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Reactive and non-reactive materials in your kitchen
What is a non-reactive pot or bowl

A lot of recipes, especially for jams and sauces, call for a non-reactive pot or bowl. When a recipe writer specifies a non-reactive vessel, we're not trying to be confusing or cryptic or sound like a know-it-all -- even if that's how we come off....

Dried peaches made in a food dehydrator - TheMessyBaker.com
8 Reasons to buy a Food Dehydrator

My bedroom closet houses clothes, shoes, a cat-clawed housecoat, my knitting needle collection and a food dehydrator. Too wide for our narrow pantry, this unit spends most of the year in a corner of my closet looking like an abandoned R2-D2 action figure on Boxing...

Apricot & Honey Jam - TheMessyBaker.com
Round-Up: Jam, Jellies and Marmalade Recipes

As the late-summer harvest reaches its peak, I've been covering the basics of homemade jams and jellies. Making delicious, well-set preserves isn't alchemy but you do need to have a few basic pieces of equipment and understand what's required to make jams safe. Below is...

How to tell if jam is set - TheMessyBaker.com
How to tell when jam is set

Even with a solid recipe, good ingredients and the right equipment, telling when a jam or jelly is set can be tricky. If you don't cook it long enough you can end up with fruit sauce. If you cook it too long you have a...

How to Sterilize and Process Preserves - TheMessyBaker.com
How to Sterilize and Process Jars for Preserves

For those who are coming late to this series on homemade preserves, you might want to read the two previous posts. 1. Essential Tools for Making Preserves  and 2. Key Ingredients for Great Homemade Jams and Jellies. For those, like me, who just want 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...

Maple-Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream -TheMessyBaker.com
Maple-Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream

Whoever perfected commercial buttermilk is part genius, part half-wit. On one hand, they found a way to mass produce a low-fat, tasty dairy product that makes loaves tender, muffins moist and scones split into perfection. On the other, they sell it in cartons with two...

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...

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