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December 4, 2007

All-purpose flour (Recipe: sweet potato latkes) {vegetarian}

Updated December 2011.

Sweet-potato-latkes

For the most part, I don't believe in "one size fits all," because I am a size and shape that one size never seems to fit.

And while in my pantry I have half a dozen types of flour -- surprising, given that I'm a notorious bake-o-phobe -- the one I reach for more often than not is "one size fits all," also known as all-purpose flour.

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December 12, 2006

Peppercorns (Recipe: Grandma's beef brisket) {gluten-free}

Peppercorns

With apologies to Sesame Street (go ahead and sing along — you know the tune):

Three of these things belong together,
Three of these things are kind of the same.
Can you guess which peppercorn is not a pepper,
Even though it has the same name?

If you guessed pink, you're a star! Black, white and green peppercorns are all fruit of the same plant (Piper nigrum), picked at different stages and processed in different ways. Pink peppercorns are the fruit of Schinus terebinthifolius, cultivated only since the 1980s.

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October 30, 2006

Kasha/buckwheat groats (Recipe: kasha varnishkes) {vegetarian}

Kasha

The Ninecooks World Cuisine Cooking Group — yes, nine of us! — gathers in my kitchen every six weeks or so, to explore the cuisine of a different country or region.

This week, we were off to western Russia, with recipes from Moldavia, Byelorussia (aka "White Russia"), and Georgia. And, though most of the recipes were new to me, I included one from my own family's heritage: kasha varnishkes.

Kasha is buckwheat kernels that have been stripped of their inedible outer coating and crushed into smaller pieces, and then toasted in oil to bring out the nutty flavor. While many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it's actually a fruit seed related to rhubarb and sorrel.

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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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