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October 18, 2014

Nutmeg: like or dislike?

Nutmeg

Welcome to a little game called Like or Dislike, with ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. Do you like, dislike, love, crave, despise, wish for, use in your own kitchen? The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell!

Nutmeg finds its way into cookies and cakes, eggnog and mulled wine, lasagne and sausages and haggis (which I am sure you make all the time). Too much, and you really notice the taste way at the back of your mouth; too little, and you know something's missing, but can't exactly figure out what. A friend's Italian grandmother adds a pinch of nutmeg to all recipes with dark leafy greens. I always put a pinch in my applesauce, because that's what my own grandmother used to do (part of the cinnamon-nutmeg-cloves trinity). Is nutmeg just an old-fashioned spice for grandmas, or is it a fixture on your spice rack?

Nutmeg: like or dislike?

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October 11, 2014

Ketchup: like or dislike?

Ketchup

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. Do you like, dislike, love, crave, despise, wish for, use in your own kitchen? The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell!

In the house where I grew up, ketchup occupied a place of honor in the refrigerator door. I ate everything with ketchup: eggs, burgers, chicken, and fish, and the occasional piece of calf's liver my mother tried to pass off as healthy food (the liver required an extra-large dose of ketchup). More recently, I've added it to Pad Thai (weird?), barbecue sauce (less weird) and turkey meatloaf (not at all weird). I still put ketchup on my cheese omelets, and I mix it with Greek yogurt to make a low-fat "Russian" dressing for salads. There's always a place for ketchup in my refrigerator door.

Ketchup: like or dislike?

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October 4, 2014

Balsamic vinegar: like or dislike?

Balsamic vinegar

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. Do you like, dislike, love, crave, despise, wish for, use in your own kitchen? The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell!

Can you remember a time before balsamic vinegar found its way into every salad dressing and sauce served at every restaurant everywhere? Talk about fifteen minutes of fame! Balsamic has enjoyed a decade of fame, or more, and with good reason. A splash on slices of fresh tomato and mozzarella cheese, or added right at the end of cooking a vegetable soup, tickles your taste buds and makes them take notice of what's in your mouth. It's certainly my go-to vinegar. Real balsamic is unbelieveably expensive, so balsamic condiment is what most of us buy. The best balsamic condiment tastes sweet and mellow. I could eat it by the spoonful.

Balsamic vinegar: like or dislike?

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September 27, 2014

Pumpkin: like or dislike?

Pumpkin puree

Welcome to Like or Dislike, where you get to share how you really feel about ingredients from the pantry, ingredients I'm thinking about adding to my pantry, other seasonal foods, even favorite cooking gear. Do you like, dislike, love, crave, despise, wish for, use in your own kitchen? The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell!

It's that time of the year. We've segued directly from tomato season to Halloween, and pumpkin is everywhere: pies, cakes, muffins, cookies, and bread. The pick-your-own pumpkin patches at local farms are open for business, and the end-of-the-aisle displays in my local market overflow with cans of pumpkin purée, on sale for prices so low I feel compelled to stash a few in the pantry. In my house, we're not huge pumpkin lovers -- apple pie wins out over pumpkin, any day -- so most of that canned pumpkin finds its way into soup. Our jack-o'-lanterns, whether amusing or terrifying, end up in the compost pile.

Pumpkin: like or dislike?

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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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