About The Perfect Pantry® and how to use it


Hi! My name is Lydia Walshin. In 2015 I moved back to Boston's South End, where my husband Ted and I, empty-nesters with two cats, live in a small apartment with a tiny kitchen, and a miniscule (yet very close to perfect) pantry.

When I started this blog, we were living in rural northwest Rhode Island, five miles from the nearest convenience store and ten miles from the nearest supermarket. My pantry consumed shelves and shelves in the cellar as well as the kitchen; after all, it's hard to cook if you have to spend half an hour or more in the car to pick up any ingredients you've forgotten.

Now, in the city, within several blocks of our apartment, we have an Asian supermarket, a cheese shop, a Syrian grocery store, and a small market with fantastic produce. We're so grateful. And my pantry has downsized a bit, because space in the kitchen is limited, and replenishments are right around the corner.

For the past 25 years I've been a food writer, and I've been a writer, mostly for nonprofit organizations, for my entire career. I've been writing The Perfect Pantry since June 2006. You can go back to the beginning and read every post, starting here.

About The Perfect Pantry®

The Perfect Pantry features more than 250 pantry ingredients used in everyday cooking -- common ingredients like salt, pepper, butter, flour -- and ingredients fundamental to a wide range of ethnic cuisines.

I write about and photograph the actual things I keep in my pantry -- the brands and sources I prefer and purchase over and over again -- and each post includes a recipe using ingredients from the pantry, combined with fresh ingredients like vegetables, meat and fish. Many of the recipes are my own; others come from or are inspired by cookbooks, web sites, chefs, friends and tradition.

I don't accept free samples or write posts paid for by companies who want to promote their products. Every ingredient I write about on this blog is something I've bought.

How to use this site

  • If you have a spice or grain or other ingredient in your pantry and don't know what to do with it, use the search box at top right to find several recipes for any of the more than 250 pantry ingredients I keep on hand.
  • If you're looking for a specific recipe or recipe ideas, use the Recipe Index (recipes by main ingredient, by type, or by cuisine) in the bar at the top of the page.
  • For a list of everything in my pantry today, click The Ingredients at the top of the page.

Questions about ingredients

One of the ways I learn is by trying to answer your questions. When I don't know the answer, I'll read and ask and find the answer for you, or refer you to a more qualified source.

The best way to ask questions is to leave a comment on the relevant post. However, if your question is off the topic of a specific post, please post your question on our Facebook page or email to me at lydia AT theperfectpantry DOT com.

Comments and replies

Do you like something I've written about an ingredient? Does the recipe appeal to you? Do you have your own recipe for the ingredient, or a twist on the standard? Did I make a mistake in a recipe? Do you know more about the ingredient, to add to our knowledge? Please share your feedback in the comments. Not only does it let me know that you're enjoying and finding good information in the post; it also opens the conversation to other readers.

If you leave a substantive comment or ask a question about the post or the recipe, I'll always respond publicly, in the comments. I respond to some comments by email, too. Please know that  I appreciate, more than you can imagine, the time you take to write and share your thoughts and enthusiasm and feedback.

While I welcome comments that might not agree with something I've written, I request that comments be polite and considerate of others. Comments that contain profanity or nastiness or are rude to others will be deleted. Comments the sole purpose of which is to promote your web site or other commercial venture will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be blocked. My blog, my rules.

Comments are moderated, which means I have to approve them before publication. I'm sorry to have to do this, but the blog gets a huge number of spam comments every day, and I don't think you should have to read them.


Thank you so much for visiting The Perfect Pantry.



About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

Never miss a recipe

Find an ingredient, find a recipe

My best recipes

It's soup weather!

Shop here

  • Start your Amazon shopping here, and your purchases help support this site. Thank you.

Beat the drum

My Photo

Find me here too

Syndicated on BlogHer.com
Blog powered by Typepad