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Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
A small city kitchen in Boston's South End
Since 2006, food blogging at The Perfect Pantry®, for the first 9 years from my log house kitchen, and now from my city apartment. Publishing e-cookbooks from The Perfect Pantry® kitchen.
Interests: travel, cooking, reading, photography, art (seeing and making), trying to get tomatoes to grow in my herb garden.
Recent Activity
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For the more than 200 gardeners tending 151 small rectangles of land in the Berkeley Community Garden, two blocks from my house, their gardens provide space to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, and beautiful flowers, and also provide respite from the hard surfaces of this urban neighborhood. Our location in a... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lydia Likes It
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In the volunteering life, some weeks exhilarate me, leaving me with a great sense of purpose and the knowledge that I have helped someone in all the ways I'd hoped I could. Other weeks don't work out quite that way, and during those weeks, I remember that refugees and immigrants... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
In Boston, there's no such thing as too much Riverdance. This clip is my favorite, from all of the versions that have played in Boston: a tap challenge. Go ahead and smile. Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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In this age of instant, some things still take time. If you are the type of person who wants to find one organization to which you will devote all of your volunteer efforts, it might take months, as it did with my husband Ted, who happily gives his energy to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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When you have replacement parts, like my two artificial hips, you can't just walk through the metal detectors in airports, museums, or government buildings. One thing that makes the process easier is to wear a medical alert bracelet that isn't metal. I discovered these customizable silicone (rubber) bracelets from the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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My volunteering life resembles a giant jigsaw puzzle, with the number of puzzle pieces constantly in flux. Unless you have my calendar sitting on your desk, it might be hard to keep track of what I'm doing these days. So, three months in, I thought I'd recap for you what... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
Boston hosts the most amazing variety of performances, thanks to an engaged and educated population, a ginormous university community, and the presence of some of the top music schools in the country (Berklee, New England Conservatory of Music, etc.). World Music/Crash Arts gets the highest marks for diversity, accessibility, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Most women spend a lifetime, and a small fortune, searching for the perfect travel pocketbook. It should be lightweight, water-resistant, filled with pockets inside and out, and easy to carry flat against your body. A great color doesn't hurt, either. Enter the Baggallini Everywhere Crossbody Bag. I love it so... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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A couple of months after meeting with Victory Programs at the Boston Living Center, I received an unexpected email from the volunteer coordinator. Would I be interested in helping them produce a cookbook? Ironic, because I'd just published what I assumed would be my last-ever cookbook, The Very Best Recipes... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
When music, dance, and amazing athleticism come together, there is nothing more beautiful to watch. Of course, if the location is Boston, and the music is Irish, it's got to be special. Sheer entertainment! Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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On the day I found this on Facebook, it gave me a ladder to climb out of a deep funk. How about you? Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Once I realized that I was no longer averse to working on hunger relief and food and nutrition issues, I reached out to an old flame: Cooking Matters, the direct service arm of Share Our Strength, one of the nation's most successful hunger relief organizations, and one with a very... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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If you have a six-year-old granddaughter who thinks your phone is her personal Game Boy, you'll love these screen cleaners. One side is sticky and adheres to the back of your phone or case; the other side is a microfiber "cloth" that wipes the fingerprints right off your screen. You... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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On my first day as an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) conversation group assistant at Project Hope, an agency that serves low-income mothers, I worked with two women in an intermediate-level class. One, from the Dominican Republic, has three young children, and wants to study to become a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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On the Saturday of my ESOL training (English for Speakers of Other Languages) with the Boston Cares Corps, I arrived at a community center in Dorchester with forty volunteers of all ages and from all backgrounds. We spent the morning in small groups, some focused on English classes, and others... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Da-da-dum-dum-da-da-da-da-dum-dum-dum. If you were a devotee of The West Wing, Aaron Sorkin's brilliant and prescient television series that had a seven-season run beginning in 1999, you will love The West Wing Weekly. Every week, the podcast dives deep into one episode of the show, beginning with the very first episode... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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When I began to build this volunteering life, I put working with adult literacy at the top of my list. Boston Cares responded to my inquiry about ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) conversation and classroom groups with an invitation to an all-day training program for new ESOL Corps... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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At the women's college I attended, everyone knit, everywhere: in class, in the dorms, at the movies, in the pub. For years after college, I would seek out the most interesting yarns I could find, in local shops or at craft fairs, or while traveling, and I'd make scarves and... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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While I really enjoy drop-in computer lab at the International Institute of New England, my two-hour-a-week obligation doesn't fill me up. I've let the volunteer manager know that I'm interested in doing some classroom assisting in the English for Employment program, but the agency doesn't have any slots available right... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Today's most insightful and aggressive political reporting isn't the exclusive domain of The New York Times, or The Washington Post, or NPR or MSNBC. You'll find topnotch political coverage in Teen Vogue, a magazine that feeds a girls-under-21 demographic with a steady diet of fashion, beauty and entertainment content, but... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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After a month of feeling completely over my head at the drop-in computer lab at the International Institute of New England, I finally realized something. It's okay to not know everything. I'm learning along with the students, and while I can help them with some things, like reading what's on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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On a recent visit to Washington DC, everyone told me it would be impossible to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest gem in the Smithsonian Museum's crown, without having procured passes months earlier. Admission is free (as are all of the Smithsonian museums --... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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In the past, my volunteer activities, mostly in the area of hunger relief, centered on my professional skills as a writer and editor and, to a lesser degree, as a cooking teacher and recipe developer. I always felt on fairly firm ground, confident about what I had to offer. On... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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I am one of the hundreds of thousands of people who, on Cyber Monday, bought an Instant Pot, a multifunction electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and all around miracle gizmo. I'd been using an electric pressure cooker for a couple of years, and a slow cooker... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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On their web site, the International Institute of New England fit all of my requirements for the perfect volunteer gig. (I can walk to their Chinatown offices, and their primary work involves refugee resettlement, cultural orientation, and English for Employment classes for adult learners.) I filled out an online form... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at Lydia Likes It