okay, but nearly as good as mine.

                                                                                  On a recent Master Chef, the contestants had to make a citrus-curd pie -- and none of them did terribly well -- just by quirk, same boy licked the last of the lemon meringue pie off his fork, shrugged, and said "Mom, you'd have kicked their butts twice."

                                                                                  On a bittersweet note, having my grandfather ask me to make him a lemon meringue pie...the last thing he asked for. (how lucky I am to have had a grandparent still living until my late 40s!) By that point, his appetite had gone and he couldn't eat more than a single bite, but it sounded good enough to ask for it. I was so happy to make that last pie for him, even if everyone else ended up eating the leftovers.

                                                                                  Moving to France and having French born-and-raised folks tell me I'm a great cook.

                                                                                  Having adults beg me to bring chocolate-chip cookies (both in the US and in France).

                                                                                2. In response to my homemade BBQ pulled pork shoulder, which I do in a crockpot: "This is the best meal I've ever tasted out of a crockpot."

                                                                                  I am well-known among our personal friends and my husband's co-workers as something of a cookie (and desserts in general) expert. I have heard, multiple times from multiple people, that my cookies are the best they've ever had (sometimes from the same people regarding different kinds of cookies.) I have one friend who is not a big sweet-eater, but he's told me he's eaten more of my sweets since he's known me (a bit less than a year) than he has all other sweets combined in the last 5 years.

                                                                                  Also, my husband's co-workers occasionally have cook-offs at work. They have done chili, pie, cake, and a few things, but never a cookie cook-off. I keep asking them why, and finally someone said, "It just wouldn't be fair to everyone else since you would win it for sure!"

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                                    Wow. I'm known in my circle for desserts, but you sound like the champ. Any cookie-baking secrets you can share?

                                                                                    1. re: pine time

                                                                                      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner, pine time. :)

                                                                                      A few tips, sorry if these are obvious but this is what I tell everyone who asks how I bake cookies...

                                                                                      -Quality ingredient. Don't use the imitation vanilla or store-brand chocolate chips.
                                                                                      -Make sure your ingredients are room temperature, especially the butter (unless the recipe specifies something else, like melted.)
                                                                                      -Set a timer after you pop the cookies in the oven. My mom would never time how long to bake her cookies, and they were always, always over-done. Not burnt, but crunchy; she couldn't make a soft cookie to save her life. She'd cook them "till they looked done" and then wonder why they wouldn't be soft. Pulling them out before they get too brown, or when they look a little under-set, is not necessarily a bad thing.
                                                                                      -Parchment paper (or a silicon baking mat) is your friend.
                                                                                      -Practice makes perfect! Don't be afraid to experiment with a recipe after you've made it a couple of times to make it more to your liking. Perhaps a different kind of fat, or mixture of fats (butter instead of margarine, or a mixture of the two) works better. Maybe baking them for a minute less, or more, will yield the texture you're after. Using part brown sugar in place of all white may help keep your cookies chewy. A 1/4 cup less flour may result in a softer cookie. etc. etc.

                                                                                      1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                                        Great tips. I often under-measure the flour by a couple of Tbl. or underbake the cookies--either gives the chewier texture we prefer.

                                                                                        1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                                          These are great tips, thank you, Miss Maggie Cat!

                                                                                    2. I've made Ali Bab's chocolate almond gateau with chocolate butter cream frosting for 30 years. A friend's sister - a C.I.A. pastry grad and former cruise ship pastry chef - was silent as she picked it apart pensively sampling small bits of cake and frosting. Verdict: "You could serve this anywhere."

                                                                                      1. I was told to come over to this thread and relate the compliment I received while filling in for a monastery's vacationing cook. I was quite nervous and really wanted to impress them with my cooking--getting the best ingredients, trying some exotic recipes (for them), but the compliment I received told me I needn't have worried so much. The young brother in charge of the kitchen told me, "Yay--nobody got sick!"

                                                                                        1. "You should charge a lot more for these!"

                                                                                          When I do bake sale cupcakes, I use colorful paper cups, apply the icing with a pastry bag, and add a simple decoration--usually a small fondant cut-out or some sanding sugar. Presentation is important when trying to raise money. Well I have taken this advise and it hasn't slowed down sales a bit. It was the best compliment/advice I've gotten in a long time.

                                                                                          1. This is such a great topic. I think the best compliment I've received was a response to a dinner with a few coworkers who always like to view the pictures I take of dishes "wow, you're in the wrong profession." I'm employed as far away from culinary anything but this comment made me feel good that they would order my food in a restaurant.

                                                                                            1. I don't have any particularly cute food-related anecdotes in terms of compliments, but whenever I'm asked for the recipe I take it as a high compliment.

                                                                                              1. Mr. Cheflambo's aunt, Eleanor, was the consummate bubbe (jewish grandmother) and, well into her 80s, brought her legendary chopped liver to every family gathering I attended. The first time I made MY chopped liver for him, he said "wow - better than Nanny Eleanor's". Its still the highest compliment he's ever paid my cooking.

                                                                                                1. One day out of the blue, my very hard to impress dad asked "can you make those bread again tomorrow?". This was coming from someone who hates it when anyone is using HIS kitchen and the harshest food critic I know. I haven't made them in a while, but just thinking about it now makes me want to make them in tribute for him.

                                                                                                  1. My late husband once told me that my fried chicken was even better than his mother's. That's when I knew my marriage was solid!

                                                                                                    1. My ex asked me early in our marriage (we were about 20 years old) to try and duplicate his mother's chicken noodle soup.
                                                                                                      For one thing, I'd never made chicken soup, or even had tasted homemade chicken soup. For another, his mom had passed when he was 13, so I was dealing with a memory of chicken soup. Between my Joy and my Betty Crocker cookbooks, I managed to make the chicken soup that my husband had requested. And he loved it. After I'd made a few pots of the soup, his stepmom and dad were coming for a few days visit. Ex asked me to made the chicken soup for them. He'd told me that his stepmom never made it, so I was a little iffy whether that was a good idea.
                                                                                                      Anyway, I made the soup. MIL and FIL loved it, FIL said it tasted just like his late wife's, and MIL, bless her soul, said that she'd never tried to make it because she couldn't live up to a memory. She was a good home cook herself, and for all three of them to like my soup was a real coup!
                                                                                                      I was lucky to have had the best in-laws a girl could ask for.

                                                                                                      1. Not too long ago my dad said I cook most stuff as good and a lot of stuff (he said stuff) better than my mother did. Mom has been gone for 5-1/2 years ago, as of last Thursday. She was a terrific home cook.

                                                                                                        18 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: John E.

                                                                                                          That's a wonderful compliment!
                                                                                                          I got a compliment from my grandfather from the opposite direction. My wonderful grandmother was a notoriously bad cook. And he said to me that he sees her in my eyes, hears her in my voice and thanks his lucky stars that he can't taste one tiny bit of her influence in my cooking :)

                                                                                                          1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                            I swear to god, I wish I lived by you. We would be such good friends. You always make me laugh.

                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                              You are always cracking me up!! We need juliejulez, too! Until there is a major seismic event that creates Colaflorizona, we'll just have to work on FoodShooter. I have duct tape, a new drill and a pretty sturdy corkboard thingy to start...

                                                                                                              1. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                Leave it up to you to come up with Colaflorizona. I am keeping my eyes open for the Foodshooter. :-)

                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                  when you guys figure it out, let me know. I'd want to live in THAT neighborhood!!!

                                                                                                                  1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                    Where are you in FL if you don't mind me asking?

                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                      Approx. 1 hour north of West Palm Beach (on the east coast). I'd send a PM but apparently that's not available on CH. :(

                                                                                                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                          Aha! I understand you have a Trader Joe's over there, you lucky Suzigirl. I was in Cincinnati recently and brought back 10 lbs of TJ's cheese as part of my (only) carry on bag!! LOL Sorry for the TSA folks but I love me some stinky cheese . . . and a lot of items for sale at TJ's are not available to me here in East Podunk (or if I can get it, is 3-4x the price).

                                                                                                                          1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                            I do have have a TJ's here. They are crazy busy all the time. I am glad we got one here.

                                                                                                                            1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                              I can understand that! in addition to the cheese, I had a smallish bag ($1.99) of the TJ's nappa cabbage kimchi in my carry on which absolutely hit the spot for me when I was stuck in the airport watching the other travelers eat their crappy $8.99 turkey-on-stale-white-wraps while waiting for the overbooked flight to arrive. That was possibly the best $1.99 that I ever spent!

                                                                                                                              1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                                I keep wanting to try kimchi but never can convince myself to buy it when I find it because it costs alot and I can't be sure I will like it. I can, however talk myself into 1.99$. Thanks for the heads up. I love the things you learn here. It can be so random and helpful.

                                                                                                                                1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                  Wait - you love pickles/vinegar and you love spicy, right? Oh dear, if my memory is correct and these are your preferences, I'm afraid I've just added another kimchi addict to the planet! (Welcome to the club, Suzigirl!)

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                                    Yes, yes and yes. Love all three. I also love sauerkraut and understand that kimchi is also a fermented cabbage. I am afraid I will be an easy convert.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                      Fermented cabbage, yes, but also fermented all kinds of other things. Fermented cabbage is but one type of kimchi, just as cucumbers are one type of pickle (as I understand it).

                                                                                                                                      Oh my gosh, I'm excited for your opportunity to discover and enjoy yet another food experience. Kimchi is awesome, it's not hard to make, and it's not (necessarily) expensive, either!!!

                                                                                                                                      1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                        gabba gabba one of us, one of us.

                                                                                                                                        after you're hooked you can start wondering about length of curing, spice level, material of the storage jar, buried or not, was lye involved.

                                                                                                                                        it's a rabbit hole.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                          Well call me Bugs Bunny then. :-)

                                                                                                              2. re: alliegator

                                                                                                                My grandmother was not a well-rounded cook, but she could cook all of the dishes from the old country with the best of them (kapusta, pyrohe, holubtsi).

                                                                                                                She also made the best limp waffles any 5, 7, and 9 year olds could ever want. (Apparently my brothers and I were quite impatient.)

                                                                                                                Another of my favorite compliments was from a friend of my mother's. I cooked a meal for my parents and two couples who were their best friends. One of the ladoes had actually been a teacher of French cooking. Although the meal I cooked was not a French dish, she said I should be catering dinner parties.

                                                                                                            2. About a month before my Mother-in-law passed away she asked me to make baby back ribs for New Years.
                                                                                                              Me? I don't think my ribs are anything all that special. But, apparently she did.
                                                                                                              Had a devil of a time finding them that time of year....

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: zippypinhead

                                                                                                                after all the MIL/DIL difficulty stories we get (here and elsewhere), it really IS refreshing to hear some good ones.

                                                                                                              2. that is so sweet.

                                                                                                                I think mine was when I catered an office party and the guy came over and said someone asked him " That redheaded chef is a little person right? she isnt a child. She couldnt be a child."

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                  GOTW, that is awesome!

                                                                                                                  When I was your age I remember my gramma being surprised I could make a simple quick tomato sauce in the skillet in 10 minutes or so.

                                                                                                                  It wasn't very good but I remember her saying it.

                                                                                                                2. My best compliment was having 2 of my OWN recipes published in cooking magazines! One of the recipes was also published in an annual hard covered cookbook. :)

                                                                                                                  1. I am the son of a Kentucky woman raised in Cincinnati, so although I'm a Midwesterner by birth, by culinary heritage I am southern / Appalachian.

                                                                                                                    Some years back, a lady I know who was born and raised in Tennessee and South Carolina told me my collard greens were the best she'd ever tasted -- "even better than my mammy's."

                                                                                                                    1. Two separate very sincere rounds of applause from my 6 dinner guests at a dinner party held in the spring. I never blushed so much in my life. But it was heartwarming and will be with me for the rest of my life.

                                                                                                                      1. Kitchen Remodel:

                                                                                                                        My wife and I decided to remake the kitchen in our house.

                                                                                                                        We knocked out a wall to open the kitchen and enjoy the living room fireplace, added windows, recessed lighting, a kitchen island, flooring, new cabinets, with granite counters.

                                                                                                                        A kitchen, hallway, and living room all merged into one warm, open room with light a better view. My wife and I spent a summer installing the cabinets and granite ourselves, using a Bosch double-bevel sliding compound saw, and a case of power tools.

                                                                                                                        Finished, vacuumed, will everything working, we proudly invited the curious neghbours over for lunch.

                                                                                                                        One asked " So very nice: Where's the gift shop ? "

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                          You guys did a kitchen remodel yourself? Amazing! I am so happy it worked out well for you..I am sure it doesn't always work out..haha.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                            Hi Monica -

                                                                                                                            Not quite all.

                                                                                                                            Local subcontractors followed our plan, installing the plumbing, electrical/mains, vent-hood upgrade, recessed lighting, windows, and the framing where the walls had once stood.

                                                                                                                            My wife and I did the cabinets & doors (Ikea), and the heating coils along with the granite floor tiles. We selected black granite counter tops, had it milled, edges bull-nosed, and polished, and delivered. My wife then cut marine plywood in the garage, and I installed that as a substrate for the counters. using inox screws.

                                                                                                                            The granite countertops were glued onto the marine ply, levelled, and weighted down until dry. A bit of trimming and dust, but the satisfaction of doing it ourselves was only exceeded by the savings. 79 % of our original estimate costs.

                                                                                                                            Before a series of dark, separate rooms, followed by a well-lighted, airy, open kitchen. The heated floors really make a difference in our Winters.

                                                                                                                            1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                                                                                                              Thank you for sharing this story. There is something about investing your own sweat in a remodel (or other project) that makes the end result so much more satisfying. I've often forgotten this important lesson. Thanks again for the reminder!

                                                                                                                        2. One of my recipes was published in the new cookbook by Epicurious. They even called to interview me! It was so embarrassing. It was just a simple salad that I put up on their website one day on a whim. We eat it several times a month because we like it. It's now one of their 4-fork recipes! lol! I make a lot of really fancy stuff, but to have accolades on that one simple dish was funny.

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                              Lol! Sorry! I should have included it. I think I called it Perfect Pear Salad or some such thing. Anyway, here's all you do (with variations not in Epicurious). Plate individual salad plates with a bed of spinach. Sprinkle with chopped shallots (or green onions). Sprinkle with chopped red bell pepper (or not). Top with a fan of half a sliced pear (or apple). Sprinkle with asiago (or parmesan). Sprinkle with chopped bacon (or not). Sprinkle with balsamic (or just squeeze lemon juice over the top). No oil is necessary! I actually prefer the lemon to the balsamic which is in the original recipe and I rarely use bacon although my husband does prefer it that way. (grin!)

                                                                                                                              1. re: KatheM

                                                                                                                                Yum. Have everything you called for...thanks, this will be our salad tonight.

                                                                                                                                1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                  Great! Let me know how it turns out! See? I told you it was ridiculously simple! lol!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: KatheM

                                                                                                                                    that does sound good, I wonder (as I can't help but mess with things) if feta would be too strong for this. (and I even have asiago in the fridge but I have to go and fiddle)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                      Of course you have to mess with things! What would you be doing here if you didn't? Let me know how it turns out. Feta is way less fat than parmesan or asiago, so without the bacon, that would make this a very healthy lunch or light dinner! Great idea!

                                                                                                                          1. Some members of my book club have a friendly rivalry over who can host the best dinner for our monthly meetings. Everyone claims that I'm the one to beat. :)

                                                                                                                            I'll admit, I do plan out a nice meal with all the trimmings, and usually one that matches the theme of the book. And you should see their eyes light up when I bring out a layer cake for dessert.

                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                            1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                                              How fun! I love doing themes to match the book.

                                                                                                                            2. I was asked to bake pies/desserts for a restaurant.


                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                "I was asked to bake pies/desserts for a restaurant."

                                                                                                                                Ever read "Mildred Pierce?" lol

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                    Baking pies for a restaurant is how she eventually winds up owning her own string of restaurants. When you posted your response it was the first thing I thought of. Just me being silly.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                      I've heard the name but know nothing about her.

                                                                                                                                      I was glad that I couldn't do it because if I was ever physically cut out for that kinda work, that was 20 years ago.

                                                                                                                                      Still, it would've been pretty cool.


                                                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                                                        Watch the Joan Crawford movie, it is very good. I believe she won the Oscar for it.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: melpy

                                                                                                                                          Mildred's success became her undoing.

                                                                                                                                          still the movie had great (film noir) cinematography and Eve Arden at her bitchy best.

                                                                                                                              2. I recently did a birthday dinner for one of my friends and made a layered cake for dessert.

                                                                                                                                My roomie and good friend ate layered cake for breakfast and dinner for 3 days until there wasn't any left. I take that as a huge compliment.

                                                                                                                                Also every time someone compares my cooking to their mother or grandmother's. As a 22 year old girl, being compared to the real "stars" is just amazing ;)

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. re: SigneGT

                                                                                                                                  "My roomie and good friend ate layered cake for breakfast and dinner for 3 days until there wasn't any left. I take that as a huge compliment."

                                                                                                                                  That really is a compliment; I know, it also happened to me. lol I was invited to a vegan neighbor's apartment for dinner (kind of a Hurricane Sandy "survivor" reunion party) a few months ago and asked to bring dessert. Of course I had to make something from scratch and it had to be vegan (even though the hostess told me it did not have to be). I scoured the Internet for a vegan carrot cake recipe, found all the ingredients, made it, served it and it was a big hit. About half was left over (it was a big cake to begin with) so I left the rest with my neighbor. She later told me that she and her boyfriend had it for breakfast the next few days and that it was better than any vegan dessert they ever had in a restaurant.

                                                                                                                                2. I recently made 2 blueberry lemon bundt cake for a bbq and there was none left and people asked for recipes.
                                                                                                                                  My most requested recipes are for chicken tagine, kale peanut dressing salad, baked ziti with pesto sauce, 3 layer carrot cake.

                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                    Kale peanut dressing salad? Sounds delicious! How do you make it?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: kitchengardengal


                                                                                                                                      this is seriously the best kale salad. Everyone including non salad eaters can't stop eating this salad.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                        This sounds so good, Monica! DH and I both want some!
                                                                                                                                        I think I will be making it Sunday.

                                                                                                                                  2. Not a direct compliment but my mother in law will often phone asking for advice as she's making a dish that I'd recently cooked for her. i assume she must have liked it.

                                                                                                                                    1. this is gonna sound weird but I'm going with it:

                                                                                                                                      my godfather was dying and had no appetite. (stay with me..) My godmother got him to come to thanksgiving at our house with the family, but it was difficult for him. He of course didn't eat anything.. until he saw this "mile high" apple pie i had made for dessert. he had 2 slices! We were all astonished that he ate, his wife was thrilled, and I was so proud my pie was that tempting. still warms my heart.

                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                                                          I knew my mother was not long for this world when I made her favorite shrimp and pasta dish for her when she was in the nursing home. She had no interest in it. When the elderly lose their desire to eat, it is tough on everyone else because they know the end is not too far off. She died a little over two months later. My dad is still going strong and he loves my cooking. We have him over frequently frequently for dinner and I keep his freezer stocked with home cooked food for him to reheat.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                                                            Your story reminds me of my father in law who was really the greatest man on earth(My MIL is probably the worst woman on earth). He was staying in a hospital and he wouldn't eat anything and on his last day, I brought him his favorite ice cream from his favorite ice cream shop...he ate more than half of it. I miss him very much.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: rmarisco

                                                                                                                                              That is a wonderful memory to have, jmarisco. I have a similar tale of my mom being in the hospital when I was nine. I made her a box cake mix with canned icing and had dad take it to her. Of course, mom would love anything made by her son but the real compliment came when another lady on the floor awoke at 3:00 a.m. not having eaten for days and was ravenous. The only thing available on the floor was my cake at the nurse's station. She reportedly ate a third of it and wrote me a long thank you note on what a great cook I was. I was so flattered that, when mom came home, I ventured into her Joy of Cooking to make a welcome home dinner (Swedish meatballs, I recall.) Definitely my foodie roots were laid down in that short week and the rest, as they say, is history.

                                                                                                                                            2. My mother telling me she'd rather have me do all of the Thanksgiving preparations instead of her (although cooking isn't her thing). She just knew it would be done at the same time and taste good.

                                                                                                                                              My sister asking me to always make the gravy at holidays if at her house.

                                                                                                                                              My brother telling several someones I'd never met "Linda makes the BEST apple pie!" - and asking me upon arrival at his apt. when he lived in Chicago "When are you going to make pie?"

                                                                                                                                              A former friend who has done some staging as a line cook saying he enjoyed working with me in the kitchen when preparing dinner for a group of friends "because I can tell you once and you know what needs to be done and how with minimal fuss."

                                                                                                                                              1. "I really liked your pickled beets," from my father. It's not a fancy or creative compliment, but my father never praises anything unless he strongly feels praise is deserved. That sort of compliment means a lot more to me than formulaic gushing.

                                                                                                                                                My favorite compliment of the back-handed variety was my husband's comment on a chopped salad of asparagus, peas, and scallions, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice: "I hope you make this again because it's the sort of dish I should learn to like."

                                                                                                                                                1. Made pâté for our company annual potluck lunch one year. After the lunch all those who cooked assembled at the front and were given a round of applause. Through the applause I hear in a French accent "who made the pâté, who made the pâté?" I acknowledged to him that it was me. The Frenchman clasped his hands together and said to me "it was like being at home". As an American I was blown away.

                                                                                                                                                  12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                    awww that is cool... I pictured that whole thing in my mind and it made me smile too!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                      I pictured it too and the French guy had a beret on! Funny how our minds work! lol
                                                                                                                                                      Great story though. Do you happen to have a link to the recipe you used @Chinon00? I plan on making a pate for an upcoming dinner party and would be interested to see the recipe you made. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                          Chicken liver pate is relatively easy to make but taste so good! And it's so cheap to make it too. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will try this recipe too.
                                                                                                                                                          Is that part of a cook book?

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Chinon00

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the effort @Chinon00, but I can't quite make all of that out due to glare and small print. I appreciate the effort though. Perhaps you can tell me which cookbook it is from and I can try to find the recipe online somewhere. Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ttoommyy

                                                                                                                                                              (sheepishly raises hand)

                                                                                                                                                              Yeah, me, too.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                Here's one from Michel Richard that's delicious. He also tops it with a parsley gelee when he serves it in his restaurants, but you can skip that if you want to.


                                                                                                                                                                1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                  that is a good one, I've twiddled it but it is good.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                    the recipe (or a version) is in Richard's cookbook, but it's not quite what he serves at Central.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting recipe. Sounds like a great item to bring as a gift.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                      Haven't seen a parsley gelee outside my kitchen for over 20 years.

                                                                                                                                                                      Back into the rotation. Thank You.

                                                                                                                                                                  3. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                                                    Looks like from France:beautiful cookbook..which I recently ordered through Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Several years ago I decided to make some prickly pear wine. I had the fruits available, I went out and picked them, including a neighbor's, who I'd asked permission for previously. I loosely followed the book's directions, made several changes, and ended up making some competition-quality wine, according to several people. Well, I wrote no directions so as to repeat the fabulous process, and the next three batches were fair at best. But the best compliment came from my husband (believe me, he would NOT say it if it wasn't blazingly true). He said "This is competition-quality wine!" Also, my neighbor that I go the fruits from, told me that his partner took a sip, then she pretty much chugged the rest of the bottle down (I was using Grolsch bottles). I hope to repeat that process some day.

                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                            Many years ago my father made rhubarb wine (we're in Minnesota). My father was quite pleased with himself. I recall a story about him getting smashed on his rhubarb wine in the neighbor's sauna, but that's another story. (This all happened when I was six years old.)

                                                                                                                                                            Anyway, my father gave his best friend a bottle of his rhubarb wine. The friend happened to be the OBGYN at our small town clinic. My father got a letter in the mail from his doctor friend. The letter contained the following:

                                                                                                                                                            "We sent your sample to the lab. We regret to inform you that your horse has diabetes."

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                              His mesage notwitstanding, I'd love to try some homemade rhubarb wine. Rhubarb just doesn't grow here, nohow, no way. Sadly. I love rhubarb.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                oh yeah or as a reduction sauce/glaze with duck or pork?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: EWSflash

                                                                                                                                                                  He was only attempting humor. This friend of my dad's is 85 years old, is on dialysis, and is still one of the funniest guys I know. He says he has a tattoo....on his privates. Normally, the tattoo reveals the letter 'A' and the letter 'N'. However, when he is aroused, the tattoo says "Art Johnson's Bar & Grill, Green Bay, Wisconsin". Yeah, it's crude, but funny coming from an 85 year old guy.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                    I can't speak for EWS but I was thinking about rhubarb wine, not the piss test...

                                                                                                                                                                    yeesh - the color alone would say something's really wrong.

                                                                                                                                                                    but I got a chuckle out of the tattoo story it reminds me of a character in Lynda Barry's "Cruddy" - has two 'M's on her backside, so standing it says "MOM", but doing a handstand it spells "WOW". (I know, I know, the worst of taste - but as an appeasement to the point of this site, they are a family of old-style butchers...)

                                                                                                                                                            2. Oh, that's easy....the most gorgeous person on our ranch said recently ( didn't know I could hear her) " If it tastes good, Marianne probably made it. If it is beautiful AND tastes
                                                                                                                                                              good, Marianne definitely made it." Oh the joy!!!!

                                                                                                                                                              1. from my DD, who lives an ocean away, "there are biscotti at work today. Your are way better."

                                                                                                                                                                1. My best moment came this past weekend when I was playing one of those dumb trivia games at my bachelorette party and the question was
                                                                                                                                                                  "[He] said he knew he would marry you when...." and I immediately knew it was when I made him linguine with clams for the first time.

                                                                                                                                                                  I was right- I think a marriage proposal inspired by a family recipe is a pretty good compliment ;)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. About a decade ago, I went through time of being plagued by insomnia. I turned to baking chocolate chip cookies as a way to relax. Not wanting to have 5 dozen cookies staring at me from my kitchen counter on a regular basis, I started taking the cookies to share at work. I received two compliments that have always warmed my heart...from young one coworker, a request for the recipe so he could share it with his mom (she was a good sport about it LOL), and from another (a professional pastry chef) the single word "YUM!".

                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                    1. I sent out an email invite in the office to share my chocolate banana cake and someone trying to watch their figure, called out "You b----!"

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: artichokeenvy

                                                                                                                                                                        that is SItcom gold...I can sooooo picture that in an office scene with the one trying to drop for a wedding or a special event... and you walk in with that lucious cake

                                                                                                                                                                      2. Not me, but my wife.

                                                                                                                                                                        She does a great New Orleans Seafood Gumbo. She fixed a large pot for a tennis team dinner, in Denver. Few had ever had NOLA cuisine, and none had experienced Gumbo.

                                                                                                                                                                        At first, they went to other dishes, but finally began tasting her Gumbo. In moments, the entire pot (about 2.5 gal.) was empty. They all wanted more, and admitted that they held out reservations, until they tasted it. They were all converted that night.


                                                                                                                                                                        1. Very fun read. Thanks for brightening my day. Had a pizza party recently and got a 2fer. My brother says, "You made this crust? I never eat crust, but this is delicious." Another person said, "When you gonna open the restaurant?" Not sure why she would wish such a horrible fate on me, but I think she liked the food. :)


                                                                                                                                                                          1. My grandfather complimenting my baked beans at Easter dinner, "These taste just like your grandmother's beans."

                                                                                                                                                                            She had passed away over10 years before. And she was famous for her beans, but did not leave a recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                            My heart still swells when I think of him sitting at the table, enjoying those beans.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Another thing a lot of people get really impressed with is making your own whipped cream! So many people use Cool Whip or Reddiwhip. I never do...real whipped cream takes so little effort and time to make. Heavy cream, powdered sugar, a flavoring of your choice if you like, and 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer is all you need. But I get a lot of, "Is this REAL whipped cream!?" when I serve it.

                                                                                                                                                                              7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                                                                                                                                That is so true...! ha...it takes less time than taking a trip down to a supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                  Well, that would be true for me since I use it as an ingredient often and almost always have it on hand, but I don't think most people keep heavy cream on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't deny that it's better, and if I were making a dessert I'd make my own, but a container of Cool-Whip or aerosol can will last in the fridge or freezer almost forever. The real thing would almost certainly entail a trip to the supermarket.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JonParker

                                                                                                                                                                                    They do have ultra pasteurized heavy cream these days.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                      Oh, I hate that stuff for whipped cream. Takes forever to whip and never really, *really* gets to the right texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Such a shame that it's so hard to find heavy cream that isn't ultra-pasteurized. There's one mainstream brand (Dean's) in the Chicago area that isn't. Otherwise, thank goodness for Trader Joe's.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Violatp

                                                                                                                                                                                        Yup, i exclusively use TJ's brand too.
                                                                                                                                                                                        I have never actually used ultra pasteurized whipped cream. Good to know that it doesn't work.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                          It *sort of* works. I won't say it doesn't whip at all. But it's a pale imitation. And takes forever even in a nice KitchenAid.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. My brother, at our house for dinner after several months out of town: "I'd forgotten just how good your food is. Everything you make is good." Me --> :) :D

                                                                                                                                                                                1. When I was dating my now husband, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for him and his parents. It was pretty standard Thanksgiving food, except desert which was Simca's El Diablo chocolate cake. I didn't find out until a couple years later, but my future FIL said to MIL on their way home "if he doesn't marry her, I want to adopt her". :)

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. When my child was in elementary school, I made sure to contribute home-baked goodies to every event the classes held.
                                                                                                                                                                                    As I entered the second-grade with my covered platter, I heard a child in the back of the room say "Oh, it's HER! She makes the most AWESOME stuff ever!!"

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I loved this, because I was afraid for a minute it was going to be something very different. I do a lot of baking for my square dance club. I am a rather plump person, so I was worried when one of my square dance friends met my daughter and started to ask her "How can you be so skinny when your mother is . . . . . . . .
                                                                                                                                                                                      . . . .such a good baker?"

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Been helping my 90+ year old uncle make Christmas Pickled Herring (Polish Sledzie) for the entire family for years.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sadly he isn't up to it any more, so last year I had to make it solo. At Christmas dinner, the Sledzie was presented to my Uncle and we held our breath as he took the first bite....

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Tastes the Same" !!!

                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                                                                                                                                                                          awww...that's really sweet. pickled herring sounds wonderful. Is it hard to make? I love herrings!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Monica

                                                                                                                                                                                            Not difficult, but time consuming if you cut your own fillets.


                                                                                                                                                                                        2. My Dad - born 1917_ always said the best compliment hbe ever got was around 1967

                                                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sydthekyd

                                                                                                                                                                                              Don't think it had anything to do with cooking...

                                                                                                                                                                                              My 85 year old FIL's best line is "If you aren't in bed by 11, you should go home".


                                                                                                                                                                                          1. For a friend's son's at-home Bar Mitzvah, I made the desserts. Some of the things I made were New York cheesecake, baklava, and a chocolate bourbon pie. My friend's brother-in-law, asked me if I were a professional. I took that as high praise considering he owned a bakery in New York.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. A friend/ professional associate of my father's just recently asked me to write both his and his wife's obituaries, on strength of the obituary I lately wrote for my dad. This couple runs a homeless shelter, and a food shelf, and holds dinners for their clients on a regular basis. They want me to tell their food justice story. Whew. I don't know what to do about it (and it's not an imminent issue). It seems a tall order, but one I would do from utter respect. To answer the OP, this is an amazing compliment, to be asked to document, via remembrance, lives lived around food justice.

                                                                                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                                I wrote the obit for my mother and more recently wrote the eulogy my father read at my aunt's funeral. It is not always a joyous task, but one which I gladly took on. I worked in a pickle recipe sent from my aunt to my mother into the eulogy. That got a big laugh. (My father and his brother were really big into pickles, their wives, not so much, that's why it was funny.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  if anyone bothers to eulogize me, I want laughter involved.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  "a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants"

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                    My uncle is a Catholic deacon. He has had the unenviable task of presiding at both of his parents' funerals and wakes. He was late to his own mother's wake - burst in in a flurry, went straight to the coffin, kneeled on the kneeler, crossed himself, all while explaining the comedy of errors that led to his tardiness. He must have crossed himself, kneeled, and stood at least 5 times before he got through the story, which was hysterically funny in and of itself.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Her poor grieving friends did not know what to make of the situation, but we all knew Grandma wouldn't have had it any other way. After her burial, we drug those same friends out with us to her favorite pizza place where we all drank a lot of beer and requested her favorite songs from the guy playing the organ.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Your story reminded me of my uncle's funeral. He was an executive at a Fortune 500 company and had a big ego. His family helped to feed that ego at his funeral. He sang The Lord's Prayer at his own funeral. Actually, he sang it at his youngest daughter's wedding. I took the 15 year old VHS tape and digitized it and cleaned it up so it would be high enough quality on its own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      When his family cleaned out the chest freezer after his death, they found several packages of frozen meat wrapped in white freezer paper labeled 'ring-tailed beef'. The house was rural and he caught raccoons in a live trap, killed them, skinned them, and froze them. I'm not sure if he ever actually ate them. He was not the stereotypical Fortune 500 executive.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ring-tailed Beef! Love it! Well, the description...am waiting to get hungry enough for the actual dish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I like this long time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        silly, self-deprecating, a bit subversive and in the end, relaxed and laid-back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                                                                                                          "silly, self-deprecating, a bit subversive and in the end, relaxed and laid-back."

                                                                                                                                                                                                          That's my family to a T. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: John E.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Great to work in a recipe! If I could go back in time and advise, I would counsel my myriad cousins, et al, to do similarly with their dearly departed. My elder family were plain cooks, but they could pickle like mad; the recipes, however, were not shared for whatever odd family reasons (you know the mechanism). What a great tribute to the cook, to let family members have a communion of sorts through a recipe passed on.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      For my dad, who was not a willing cook but always picked up the tab (no arguing! or else!), we opted for a blowout meatball feed for friends and family in lieu of a funeral. His last tab. He'd have loved it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cayjohan

                                                                                                                                                                                                        My uncle was famous for his roast beef. My aunt would help him. They catered the roast beef dinner for their church's annual voter's meeting, which curiously, was always held at noon on Super Bowl Sunday. My aunt's funeral was catered by Wally's Roast Beef in Bloomington.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        For clarification, the two uncles I've written about are my father's older brothers. They both died at 67. My father is a couple months shy of 82 and is doing quite well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My Danish sister in law told me that mny rugbrod (Danish rye bread) is as good as what she gets in Denmark.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 4X4

                                                                                                                                                                                                      my friend who's from Parma told me my risotto was as good as her grandmother's (maybe she was just being nice - ha).

                                                                                                                                                                                                      worked as a waitress at a beach restaurant while on an extended holiday. i had quite a few patrons who were well-versed in dining that told me i was the best waitress in the world.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. So the other night my high school class had a milestone birthday mini-reunion. I offered to bake a birthday cake. I made a very dark chocolate cake and buttercream frosting--both homemade.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      All of my classmates complimented me on the cake but one asked me if I were a professional baker. I told him that I wasn't and his reply was that I should be! (See previous baking compliment in this thread)

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. "When I go to Heaven, I hope you are the cook!" I was thrilled to the core.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I totally forgot the best compliment I got from then friend, now bf. He was at my house for a pulled pork with all the trimmings. He reached down between the rails of the deck and grabbed a handful of grass and proclaimed "Suzi could make this taste good". Still makes me smile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Awwww . . . so sweet - I love it! The only question I have is, "How could you forget a compliment like that, suzigirl?"

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: MrsPatmore

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am blaming "over forty brain". We started talking about that party and how he liked the meal so much and i remembered the comment. One of many sweet things he has said over the 28 years I have known him. He is a keeper. He gives me his turkey skin. That's love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: suzigirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                One day I will meet a man who will give his turkeyskin and make me blush 28 years latter soooooo coyly that people can see it over the internet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a charming goal! The other day my husband of 19 years gave me chicken skin so I hope the same for you. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: girloftheworld

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You can see me blush over the internet? I am, you know. I hope everyone finds a sweetie like my sweetie. Even better if he gives you his turkey skin. He is out there. :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Other parents probably appreciate as much as I did hearing that our children are polite and well-spoken at others' houses. (We may be surprised, actually, but pleasantly so.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              However, no child ever beat my son's third-grade friend, eating stir-fry at our table, who followed up "This is really good," with "Maybe you could write down how to make it for my mom and dad?"

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                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                                                                                                                                                                we've had that situation a few times...but the funny part is hearing what they've told their mom they had at our house. Sometimes trying to decipher it into an actual dish could be a challenge!