Some of the lingo and methods I use frequently on my blog are explained for you here. Please leave a comment if you have an unanswered question!
All of my recipes are generally listed in parts. What does this mean? A part is simply an equal measure of an ingredient so the recipe can give you a ratio instead of specific measurements. This is done with you in mind – this way you can make whatever quantity you like, and you don’t have to follow an specific measuring system like metric, etc. If the recipe calls for 2 parts A, and 3 parts B, and you are using a tablespoon, you would measure out 2 tablespoons of A, and 3 tablespoons of B.
Some of my recipes call for double boiling to melt ingredients. The double boiler method is done when you want something melted, but at a lower temperature without direct heat from an element being applied. This allows for ingredients to melt, but still remain in a relatively raw state, and to avoid scalding. The method is simple and requires no unusual equipment. As follows:
1). Find a pot and a metal or pyrex bowl that will fit well inside this pot, while floating in the water that you will add to the pot. Not too snug a fit, and not too loose a fit. The bowl must be tall enough that water from the pot will not easily splash into it if it moves around.
2). Fill the pot about 1/4 full of water.
3). Add your ingredients to the bowl and wait for the temperature in the water to preheat to desired temperature.
4). Put your bowl gently in the pot and do not allow any water to splash into the bowl.
5). Stir your ingredients at the rate described in the recipe while holding the bowl stationary in the water, usually with an oven mitt on to protect your hand from the heat. Unless you are one of those crazy chefs who has skin made of leather.
6). Follow the rest of the recipe to know when to remove your ingredients from the heat!
Example of a double boiler setup:
Q: I’ve heard that Borax is toxic. Why do you include it in your recipes?
A: In answer to that question, I believe claims about Borax’s toxicity to be greatly exaggerated by flawed research, and its degree of toxicity to be still substantially less than that of most commercial cleaning products. And its performance is very helpful with several recipes. Please see this article by Crunch Betty that accurately mirrors my opinion on the subject. And please, do your own research if you are unsure about using it! Most of my recipes include a Borax free alternative for those making the choice not to use it.