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April 9, 2009

Limes (Recipe: Mexican tortilla and lime soup)

Mexican tortilla and lime soup 

Ten years ago, Ted's aunt and uncle retired to a small town on the north shore of Lake Chapala, in central Mexico.

We love to visit. Great weather. Great food. Great location, in a town popular with artists and artisans, very traditional and yet just 45 minutes from Guadalajara, Mexico's second-largest city, with its four-story Mercado Central, museums, and culture.

Their house sits uphill from the center of town, where there's a small market for daily needs, and an outdoor farmers' market a few times a week. A short walk from their house, a storefront tortilleria sends the aroma of fresh corn tortillas into the neighborhood.

Even closer to home -- right out their back door, in fact -- Ted's aunt and uncle planted a couple of lime trees. When we visit, we sit outside on the patio, overlooking the lake, sipping limeade or something stronger, made with fresh lime juice.

You might be thinking, big deal, lime trees in the back yard. Believe me, when you live in New England, back yard lime trees are just a dream.

Continue reading "Limes (Recipe: Mexican tortilla and lime soup)" »

October 26, 2008

Water (Recipe: bailout bean soup) {vegan, gluten-free}


Guest post and photos by Marcia in Rhode Island.

Times a gettin’ hard boys,
Money’s gettin’ scarce.   

                ~1930s dustbowl tune by Lee Hays

Ours is a town of rock and water. Underground streams and pockets of water secreted within granite ledges supply our wells. Our water is pure, delicious, and abundant -- a fact which is appreciated by much of urban Rhode Island.

Today, in the early morning mist, I walked along the banks of a brook until I came to the river.  This river feeds the reservoir, which in turn supplies the drinking water for much of the state, though not for our town.

The essential ingredient of my pantry is not in a cupboard; it’s stored a couple of hundred feet underground. When asked, it races to the house at a breakneck pace of 22 gallons a minute.

Continue reading "Water (Recipe: bailout bean soup) {vegan, gluten-free}" »

October 9, 2008

How to preserve the harvest, even if it comes from the grocery store (Recipe: pear chutney)


Every year in May, Candy and Dave drive down from Boston to help me prepare and plant the herb garden.

Every Monday morning in summer, before sunrise and before my first cup of coffee, I toddle out into the garden in my pajamas and cut handfuls of herbs. After I wrap the cuttings in damp paper towels, Ted delivers them to Boston in what we've come to call our very own "herb CSA."

Every September, Candy and Dave return to harvest, cook, dry and freeze the fruits (and herbs) of our summer garden into pantry items we use all winter.

This year, on harvest day, we put up two types of pesto, mint jalapeño syrup -- and the hottest chutney this side of anywhere.

Continue reading "How to preserve the harvest, even if it comes from the grocery store (Recipe: pear chutney)" »

September 28, 2008

Shagbark hickory nuts (Recipe: maple nut cookies)


Guest post and photos by Marcia in Rhode Island

Shiny chartreuse spheres, dropping in our woods, send the squirrels scrambling. 

Bucket in hand, I’ve joined the melee. We’re vying for the sweetest of all hickory nuts, the shagbark.

Continue reading "Shagbark hickory nuts (Recipe: maple nut cookies)" »

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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