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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
For the first time in six years, except for the months when I had to take some time off in early 2020, I found myself between ESOL classes in February and March. I've been volunteering as a teaching assistant in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at several... Continue reading
Posted 8 hours ago at Lydia Likes It
My name is Lydia, and I'm an addict. I admit it; I'm addicted to Japanese barbecue sauce, to this one in particular. If you haven't tried Bachan's, be warned: this is the stuff of which the most yummy dreams are made. Bachan means "granny" in Japanese, and that's the first... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Lydia Likes It
Do you like surprises? Do you like to discover the undiscovered? Do you love art in all shapes and sizes? The Art Post, based in Sheffield, England, is a community of art curators, showcasing emerging artists and their iconic work, on postcards! Four times a year, they send four postcards... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
Nothing compares to a handmade gift. I remember every afghan my grandmother crocheted for me, and the sweater my mother made to match my Brownies uniform, and the variegated scarf with a pocket in one end that my husband Ted knit for me. What happens to projects left unfinished when... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming an artist, though I exhibited absolutely no talent for painting or drawing. Now, in retirement, I have time to revisit and experiment. Could my childhood dream come true for the adult price of only $18.99? Domestika might be... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
When a children's book wins every award -- Caldecott, Newbery, New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year, APALA and dozens more -- you know it's one to add to your grownup library. Here's a note from the publisher about Watercress, by Andrea Wang: "While driving through Ohio in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
Here's one of the best ideas I've read about in a long time (in The Boston Globe, my hometown newspaper). In Zimbabwe, Dr. Dixon Chibanda was one of only 15 psychiatrists in the entire country, and the mental health needs of most of the population were going unmet. Dr. Chibanda... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
The first time I made this stew, perhaps 20 or more years ago, I cooked it in a ceramic tagine hand made by my potter friend Bob Fishman. I shared the recipe on The Perfect Pantry in 2015, and made it again recently with my friend Liz. We cooked it... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
Have you seen these chairs? We have, at the Lower Mills Branch of the Boston Public Library. We've seen them, and tried them on, and they are absolutely perfect reading chairs -- and we want them. The backs are high enough to lean your head on, while you're pretending to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
Some songs stick in my head for weeks at a time, and I've decided it's time to reward those songs with an award, in thanks for the hours of joy they've given me. David Clayton-Thomas wins this week's Earworm Award for And When I Die, a favorite from the 1960s... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
Why not make a new year's resolution (it's not too late) to take better care of our planet? Good Filling helps you do your part, by providing an easy way to refill your own containers with dish soap, hand soap, laundry detergent and all-purpose cleaner from on-site sanitization stations (there's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
[I first posted this on The Perfect Pantry on May 1, 2011, but as today is my birthday, I thought you might enjoy this story about a gift I gave to myself. If you go to the original post, there are more photos.] Early on a January morning, two weeks... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
For the first few years after retirement, my husband Ted spent most of his time volunteering in the bicycling community with a nonprofit organization called Bikes Not Bombs. BnB concentrated on two areas: bike programs for Boston youth; and international donation of used bikes and bike parts to countries in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
My family loves jigsaw puzzles. For my husband Ted, the minimum size is 800 or 1,000 pieces, or more. I've bought him every style, every color, every pattern, but this year for the holidays, I had a custom jigsaw puzzle made by PuzzleYOU. He chose a favorite photo, one he... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2023 at Lydia Likes It
Yes, it's a real thing, and how lucky we Bostonians are to have it. The Museum of Bad Art collects and preserves "art too bad to be ignored," like this painting titled Cat's Mouth. My favorite thing about the Museum is the very serious and thoughtful captioning that accompanies the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
Trust a LEED Gold building to feature eco-friendly art in its lobby. The Living Green Wall, which reflects my apartment building's commitment to a sustainable environment, combines jade pothos, philodendron brasil, and neon pothos plants. It offers a range of benefits, including natural air filtration, VOC (volatile organic compounds) removal,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
Mesmerizing. I just love this. (You might need to click on the play button twice.) Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
Have you ever wondered what 886 recycled bamboo chopsticks, sanitized, trimmed, and squeezed under pressure, might look like? Check out this beautiful cutting board from ChopValue, a company whose mission is to redefine the term waste to resource, one chopstick at a time. I learned about this from the Reasons... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
If I could live for one day in someone else's brain, I'd choose Andy Borowitz as my brain host. It takes a special kind of person to find humor in today's political climate. Borowitz, a writer for The New Yorker, is exactly that special. A Harvard-educated American writer, comedian, satirist... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
In the past 10 years, I've become quite the football nerd. (Soccer, not American football.) It started with trying to keep up with my husband Ted, who's long been quite the football nerd, but it quickly morphed into a nerdiness all my own. So it's my duty to remind you... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
Old friends Steve Winwood and Eric Clapton, singing Blind Faith's Can't Find My Way Home in 2010, 41 years after they first recorded it. A bit more mellow, perhaps, but as seductive an earworm as the original version. I love the little smiles they share. I'll get stuck on a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
Once upon a time, when we still lived in Boston's South End, my husband Ted and I served our community as its only little free librarians. Ted built our library out of scrap wood and pieces of an old Nordic Track, with help from his friend Matt, and painted "make... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
Every few months, I cast a critical eye over how I'm spending my volunteer hours. Does this class feel like a good fit? Am I putting enough time into the postcard group? Should I be making more welcome blankets for refugees? Rather than immersing myself in one project or commitment,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
I'm no artist. (Don't make me prove it.) I can't paint or draw, but I do like to create simple collages by cutting and ripping things up, so I'm drawn to the work of collage artists who use the two-dimensional form in a more sophisticated way to show movement and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2022 at Lydia Likes It
If you have a senior cat, or a cat who vomits a lot, you've got to try these elevated, tilted food bowls from Luck Dawn. Gyllen, my 15-year-old sweetie, adores these side-by-side bowls, one filled with dry food, the other with wet food; he likes to graze and go back... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2022 at Lydia Likes It