Hey there! I'm Mary-Lou, the author, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer, and videographer behind Salty Ginger.
Salty Ginger is where I collect and perfect my easy, yet impressive homemade, from-scratch recipes for the Home Baker. All these recipes are made from scratch and are designed to be made by the home baker in the easiest way possible.
About Me - Salty Ginger aka Mary-Lou
Hi! Basically, I'm just another South African who found their way to New Zealand. Christchurch in particular. And I like baking.
I was born in Cape Town into an Afrikaans-English family in the '80s. When I was in Grade 1 we moved across the country to Durban where I went to primary school and began high school only to be moved to Port Elizabeth (now known as Gqeberha) when I was 15.
It was in PE that I finished school and then attended Nelson Mandela University and left with a degree in Biochemistry, got married to David, moved to the Witbank coalfields, and took a sharp left into the field of Environmental Management.
After working in the Coal Industry for many years we moved back to the Cape for a short period and were then catapulted across the world to New Zealand.
On the very first day of May 2019, just after midnight, we landed in Christchurch. On that cold, wet, autumn morning driving through the quiet streets, I caught the first glimpse of the city we now call home.
Always a Baker!
I've loved baking since I was a kid. Maybe I took my mother's maiden name to heart. Having fond memories of biscuit baking day when we (mostly my mum) would whip up several batches of cookies for the kids running around the house.
Mixing all the ingredients together, and then having a great cake or batch of cookies in the end brought me great joy!
I rediscovered my love of baking around 2016 and enjoyed baking personalized birthday cakes for my colleagues, from plain vanilla to lemon meringue or cat-shaped! During this time, I also fell down the YouTube rabbit hole of baking and learned so much from professional bakers and pastry chefs along the way. My favorite teachers are Cupcake Jemma, and Patrick Ryan of Firehouse Bakery.
Why did I start Salty Ginger?
While we were settling down on the other side of the world, as human nature dictates, I started to compare and contemplate the differences between South African cuisine and what the Kiwis (and Aussies) had to offer. Because we are all former British colonies there is a sense of familiarity in the food. For example - the love of Hot Cross Buns, Chelsea Buns, and custard slices.
However, there are a lot of differences too. This is due to the ingredients available (and how the ingredients are named), as well as the other cultures (both indigenous and imported) that have had an impact and molded the overall cuisines as we see them today.
So Salty Ginger was born (officially in May 2021) as a way to experiment and share recipes that I have grown up with while also exploring my wider heritage such as English, German, Dutch, Greek, and Irish ancestry and the foods from those cultures.