How To

Key ingredients for successful homemade jam or jelly - TheMessyBaker.com
Key Ingredients for Great Homemade Jam and Jelly

So, now that you have all the preserving equipment at hand, what goes into a delicious, properly set -- and safe -- batch of  jam or jelly? Other than a recipe written and tested post-1989? Not all that much. You actually require more equipment than ingredients...

Some items you'll need for preserving - TheMessyBaker.com
Essential Tools for Making Preserves | Jam and Jelly

I made my first batch of jam with nothing more specialized than two Dutch ovens and mismatched mason jars that had been collecting dust and dead spiders in the basement. Because I feared spiders more than bacteria, I put all my effort into sterilizing the...

Uses for parchment paper in the kitchen - TheMessyBaker.com
10 Reasons to Use Parchment Paper

Growing up, I always thought of parchment paper as something people wrote letters on. It involved a fountain pen and a blotter. It was all very romantic but had nothing to do with chocolate chip cookies and poached salmon. Times changed. Parchment crept into professional kitchens...

vanilla-glaze-drip
Rum Vanilla Extract and Butter Rum Shortbread

The vanilla extract on the left is full of seeds and has a whole pod in the bottle. The vanilla beans on the right are fresh, fragrant and supple enough to knot. Both products are Really Horrible. Seriously. They're from Really Horrible Enterprises located in Ottawa, ON. I...

How much salt do you need? - The Messy Baker
How to reduce salt and not feel deprived

[caption id="attachment_11629" align="alignnone" width="620"] Clockwise from top: Black salt, French grey salt, Himalayan pink salt, Persian blue salt[/caption] When I was a kid there were three kinds of salt in my little world: Rock, kosher and table. That was it. The only specialty salt was Morton's....

Solidified ghee - The Messy Baker
Homemade ghee

This is jar of freshly stained homemade ghee - pronounced GEE. It's clarified butter pushed to the edge. Done right,  it will reward you with golden brown, nutty goodness. Done wrong? Both you and the butter will end up weeping into the compostable waste bin....

garlic harvest-1
How to Grow Your Own Garlic
A friend has a theory that my family is part vampire. We are unnaturally pale and live a very, very long time. I am about to disprove this theory. I don't shrink at the sight of garlic. In fact, I grow it. This is garlic straight from my garden. It's shaggy and covered in dirt. Not at all like the pristine white bulbs you find in the supermarket.  It hasn't been trimmed or cleaned yet. I wanted you to see what it looked like straight from the earth. I started growing garlic a few years ago because the only option at the supermarket was spongy, bitter bulbs from 10,000+ kms away. I haven't looked back. And as with most things, I keep learning as I go.
clotted-cream
Homemade Clotted Cream

Shrove Tuesday doesn't have to include pancakes. Today is really about gorging on rich foods before the 40-day fast of Lent. Pancakes just happen to be cooked in grease, filled with eggs and topped with more decadence.  It's okay to think beyond the griddle. Any...

Different-pans-500
How to adjust pan size in baking

What's happening to me? The minute I went to photograph this dessert I thought, "Rats! I should have made the cobbler in a cast iron frying pan. It would have looked so much more rustic." Great. It's not enough that I'm criticized for being a food...

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