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June 15, 2014

Eight things I'd love to know about you (and The Perfect Pantry celebrates eight years)

The Perfect Pantry celebrates eight years!

Sarah, a real-life friend of many years, attended a dinner party a few weeks ago, where she complimented the host on one of the dishes served. The host offered to share the recipe, and when Sarah arrived home, she found it in her inbox. She burst out laughing, because the recipe was one from The Perfect Pantry! It made my day when she told me the story.

Recently, Susan, a long-time reader of the blog, emailed: "We came back from a delicious trip to Philadelphia searching for these beans. We had them in a Burmese restaurant, first in a salad with veg, then in a rice and bean dish, like a khichidi.  Have you had Burmese food?" (I have, but not often, and I've never seen these white beans. I love learning something new.)

Mary offered me her new recipe for gluten-free dough for grilled pizza. I'll share that with you soon.

Our eight-year birthday celebration on The Perfect Pantry!

A wonderful community has grown up around The Perfect Pantry. I realize it's become part of your life, as it has become part of my life over the past eight years. In some ways, those years have flown by. In other ways, not so much. The life of a food blogger isn't what it used to be.

When I penned my first post, about the garlic chicken on skewers recipe that started my food writing career, and the allspice -- right at the top of my alphabetical list of pantry ingredients -- that's fundamental to the chicken recipe, I didn't know anything about, well, anything. I knew how to cook, how to teach, and how to write, and I thought that if I just figured out how to put it on the internet, that would be enough.

Eight years later, my daily vocabulary includes these words: webmaster, social media, archives, rich pins, round-up, monetization, search engine optimization, analytics, Photoshop, platform, algorithm. I spend more time on all of those aspects of blogging than I do in the kitchen.

Food blogging in 2014 requires a much broader skill set than it did back in 2006, and as much as I occasionally resent the amount of time I need to spend doing things other than cooking and writing, I know it all creates a more rich and valuable experience for you.

And, really, it's all about you. You motivate me to learn more, create more, take better photographs, and work harder to make my recipes accessible. You inspire me to try new recipes, new foods, and new ways of cooking (hello, pressure cooker that has scared me for my entire life).

I say this every year, because it's true: You are the most important ingredient in The Perfect Pantry. And I'd love to know more about you.

Eight years of ingredients and recipes on The Perfect Pantry!

For my (blog) birthday present, I hope you'll take a moment to leave a comment with the answers to these eight questions:

Wooden spoon or rubber spatula

Coffee or tea

Hula hoop or frisbee

Chocolate or vanilla

Slow cooker (CrockPot) or Dutch oven

Cinnamon or cumin

Pizza or hamburger

Chicago or Los Angeles

Me: wooden spoon, coffee (lots of it; do not take my coffee from me), hula hoop, chocolate, slow cooker (a tough choice, because I love my Dutch oven, too), cumin, hamburger, Chicago (a wonderful food town, with great public art).

Thank you, one and all, for spending another year here.

PS: Last year, TW left a comment on my seven-year post asking whether the cauliflower "cake" was a real cauliflower, or a cake made to look like one. Let me head off that speculation for this year: the tomato is just a tomato. I still can't bake.

Do you like our birthday "cake"? Celebrate eight years with The Perfect Pantry.

Comments

Rubber spatula
Tea
Frisbee
Chocolate
Slow cooker
Cumin
Pizza
Chicago

Happy 8th, Lydia! That is quite an accomplishment! I only have 5 1/2 years under my belt and certainly agree with your statements on so much more being required of bloggers now. I'm not sure I have as positive an attitude as you do about it. ;-) I'm not sure that all that we do does create a better experience, but that's a discussion we can have in person one day. For now, I'm grateful for all you do for us here, and I don't agree that you can't bake. You do bake and have shared some great recipes in that area, too.

Love the quiz! Here are my answers: wooden spoon, tea, frisbee, chocolate, slow cooker (CrockPot), cumin, pizza, Chicago

Happy Blogiversary hugs to you!
Shirley

Love the site, check it daily, and use it most often of all cooking blogs!
wooden spoon, tea, neither but I guess Ill go with frisbee as you could throw it to a dog, chocolate, slow cooker, cumin, pizza, Chicago!

Happy Blogsary from rainy Manila!

Wooden spoon
Tea
Frisbee
Vanilla
Dutch oven
Cinnamon
Hamburger
Chicago

Wooden spoon for cooking and rubber spatula for baking.

Tea always and forever!

Neither- I need to move more muscles ;)

Vanilla please but I also like chocolate in small doses.

Dutch oven

Cumin!

Pizza please

I've never been to LA, Chicago was fun to visit.

rubber spatula

Coffee

Not good at either, sadly.

vanilla

Neither. Who's got the room?

Cinnamon - more versatile. it can be used in sweet and savory dishes

hamburger -without question

Chicago

> Wooden spoon or rubber spatula

yes. Both have their place.

> Coffee or tea

Tea.

> Hula hoop or frisbee

Frisbee.

> Chocolate or vanilla

Vanilla.

> Slow cooker (CrockPot) or Dutch oven

Can I choose a pressure cooker? Otherwise slow cooker.

> Cinnamon or cumin

Cumin

> Pizza or hamburger

Hamburger

> Chicago or Los Angeles

Chicago

Congratulations on 8 years and a lot of hard work! You inspire me.
wooden spoon - (but I use chopsticks a lot more)
coffee - (only the good kind and one cup a day)
frisbee - (I have a Border Collie so it's frisbee everyday)
Chocolate - (dark)
Dutch oven - (hands down)
cumin - (I got nothing)
pizza - (the thing I was craving when I came back from my trip to England)
Los Angeles - (although I love Chicago)

Wooden spoon

Coffee

Hula hoop

vanilla

Slow cooker (CrockPot)

Cinnamon

hamburger

Chicago

Happy 8th blogversary, Lydia! On the contrary, over the past 8 years I would say you have admirably pioneered in the world of baking! And there is a thing called a tomato soup cake, in case you're interested!

What a fun post, and congratulations on eight fantastic years! I do agree with you completely about all the other things that go into blogging these days, and some days I wish I could replace the words "social media" from my vocabulary. We can only hope that it's keeping us more mentally alert to have to keep learning new things, right?

Now for my answers:

rubber spatula, always!
Coffee
Hula hoop and frisbee both don't appeal to me.
Chocolate
Slow Cooker!
Cumin, love it
Pizza (although I don't indulge that often)
Los Angeles (because Rand is there!)

Eight years is site the accomplishment Lydia. I am sure I have followed you since the beginning. I hope to be reading the Perfect Pantry for many more years to come. Wooden spoon, tea, hula hoop, vanilla, Dutch oven, cumin, hamburger, Los Angeles.

Congratulations on 8 years of creativity!

Wooden spoon (I do love my rubber spatula and use it all the time when baking, but I have to say I use my wooden spoons more)

Coffee (no question! Can't get through a day without 3 cups of coffee!)

Hula hoop (fun!)

Chocolate (you even need to ask?)

Dutch oven (no slow cooker and LOVE our Dutch oven)

Cinnamon (cumin a lot, a very lot, but as a baker, cinnamon always)

Pizza

Chicago

It has been such a wonderful pleasure getting to know you, Lydia, and although your blog isn't flashy like so many these days (and how I hate all those buzz words and blogging as business), it is one of my favorite and you know why? The best recipes and your personality. Thank heavens your blog is still here. xo

Thank you for the many gifts you have given us over your 8 year (so far!) stint in the food-o-rama blog-o-sphere, and inspirations for us to try new things, too. I'm a pretty good cook, and i always see/learn something new to try.
My answers: silicone spatula and wooden cooking fork, coffee, frisbee, chocolate (>70% cocoa, aka the darker the better), crockpot, cinnamon, pizza (cracker-thin crust) and chicago (yes, i know most chicagoans don't do thin crust pizza, but oh well.).
Thank you again.

Congratulations on 8 years!

Wooden spoon or rubber spatula

Coffee

Frisbee

Chocolate

Dutch oven

Cumin

Hamburger

Chicago

Happy 8....Congrats!

Spatula; Coffee; Frisbee; Chocolate; Dutch Oven; Cumin (tough choice); Pizza (easy choice); Chicago (another tough choice)

Congratulations on your wonderful blog! Here's to many more years...Here are my answers.

Wooden spoon
Coffee
Frisbee
Chocolate
Dutch oven
Cumin
Pizza
Chicago or Los Angeles--can't decide!

Fabulous post, Lydia, and big hugs to you for an awesome accomplishment. Blogging is definitely not as is used to be but you're running on all cylinders with panache ;)
Rubber spatula
Coffee
Frisbee
Chocolate
Dutch Oven
Cinnamon
Pizza
LA

xoxoxo

Congratulations on 8 successful years! Well deserved, too. Your column is my favorite of them all--great recipes; down-to-earth and appealing, great photos, and your warm and happy personality.

Me? Spatula, coffee, frisbee, vanilla, Dutch oven, cinnamon, hamburger, and neither--I'm a small town gal, although Atlanta's okay.

Wooden Spoon
Coffee
Hula Hoop
Chocolate
Slow Cooker(when working, Dutch oven on weekends)
Cinnamon
Hamburger(anything on a pizza can be put on a burger)
Chicago(have family there)

Congratulations on The Perfect Pantry's 8th Birthday! I am not a regular commenter but I cook your recipes! I don't remember how I found you but I feel very, very lucky I did. You have deepened my food knowledge and enriched my cooking and food shopping with your very well written posts and recipes.

Here's to 8 more years!

wooden spoons AND spatulas
tea
hula hoop
vanilla
slow cooker but will use a Dutch oven
cinnamon
hamburger
Chicago (born and raised)

Lydia, HAPPY 8th BIRTHDAY to the Perfect Pantry and you! I'm so happy that you have persevered, and that you know all those new concepts - but for me the heart of your blog is just that: heart! Your passion for food, endless recipe testing, evocative writing, love of new information, and warm, enthusiastic voice makes yours the one blog I read regularly. I know that if you recommend a recipe, I can trust it.

When you ended Soup Chick, I shuddered as I thought of what I would feel if/when you end The Perfect Pantry -- I just don't want to go there! Thank you for all the time and passion you share with us.

Spatula for baking, wooden spoon for the rest

Tea -- black and strong, with milk and turbinado sugar

Hula hoop (fond memories of childhood - although mine was brown. Who gets a brown hula hoop?)

Chocolate

A few years ago, I would have said Dutch oven - but thanks to you, I now love them both!

Cinnamon. Cumin can be overused so easily - if I am going to use it, I use the seeds.

Pizza

I would love to go to Chicago and check out the food scene, especially Rick Bayliss. I would love to go to Los Angeles to eat at Susan Feninger's "Street."

Rubber Spatula, Tea, Frisbee, Chocolate, Slow Cooker, Cinnamon, Pizza and Los Angeles, mainly because have never visited Chicago and lived in the suburbs of L.A. for 50 yrs.
Always learning from your blog..... Thanks!

Happy 8th anniversary! I hope you enjoy the non-food bits of blogging too - I think SEO is a fascinating world.

Wooden spoon
Tea: masala chai any time!
Hula hoop
Vanilla
Slow cooker (CrockPot)
Cumin: I love cinammon too, but I use cumin more.
Pizza
Los Angeles

Congratulations on the birthday! You have no idea that you are one of best friends...(creepy, right?) I devour the posts on your blog daily, and your recipes never disappoint.

1. Both
2. Postum
3. Hula Hoop
4. Chocolate
5. Dutch Oven
6. Both (sounds weird, but the two of them mixed together and rubbed on baked chicken is delicious)
7. Pizza
8. Chicago (Joe's Stone Crab)

Wooden spoon, Coffee, frisbee, vanilla, Dutch oven, Cinnamon, Pizza, Chicago. But in these answers, like so much in life, nothing is absolute. There is nothing like hot tea on a cool rainy afternoon, or cumin infused mole, or that one perfect bite of rich, dark chocolate!

Happy Blogsary from sunny warm Honolulu, HI which has a 365 day/year growing cycle!

Wooden spoon.
Hawaiian grown coffee and Hawaiian grown tea.
Hula hoop was designed in CA and has nothing to do with HI or the Hawaiian hula.
Hawaiian grown best in world single estate chocolate and Hawaiian grown vanilla beans.
Enameled cast iron Dutch oven wins every time.
Hawaiian grown cinnamon.
Hawaiians love local free range grass fed hamburgers.
Chicago a great food city with a lot of local city parks.

Rubber spatula
Tea, love chai tea lattes
Hula hoop
Really good chocolate candy or ice cream, or vanilla ice cream with chocolate and coconut

Dutch oven
Cinnamon
Both burgers and pizza
Chicago

Congratulations on 8 years!

wooden spoon
coffee (morning, tea in afternoon)
frisbee
chocolate
dutch oven
cumin
pizza
Chicago - I live here

Happy Anniversary, Lydia. Love your blog, and especially enjoy your curries. My list:
Wooden spoon
I drink equal amounts of coffee and tea
No hula hoop or Frisbee
Vanilla
Slow cooker
Love both cinnamon and cumin
Pizza
Chicago

Congats
wooden spoon for stirring, spatula to get every drop.
neither I'm a diet soda and water drinker.
Frisbee (my mom's maiden name)
chocolate the darker the better.
Dutch oven
Cinnamon
Pizza
Chicago

Congratulations on your anniversary!


rubber spatula

Coffee

Hula hoop

vanilla

Slow cooker (CrockPot)

cumin

Pizza

Chicago

Congratulations on eight years, Lydia. Eight years! Amazing longevity in this fast-changing world. I wish you many more, and I will be along for the ride.

To cook, wooden spoon. To bake, rubber spatula.
Coffee
Frisbee. I can't keep a hula hoop on my hips for love or money.
Vanilla
Slow cooker
Tough choice. I love cumin. Love it. But cinnamon is definitely more versatile.
Pizza
I've been to neither, but one of my sons live in Los Angeles so I'll go with that.

What a wonderful Blog you have created, Lydia. Happy Birthday!
Wooden spoon
Tea
Frisbee
Vanilla
Dutch oven
Cumin
Hamburger
Los Angeles: So much to explore! (and my kids live in LA)

Happy Blog Anniversary Lydia - what a huge accomplishment in this new age of blogging!

Wooden spoon for baking; rubber spatula for cooking
Coffee in the morning; herbal tea in the evening
Wish I could keep a hula hoop up on my hips like I did when I was a kid
Slow cooker for chili; dutch oven for braises
Tie between cumin and cinnamon
Pizza
Haven't eaten in Chicago or LA, but I'll got with LA because I want to visit

YAY! 8 fantastic years of helping me look good in the kitchen!

Wooden spoon for stirring, spatula for baking!
I love coffee, but because I love cream in my coffee, I try to drink some tea since I drink it black...
Frisbee... can't hulahoop to save my life!
Chocolate goes with EVERYTHING!
Slow cooker because it helps with the busy... Dutch oven because it's so much better!
Cinnamon... it goes better with chocolate!
Pizza... more options
I've been to neither,but Chicago is on the bucket list for the jazz/blues.

Thanks for 8 great years and best wishes for many, many more!

happy birthday from barcelona, lydia!

wooden spoon

tea

hula hoop

chocolate

slow cooker

cinnamon

pizza

??? never been to the USA! (Chicago or Los Angeles)

Thanks for all of your hard work!

Wooden spoon

tea - hot, even in hot weather

frisbee

Chocolate- dark

Dutch oven - cast iron

cumin

Pizza - homemade

Chicago - over L.A., but San Fran over Chicago

rubber spatula
tea
frisbee
Chocolate
Slow cooker
Cinnamon
Pizza
Los Angeles

Happy 8th Birthday! My answers:
Wooden spoon...primarily because I have some that belonged to my grandmother.
Tea...herbal
Hula hoop...I was really good at that and it's great exercise
Chocolate...enough said
Dutch oven...you can bake, fry, stew and braise in it
Cinnamon...it's good in almost everything
Pizza...ate some of the best in Naples and Rome
Chicago...great food, great art, great shopping

Congrats on 8 years! I was just having this same sort of thought. It was so much easier in 2007 when I started blogging!

wooden spoon
hula hoop
chocolate (of course!)
slow cooker
cumin
pizza
Chicago

Wooden spoon or rubber spatula - rubber spatula

Coffee or tea - iced for both!

Hula hoop or frisbee - frisbee


Chocolate or vanilla - chocolate

Slow cooker (CrockPot) or Dutch oven - crockpot inside, dutch oven outside - I can make a killer chocolate cake on charcoal!

Cinnamon or cumin - cinnamon

Pizza or hamburger - pizza - from a bakery - in a town less than 500 (no joke, I dream about it sometimes)

Chicago or Los Angeles - Chicago


Wooden spoon or rubber spatula

Coffee or tea

frisbee

vanilla

Dutch oven

Cinnamoncumin :-)

Pizza

Chicago

Congratulations on 8 years - love your blog!
Wooden spoon or rubber spatula - both
Coffee
Hula hoop
Chocolate (dark)
Dutch oven
cumin
Pizza
Los Angeles

Happy Blog Birthday!

Silicone spatula (except when I'm making my famous caramels, once a year.)

Hot Coffee in the morning, Iced Tea during the day.

Frisbee

vanilla shake, dark chocolate candy

Krock Pot (because that's our name) AND Dutch oven (outside with coals because we're a Scout family.)

Cinnamon

Hamburger

Los Angeles because I have lived within 60 miles of LA my entire life.

Spatula, Coffee, No opinion hula hoop or Frisbee, Chocolate (Dark), Crock Pot and Dutch Oven, Cinnamon, Pizza, Chicago

Late to the quiz, sneaking into the back row!
Your absolute loyalty to your readers is so appreciated!

I have many wooden spoons and 1 well worn fork; also love the new silicon spatulas; likely to use both daily.
Tea, made well from bulk.
Hula hoop for my grand children - I never could!
Vanilla, but I wouldn't turn down chocolate.
Got a new Dutch oven (2, lg and larger) - using the smaller one frequently. 35 year old Crock Pot, used seldom.
Cumin - we love 'dirty feet'
Pizza - canvas for playing with food.
Chicago - been once, would love to return

Wooden Spoon
Tea
Hula-hoop
Vanilla
Dutch oven
Cumin
Hamburger
Sorry but neither wins - the winner for me is New Orleans (my hometown) wins every time. (still the best food town I've ever been to)

I love your blog. As does my husband - he just doesn't know that's where his favorite sauces come from.

Wooden spoon

Coffee

Hula hoop

Chocolate

Dutch oven

Cinnamon

Pizza

Chicago

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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