Chat Leftovers: Walk Down What's Cooking Lane

Nostalgiaville: Dear Kim, How about a few remembrances of things past? Your favorite online moment here ... When the questions started coming from all over the country and the world instead of just local ... If you could only take one recipe with you ... Etc.

Well, for starters, it's hard to forget when a reader in the early days of the chat asked (in 1999, I recall) if I ever cooked with my blouse off, and I responded with “not when I’m frying bacon,” a remark which caused quite a stir with a former editor at the newspaper. That was fun.

I am still tickled by the online monikers readers have given themselves such as Pesto Girl, Nancy Drew Girl, ShoeGuy, Divine Ms. K, Fancy Toast, Centre of Nowhere and Gay Arlington Food Fan (aka GAFF). If I’ve forgotten someone, please chime in.

In April, 2001, we talked about the state of meat for possibly the first time...

…and we held each other’s virtual hands a few weeks after 9/11...

...We celebrated the chat’s third anniversary in 2002...

...And we stayed in touch from all corners of the globe, including Italy, Amsterdam,
South Africa
, post-Katrina New Orleans, and the Iowa State Fair.

Although frenzied, the Thanksgiving chats have been particularly gratifying simply because of the first timers who showed up with their questions, eager and in need of someone to hold their hand and tell them to breathe. It’s always chaotic, but it’s also exciting, and I loved the energy, and how you guys pitched in, too. To wit: last year’s Thanksgiving special.

As you can see, Nostalgiaville, I don’t have a singular favorite chat moment because there were so many good ones. But if I had to give you one thing that I loved most about the chat, it was the element of surprise. I never knew what to expect, what would be on your minds, what would be burning a hole in your brain in any given hour. The unpredictable nature is what kept me on my toes and what made every week a compelling experience. I can hardly believe 10 years have blown by, but if you take a look at some of the older links, you’ll see how much we’ve grown as cooks -- and members of the human race.

The final transcript in entirety

What’s Cooking archives: Hold on to this one for safe keeping.

I do have a handful of leftover questions from the queue, which I've reserved for next week's blog space. Stay tuned.

As I mentioned yesterday, thanks for showing up each and every week for ten years from all corners of the country, Canada, Europe and Australia. It has been one delicious ride.

By Kim ODonnel |  March 18, 2009; 10:00 AM ET Chat Leftovers
Previous: EDF: Lessons Learned | Next: Chicken Soup With Rice Flashback


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Are you leaving? Did I miss something?

I hope that's not the case. . .if so, you will be missed and thanks for some really great recipes - the Arab flatbread in particular. ..

Posted by: goodwater1 | March 18, 2009 10:57 AM

Goodwater1, yesterday was the final chat (see link to transcript just above), the result of cost-cutting measures. However, the blog continues.

Posted by: Kim ODonnel | March 18, 2009 11:12 AM

yes, yes, I re-read more closely. . .whew. I mean - well, I am sorry but so glad you will still be around! We will follow where you lead, as far as the chats are concerned!

Posted by: goodwater1 | March 18, 2009 11:22 AM

Hi Kim:
One of the chatters from yesterday was lamenting the amount of butter in a roasted root vegetable recipe from Ina Garten, saying "almost half a stick!"

As I thought about this, it seems this isn't that much butter. I'm not sure how many vegetables this butter was flavoring or how many servings this was to make. That's a big factor. If it's ONE serving, that is a lot of butter. But if it's four or more....that's heading toward minimal. It reminds me of the general and IMHO overblown FEAR of butter/fats. The chatter needs to understand that the butter has a reason beyond flavor -- it's what causes the vegetables to roast and crisp up. Yeah, you can cut back, but it won't be the same.

Amortize your butter over the number of servings to get a real sense of it. Also, maybe switch over to olive oil, although be prepared for a vastly different flavor.

Thanks for your chats and looking forward to finding you on other venues.

Posted by: khachiya1 | March 18, 2009 11:46 AM

No-Knead bread part III: I've made the dough twice now and really enjoyed it. Today I did an experiment and shaped the dough into small rolls (some oval, some round). The only change was baking time was about 25 minutes. They are just wonderful. I think they'd be good with soup/stew or as a sandwich roll if you wanted a really good crust. Any suggestions for a whole wheat version?

Posted by: daconrad | March 18, 2009 2:33 PM

No-Knead bread part IV: I wasn't satisfied with the size of the loaf using three cups of flour. So I figured, three cups of flour, one and a half cups of water; that's one half cup of water per cup of flour. So I upped it to four cups of flour and two cups of water, Kept the quarter teaspoon of yeast the same. Also, the whole "let it rise in a floured towel" thing. Messy. So I let it rise the second time back in the bowl and eased it into the heated pan. Wonderful result--bigger loaf.

Posted by: davemarks | March 20, 2009 7:32 AM

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