Friday, August 28, 2009

sexy girl air freshener, snacks and a pinwheel

Corn caramel

To make corn caramel:

1: Fill a lobster pot with corn cobs, corn silk, corn husks, etc., figuring there is no point wasting any part of the buffalo.  Let simmer for a day or so to make a nice strong corn stock for chowder and so on.  Reduce the resulting stock, and in so doing, notice how sweet it is -- far too sweet to use in chowder or any other soup except in conditions of serious dilution.  So sweet that the reduction freezes like an icy sorbet.

2: Think hmmm.

3: The following year, do that again.  Let it simmer for two and a half days instead.  Reduce it down slowly -- there's no choice but slowly, the stove doesn't like keeping an uncovered lobster pot hot -- while you write some articles for a science encyclopedia, until it's reduced enough to fit in a container for the fridge.

4: Once you get a day off, restrain that reduction into a pot.  Taste it.  It's dark-brown, the color of porter, but it still tastes like fresh corn -- not that terrible creamed corn taste, thank God -- a very vegetal taste, thanks to the silk and cobs.  And it's very noticeably sweet.  You could make soda with this.

5: Bill, stop, don't make soda with this!

6: Add a hunk of butter to the pot and twist the knob to high.  Come back and check once in a while.  Note, observer, that there is no added sugar.  All the sugar came from the corn.  This is just reduced corn stock and butter.

7: Pour it into a pan and cool it.  Sprinkle some salt.

It's a chewy, soft caramel -- it could've been a little harder, but this is pleasantly chewy while cold, a little too soft when warm, could probably be heated up for an ice cream topping or swirled into something (goat's milk ice cream would be swell).  The flavor is like a cross between familiar caramels and burnt popcorn, in a good way -- not bitterly burnt, but those slightly more-cooked kernels you get in a batch of decent stovetop popcorn.  It's very very dark, and definitely stands out -- you wouldn't mistake this for some other caramel.  You'd know something's going on here.


  1. I just tried this out. My caramel's a little lighter and softer, but a similar result. Decidedly interesting flavor. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it yet.