First published in 2012, this updated collection of great asparagus recipes now includes recipes from the past four years that are more than worthy of a place on any "best of" list. Once upon a time, I had a friend named Mary who ate only the tips of asparagus. I've always been more of a stem gal, so we were the perfect dinner companions. I thought our friendship might last forever, but as things turned out, asparagus preferences weren't enough to keep us together. Just as well, actually, as I've come to love every bit of the asparagus, and now I'd be reluctant to behead all of my spears for the sake of friendship. Asparagus season here in New England lasts for only six or... Read more →

Change: like or dislike? I love change. In the eleven months since The Perfect Pantry moved to smaller urban digs from a large space at the log house, I've made a few changes. The Downsizing forced me to consider every ingredient in the pantry -- would it come with us, or would it go -- and easier access to markets in my new neighborhood gave me options I didn't have before. A few of the ingredients I've been using lately have achieved "official" status as part of The Perfect Pantry, and I wanted to share those with you. And because change is good, I've also made a few changes here on the blog. Greek seasoning has become my go-to spice for everything from salad dressing... Read more →

Every January for the past nine years, I've asked readers of The Perfect Pantry to think about how we all might do more to end hunger, and specifically childhood hunger, in the months ahead. This year, things are different. No, we have not solved the problem of hunger for the more than 16 million children in this country who don't get the food they need to grow and thrive. In fact, in this presidential election year, we're not talking very much about children, or nutrition, or education, or seniors or poverty or food deserts or school lunch programs or GMOs or healthy meals for families. Sadly, we're not talking loudly enough about the epidemic of gun violence, either, and how it might relate to childhood... Read more →

In a world gone ever so slightly mad recently, we wish you all the happys of the season: happy turkey, happy stuffing, happy over-the-top side dishes, happy leftovers, happy football watching, happy football playing, happy playing in fallen leaves, happy building new memories, happy quiet moments for reading, happy sharing with neighbors. Happy Thanksgiving, from our new home in the city to your home. Read more →

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 of our favorite meatless, gluten-free Thanksgiving side dishes listed in somewhat alphabetical order. Some are vegan, some are not, but all can be adapted for... Read more →