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December 20, 2014

Candy canes: like or dislike?

Candy canes, from publicdomainpictures.net.

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. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Candy canes. The ultimate stocking stuffers and tree ornaments. Do you chew them, crush them, suck on them? Do you buy the small ones in strips, or the large ones that last a week? Candy canes weren't part of my childhood -- we went more for chocolate Chanukah "gelt" -- but I love to decorate holiday gifts and fill our grandkids' stockings with them. Offer me a mug of steaming hot cocoa with a candy cane stirrer on a cold winter night, and I'm a happy camper. Do candy canes bring back childhood memories for you? Are they part of your holiday tradition?

Candy canes: like or dislike?

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December 13, 2014

Cinnamon: like or dislike?

Cinnamon

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. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Ah, the aroma of cinnamon. Can there be winter holidays without it? In everything from mulled wine, to spice cakes, to beef stew (yes, really!), the scent of cinnamon evokes snowy days, nights in front of the fireplace, and gatherings of family and friends. Cinnamon is considered a "warm" spice, but really good cinnamon has a bit of a peppery undertone. Do you remember the difference between cinnamon and cassia? (Hint: it's all in the quills.) Which do you prefer?

Cinnamon: like or dislike?

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December 6, 2014

Microplane graters: like or dislike?

Microplane graters, the perfect stocking stuffer for the cook in your life.

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. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

Are you a Microplane fan? I have six -- yes, six -- Microplane graters. Some are rasp-shaped, like the ones in the photo; others are more paddle-like. I can't even remember how I grated anything before these clever kitchen tools came along. There's a small-holed one for zesting lemons or grating whole nutmeg. For grating parmesan cheese, I use the larger-holed model. Shredded carrots? Yes. Potatoes? Of course. Chocolate? You bet! Microplanes make perfect stocking stuffers, and now they come in many colors. I'm sure my dad had something like this, without the fancy handles, in his workshop, but I never thought to use it in my kitchen. I feel slightly disloyal to my old box grater, but I'm a Microplane girl now.

Microplane graters: like or dislike?

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November 29, 2014

Chocolate: like or dislike?

Chocolate

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. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.

There are chocolate people, and there are vanilla people. Everyone I know is one or the other. I am a chocolate person, through and through. I don't eat a lot of it, but when I have a craving for a chocolate bar, or hot chocolate, or chocolate frozen yogurt, nothing else will satisfy me. And let's not forget that chocolate is good for you, in many ways.

Chocolate: like or dislike?

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  • 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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