electronic Gourmet Guide

Worst Gift List

We ran a best and worst food gifts article on our America Online site last month that generated many letters. Here's our favorite:

Dear eGG,

I was laughing so hard when I read your worst gift list, tears came to my eyes.

I think over the past 27 years of marriage my husband and I have received almost everyone of those gifts from well meaning family members, but the worst gift we ever recieved was a ceramic gravy boat in the shape of a duck, but we smiled and said thank you. All that kept running through my head was, do we look like the kind of people who would use this? It is amazing what we will purchase as gifts for other people. So every year my husband and I have a big open house on Christmas Eve as our gift to our loving family friends, and as we sit there talking, laughing and opening our gifts, we smile and think how wonderfully lucky we are to have them, ceramic gravy boat and all. God Bless you all and have a wonderful holiday and happy healthy New Year.


Great Gift Baskets

Dear eGG,

There is this darling shop in Geneva, IL called the Little Traveler that specializes in making gift baskets for the holidays. The only difference is that you can bring in things from out of the store and also purchase a wide variety of food and wine items to put in the basket, and they shrink wrap it ---free of charge!--- they also throw in decorations such as colorful bows and chocolates as they see fit. You can personalize the basket to the gift receiver, anything goes, and in the end it looks beautifully and professionally done. It is a wonderful option they have and you can have it done in an hour. I don't know of any other specialty stores that offer this, but it brings me back to them year after year! The only thing I have received back from my gift basket receivers is graditude and praise for such a wonderful arrangement. Just thought I would share that with you and your readers. Thanks!!



An Open Letter to the readers of the electronic Gourmet Guide on the WWW and AOL

The December 1997 issue of eGGsalad is my last. I had a heart attack a while ago, and I did not feel up to writing any more. I am now recuperating in sunny Florida, and feeling much better. I want to thank the publishers of the electronic Gourmet Guide for giving me the chance to write for this wonderful magazine. When I first saw it on the WWW, I knew I had to be part of it. Writing for this magazine has been one of the great and most satisfying experiences of my life. of course, I want to thank the readers of the ezine for their continued support of the electronic Gourmet Guide. I remain, our #1 Fan. Steve Holzinger
The Prof—eGGsalad

Back of the House

Dear eGG,

I used to enjoy the Chef stories, but they never change! Episode 33 has been there for months.

Barbara Siemsen
Stony Brook NY

Dear Barbara,

The author of Back of the House is a real chef who has been writing the column in what little spare time he had. He's been especially busy with a new job the past few months, though we hope he will return now that the holiday season is over.


What's Not To Like?

Dear eGG,

Thank you for a wonderful year of eGG Roll. Happy holidays and all the best.


Dear eGG,

Just found you today and I'm so excited!!! Printing lots of your recipes for both ho\r\rme and work. I think I found you through the New York Times Web Site. We are a Christian camp and conference center. We serve between 180,000 and 200,000 meals each year. Sure, as a camp, we do lots of children but we do at least 33% of our business for adults. I have an unlimited budget and can actually serve really great food to our adult groups. So you will be a good addition to all my fun in professional food service!!!"

Dennis Rice
Hillsdale MI

Dear eGG,

Surfed in to do your contest. What a site! I'm sure I was here before but I really enjoyed my stay however so briefly. Like the wine column, too...$8.50/bottle for a grand wine is really good news. I see now that they're saying that chicken fat is good afterall so I'm using mine in my soups again. Have a "Berry" Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Prosperous New Year"!

Keep up the good work and thanks for having such a great prize in your contest.

Boy that lobster dinner looked wonderful...

Pat Humphrey
Sugarloaf, PA

Hello Kate,

My name is Chantal, and I tried two of your recipe so far, and the food was DELICIOUS, EXCELLENT.

I am really interested in Indian food, I love the spices. I was wondering if you know SAMOSA, if you do I would love to have the recipe for the dough and the filling. Thank you very much Kate.


Dear eGG,

Have just found your web page and have not seen much of it but the few recipes that I have seen look excellent. Will certainly try them.

Marcella D. Garoff
Little Silver NJ

And That's Not Squid Ink

Dear eGG,

Can you please display the text of your excellent recipes so that I do not have to print a full-page picture of the dish along with the recipe. I think that is a waste of printing "ink". Thanks.

Pat Passalacqua PassMom@[email-address-removed] Palmyra, VA

Dear Pat,

Depending on whether you are viewing a web page or an AOL page, there are two things you can do. On the web, you can choose Save As Text under the File menu in almost all browsers. Then print that. On AOL, put your cursor in the recipe text and click. Then choose Print from the File menu. If you follow these instructions you should avoid printing the accompanying photos (if there are any).


Recipes & Other Requests

Dear eGG,

Can you please help me with a recipe for Pork Sausage? Thanks and congratulations for a great web magazine.

Teresa Toral
Portland OR

Dear eGG,

I have a 1950s gas stove and a refrigerator in a new vacation home I am buying. Someone told me people "out there" are paying big bucks for them. Any ideas about how to go about advertising them to the people "out there"?

CAROL in rural Arizona

Dear Teresa,

Carol and all the others who send us requests each month. We are unable to answer each email individually but we recommend trying our Message Boards here on the web or on our America Online sites. Post your questions and requests there and you are much more likely to receive timely replies.



As Cookies Crumble

Dear eGG,

It would be awfully nice if you could do something about those excessively annoying "cookies". It sure is a major pain in the butt to have to go thru 3 or more cookie dialog boxes every time I switch screens. Even if I'm coming back to one I just left and have already allowed cookies to be set. I think your webmaster or someone needs to get it together.

Other than that quibble, it's a nice site. I will visit again even if I'm gonna bitch and grumble about the cookies.

Thanks,Dave Drum
Springfield IL

Dear Dave,

In order for "free" websites to attract advertisers which pay for staff and business expenses, many advertisers require us to set cookies that track how many people saw the ad. All a cookie does on our website is give you a random user ID based on the browser you are using and the domain name you came from. Your service provider, cityscape.net, probably has hundreds, perhaps thousands of users. During the period the cookie is in effect, it tracks you separately from anyone else who is visiting at the same time. That way, if you return to our main page several times, the advertiser knows you are not new to that page. Therefore they can get a better idea how many unique vistors have been exposed to any ad.

But cookies have no way of knowing ANYTHING else about you other than you are a unique user during the time you are visiting. It puts an ID in a text file on your computer and next time you visit, if it's still there, it will know you had visited before. If you allow cookies to be set automatically (turning off the warning window), you can always manually trash the cookies file in your browser's Preferences directory at any time. You can also open the cookie text file up in a word processor and see what kind of information is in there. Some people keep an "alias" of the file within easy reach so they can erase the contents every day.

Cookies can also keep a list of where you've been, which some websites will extract. If a cookie gets set AND you fill out a form with your name, address or other info, then the cookie can track you as an individual. Again, you can destroy that "tracking" data by simply erasing the cookie file in your browser's Preferences directory. Netscape calls the file MagicCookie on a Mac and it's located in this path: System Folder >Preferences >Netscape. On a PC I found it in my main Netscape folder. If you have been refusing cookies, the file will have almost nothing in it but a header. If you accept them, it might look like this (from my own cookie.txt file on a PC):# Netscape HTTP Cookie File# https://www.netscape.com/newsref/std/cookie_spec.html# This is a generated file! Do not edit.

www.geocities.com FALSE /SiliconValley/Heights/5550 FALSE 892165270 here Wed%20Apr%2009%2016%3A41%3A10%20Pacific%20Daylight%20Time%201997www.geocities.com FALSE /SiliconValley/Heights/5550 FALSE 892165270 TimesHere 1.burstnet.com TRUE / FALSE 942189160 ad770a a.msn.com TRUE / FALSE 884652907 MSN2.0Splash 2.netscape.com TRUE / FALSE 946684799 NETSCAPE_ID 1000e010,106d6684.msn.com TRUE / FALSE 884656862 MSN2.0FS1.0 3ad.doubleclick.net FALSE / FALSE 942191940 IAF 2d0382eads.webwidemedia.com TRUE / FALSE 1893455999 uid 0x0.0xccb17281.cyberatlas.com TRUE / FALSE 946684799 IPRO_TAG 3305006047a0f7www.adwizards.com FALSE / FALSE 946684799 Apache sbd011129045856467629272Basically its tracking what sites I went to, and in some cases, what times and what specific pages I visited while there.

We have several hundred thousand visitors each month. I assure you we don't keep any database on those users except for subscribers to our emailed newsletter and they must fill out a voluntary form to receive that. Even people who play our online contest can do so anonymously—but they can't win a prize unless they give us their email and shipping address.

The information we get from cookies is all about accurate numbers. If you subscribe to any printed magazines or newspapers, their advertisers know more personal information about you through your subscription and credit card (if you used that to pay for it) then we or our advertisers know about you through cookies.

All you have to do is turn off the warning about cookies and your experience will be pleasant. The warnings are created by a preference you set. As more and more websites rely on commerce and advertising for survival and use multiple cookies, you will find it difficult to go anywhere without them being set repeatedly. Turn off the warnings and enjoy the web.

[Note: parts of this letter were also published in the October and November 1997 Letters to the Editor section at foodwine.com.]


Thomas Way


Copyright © 1998—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.