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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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One year into my volunteering life, everything feels right, feels focused, feels balanced. It's taken the best part of this Trumpian year to bring all of the pieces together, and in that time, while still howling at the sky every day, I've come to know myself a bit better, and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lydia Likes It
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The women who created the pink pussyhat project just wrapped up Welcome Blanket, which posed this question to knitters, crocheters, and sewing mavens everywhere: "The proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico is almost 2000 miles long. Imagine if the massive distance of this wall was re-conceptualized and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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On our third trip to Japan a couple of months ago, we wanted to focus not on shrines and temples and impossibly beautiful scenery, though we did see all of those, but on friends and experiences. In the friends department, we are blessed to have known Rika for more than... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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When you commit to an issue and open your heart, all sorts of opportunities find their way in. And so, next week, my husband Ted and I will be at Faneuil Hall to help MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, of which the International Institute of New England is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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I have a thing for brightly colored trucks. This one (seen at a roadside stop in rural Fukui prefecture in Japan), with attachments and hoses here and there and everywhere, looks like it's ready to take on any task. I love the gold ladder on top, too. Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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I'd completely forgotten the thrill of seeing my name on the cover of a book for the very first time. When I showed Amanda, from the Boston Living Center, the cover of the book she has spent so many months putting together, and which I have helped them produce, I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Every Thursday, my husband Ted picks up empty 50-pound paper flour bags from Flour Bakery's commissary, and delivers the bags to Bikes Not Bombs, where volunteers use them to pack bicycle parts to ship to nonprofit organizations in Africa and Central America. Flour Bakery is famous citywide (worldwide?) for its... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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My husband Ted and I bought our first Poäng chair at least 25 years ago, and a few weeks ago we bought this one, which I believe is at least the fifth Poäng we've owned. (Our decor changed over the years, but the chairs would have lasted forever, except for... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Turquoise, the color of stones in beautiful jewelry made by many Southwest Indian artists, seems completely at home on this old pick-up we saw in Raton, New Mexico. Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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Organizations like the International Institute of New England constantly adjust their programming to best meet the needs of current students -- and that means that volunteers have to adjust, too. For me, that means no more computer lab. Now, I'm tutoring, which means doing similar work, without the laptops. After... Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2017 at Lydia Likes It
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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 May 23, 2017 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