THE MESSY BAKER                                   CHARMIAN CHRISTIE

The Messy Baker: More Than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real KitchenSince when did every cookie on the plate have to be just like the next? Or each layer of cake exactly the same height? Each piecrust an impeccable work of art and encircled by stunningly perfect pastry leaves? To the uninitiated, all that fastidious, spotless baking is intimidating, not to mention exhausting. The Messy Baker celebrates baking as it happens in the real world—sweet, messy, fun, not always gorgeous, but a way to show love. Which doesn't make it any less delicious; to the contrary, Charmian Christie's flavor combinations rise far above the ordinary. Why have a raspberry galette when you can enjoy a raspberry-rhubarb galette with drippy, unctuous walnut frangipane? Or how about a Brie and walnut whiskey tart? It's all yours without the rigid perfectionism or complicated instructions of other gourmet cookbooks.

Christie's warm, irreverent voice brings the fun back into baking at a time when home cooks—pulled from pillar to post by jobs and errands—need to have fun. The Messy Baker is a full-service book that not only guides the reader through simple, delicious recipes but is also there to help out when things go wrong. For anyone who gave in frustration when that cake collapsed or the frosting smeared, Christie's practical advice is here to rescue even the worst disaster and inspire the baker to try the next recipe.

This book is great just for the title. Though my wife has gotten me to clean up after I am done it is not to say that when I am in the process that my kitchen is not clean. Its starts and finishes that way but not while I am cooking. Like the author says be aware of a kitchen that is clean when they are cooking. Who do you create? How do you come up with new ideas or ingredients, she gives the push to try new combinations and new creations. She also goes over what items you should have in your kitchen before you get started. But she wants you to try new ideas and new recipes and change old recipes to new ingredients. I thought the pictures were great and just the overall idea of the book was a great idea. Years back my wife and I spent almost two years mixing ingredients that we had from her grandmother’s bread pudding. This is no regular bread pudding (capirotada) Mexican bread pudding. Made traditionally. But through testing and work and after two years the family said she got it, just like Nannie, my was happy and we still make it. But if we didn’t want to make a mess or make the time to experiment with a recipe that was not handed down this is what you need to do. So have fun, my daughter loves making homemade cookies and lasagna, for example. We also get messy, but I now clean up so my wife does not have to worry. A fantastic book. I got this from netgalley.  I give this 5 stars.  

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