Yes, you're in the right place -- it's The Perfect Pantry, with a fresh, new look. We're marching into the future, with a design called "responsive" that works better for all readers, on desktop computers, tablets, and smartphones. If you have more than one device, you'll see the slight changes from one to the other. The navigation tabs, a.k.a. the list of contents, are now at the top of the page on desktops and tablets, and under the three bars at the top left if you're reading this on your phone. All of your favorite recipes are still here; they're just easier to read. Please be patient as we tweak a little bit to make sure everything works the way it should, and let us know if anything is really wonky. Now, look around, and have fun!

Do you remember Norman Rockwell's painting "Freedom from Want"? Also called The Thanksgiving Picture, it depicts mom (or grandma) carrying a large turkey on a platter to the holiday table, around which the entire smiling family waits eagerly for the turkey carving to begin. That was 1942, but today, no holiday host gets off as easily as that. Where are the vegetarian alternative, the vegan and gluten-free side dishes, the tofurkey? Where's the stuffing made without cornbread? Where are the mashed potatoes made without milk for the dairy-free guests? Good grief, Thanksgiving is challenging! We're here to help, with ten... Read more →


After ten years of soup recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, do you still need proof that combining any fresh ingredient -- fruit, vegetables, sausage or leftover turkey -- with a well-stocked pantry will produce a very fine soup? You can do it, and do it without a recipe; the secret is to be fearless and plunge right in. That's the way this sausage and black bean soup started out, but it ended up being so good that I'm glad I took notes as I was making it, so you can replicate it in your own kitchen. The soup began... Read more →


[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, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell.] Even if I didn't live in the part of the country that ships cranberries from the local bogs to markets everywhere, I'd still be a huge fan of dried cranberries. Cleverly named "craisins", because they're soft and wrinkly just like raisins, dried cranberries can add... Read more →


Many years ago, my husband Ted and I joined his sister and her friends for a Thanksgiving meal at a lakeside cottage in the Ontario (Canada) countryside. It was a bit of a potluck, and because we were from out of town, we were assigned celery and carrot sticks as our contribution. At first, I thought it wasn't much to ask of us, but when we arrived, we found that our little plate of celery sticks was the only green thing on the table. All brown --turkey, gravy, potatoes and more potatoes -- and orange (carrots and sweet potatoes), and... Read more →


My husband Ted and I maintain a Little Free Library on the front stoop of our Boston home. Little Free Libraries, more than 32,000 of them around the world, are free community book exchanges where anyone can take a book, and then return it or pass it on, and leave another book for someone else to enjoy. We opened our library in July, and it's become hugely popular, with some neighbors stopping by every day to see if new books have come in, or to leave books in the library for others. One man came almost the first day, and... Read more →


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, and favorite cooking gear. The things you like are sure to find their way to the recipes here on The Perfect Pantry, so do tell. Oh, how I wish I lived in the southwestern part of the country, where canned Hatch chile peppers are the norm. Here in the Northeast, I always find four-ounce cans of roasted green chiles from Ortega (or other similar brands) at the supermarket, and I... Read more →


You never know who's coming to Thanksgiving dinner, and what food allergies or aversions they might bring along. Vegans, gluten-free, dairy-free -- I've hosted them all, and often at the same meal. The holiday table can be a minefield for the cook! It's great to have a few please-all side dishes on the menu. This cabbage with warm dressing takes minutes to prepare (the cabbage can be shredded ahead of time), and it's free of gluten, dairy, meat, nuts -- free of everything except flavor. Cabbage is undervalued on the holiday table; it's economical, easy to prepare, and adapts well... Read more →