Chowhound’s Home Cooking board hosts conversations about everything from weeknight staple recipes to obscure dishes from international cuisines, but many of this year’s most-discussed topics reflect the preoccupations of the food-obsessed world at large—from eating well for less to ambitious DIY projects. Here’s what got Chowhound home cooks talking in 2013:
1. FRUGAL BUT DELICIOUS COOKING
Chowhound-worthy, nourishing meals that won’t break the bank, no matter how small your account.
2. OUT WITH THE OLD (TO MAKE SPACE FOR THE NEW)
For those with more cookbooks than space and a wish list of new acquisitions, advice on culling your collection, and where to rehome those unloved volumes.
3. OLD-FASHIONED PICKLES
Everything you need to know to ferment traditional kosher dill pickles in your own kitchen.
4. DOWN WITH BAD RECIPE WRITING
From the ridiculously impractical (“First, slaughter a goat”) to the needlessly vague (“Cook until done”), the least useful and most frustrating recipe instructions.
5. SO MUCH EFFORT, BUT WORTH IT
They’re difficult, time-consuming, and require dirtying every pan in the kitchen, but these dishes are so good they’re worth the trouble.
7. PIE CRUST TO MAKE GRANDMA PROUD
The key factors in transforming flour, fat, and water into beautifully tender, flaky pastry, deconstructed.
8. BAKE BETTER BREAD
Techniques and tips that will help you master yeasted doughs.
9. ALL ABOUT PRIME RIB
Follow these recommendations and bits of troubleshooting advice on cooking prime rib roasts, and you’ll never sweat a celebration dinner again.
10. OLDIE-BUT-GOODIE CAKES
Sure, Chowhounds embrace the latest flavor combinations, but they also insist these vintage cake recipes have stood the test of time and deserve a comeback.