“I stand on a chair pulled up to the counter….as I strain to see everything she is doing….I will be good, better than I’ve ever been before, simply because she has answered my prayers and is teaching me to bake.”
The aforementioned quote is the introduction to The Messy Baker by Charmian Christie, which is a warm and touching tribute to her mother, the ‘Kitchen God’ in Charmian’s eyes as a child. Charmian further shares, “Never trust a person with a clean kitchen. Baking is a messy art….it means she’s baking….creating…..Be messy with me.” Now begins the journey turning ‘baking messy’ into something good and tasty.
There are the lists of essential items needed as most cookbooks have, and the “I’m-a-baker-and-I’ve-earned-it-items, which includes a stand mixer and candy thermometer. If you are willing to roll up your sleeves and let the flour and sugar fly, you are ready for this baker’s cookbook.
What I like in a cookbook is section titles and how creative they are. The sections in Messy Baker are Pastry, Flaky, Crumbly, Dippable, Sloppy, Smudgy, Gritty, and Drippy. Each recipe has two or three sentences explaining what your baking experience should be, giving it a personal feel and touch.
A few recipes I believe worth the messiness are Lime-Cilantro Dipping Sauce, Spinach and Dill Pockets, Fig and Apricot Newtons, Balsamic Roasted Strawberries, Smoked Paprika Corn Fritters, and Dill Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Tzatziki.
Charmian Christie delivers her recipes in a relaxed and humorous fashion. I recommend this cookbook to the true baker at heart, who does not mind a messy kitchen. This would also be a great gift to a happy chef with baker’s hands.
I received this book free from Rodale Books through the Net Galley Review Program for an honest and unbiased opinion.