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December 9, 2008

Gifts for food lovers: Food! (Recipe: balsamic mustard)

Part Six of an eight-part series.


The holidays are still two weeks away.

Ted has just begun to make his list.

I've checked mine twice. Twice a week. For the past couple of months.

Whether you're more like Ted, who loves the excitement of last-minute shopping, or more a plan-ahead type like me, here are ten great ideas for gifts of food that will please the food lovers on your holiday list.

Continue reading "Gifts for food lovers: Food! (Recipe: balsamic mustard)" »

December 2, 2008

Gifts for food lovers: Books for cooks (Recipe: slow-roasted tomato pesto) {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Part Five of an eight-part series.


There are two schools of thought about giving cookbooks to people who love to cook.

Give the classics, the books that last forever.

Or, give the new, the trendy, the books that are hot hot hot right now, the books everyone is talking about, the books laden with photographs, printed on expensive paper, objets for a coffee table, the beautiful, irresistible cookbooks.

Me? I'm from both schools.

Continue reading "Gifts for food lovers: Books for cooks (Recipe: slow-roasted tomato pesto) {vegetarian, gluten-free}" »

November 25, 2008

Gifts for food lovers: Art and craft (Recipe: four-fold gratin)

Part Four of an eight-part series.


My little log house in Rhode Island is the old-fashioned kind, with lumpy-bumpy walls inside and out.

Some logs stick out more than others, as though trees were felled and simply piled up in a rectangle, holes cut here and there, until someone said, "Okay, that's enough -- let's put a roof on it!"

I know the construction wasn't quite that haphazard, but try hanging artwork on a log wall, and you'll know what I mean. Nails or hooks go into the logs that protrude; then the art must be shimmed out on the bottom to make it more-or-less level, or it looks like it's sliding down the wall. And you'd better like the height, because those protruding logs aren't always quite where you want them to be.

Except in the kitchen.

The kitchen has one long plastered wall. No lumps, no bumps, no logs. Perfect for art.

If the food lover in your life has an art wall, or an art corner, or a tiny space above the countertop for a little painting, here are gift ideas galore for art-loving foodies or food-loving artsies.

Continue reading "Gifts for food lovers: Art and craft (Recipe: four-fold gratin)" »

November 18, 2008

Gifts for food lovers: From travels near and far (Recipe: Suspiro de Limena)

Part Three of an eight-part series.

A strip of edible seeds of the Andes, from a market in Peru.

When I was growing up, my parents loved to take me to the theater.

Not the movie theater.

Broadway shows, and off-Broadway, and incredibly-far-off-Broadway, in unfamiliar neighborhoods and alternative spaces like the room behind the room behind a restaurant, or an empty warehouse with some folding chairs, or an elementary school auditorium or church basement. Going to the theater was an adventure.

In the years before there were half-price ticket booths, there were twofers. Two, for the price of one.

Scoring those twofer tickets required cunning and good luck, and when my parents found a twofer, we looked on it as a gift from the theater gods.

For the food lover in your life, a gift from your travels -- near or far or armchair -- can be a twofer, too.

Continue reading "Gifts for food lovers: From travels near and far (Recipe: Suspiro de Limena) " »

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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