Sunday, July 3, 2011

Don't try this at home, Try that!

I think most people can blame their parents for something that has gone wrong in their everyday lives. One thing I can't blame my parents for is allowing me to have my intellectual freedom to destroy the kitchen. Somebody in their great wisdom gave an 8 year a chemistry set as a present. Well this nutty professor in training started immediately breaking out the alcohol based bunsen burner and learned how to make a very small string of rock candy. Being of sound mind, I brought it into school. Well lets just say it was a hit and my friends all asked that I make them a string. Hmmmm. Well that will cost you 25 cents. I had an order for at least 50 of them. I was going to be rich. So that night I told my mom and dad I was going to make more rock candy but on a larger scale. Sure no problem. I broke out my mom's big Pyrex Pot. It was made by the same company that made my beaker and I had heard my mom say one time it was unbreakable. Great, success was soon to be at hand. I poured in the Sugar into the pot and added some water. My mom left for a PTA Meeting and my dad was watching TV/sleeping on the couch. The water was heating up nicely but the sugar wasn't dissolving quite as well the first time. I added more water. The water was a rolling boil now, but still the sugar just wasn't doing its thing. More water, but I need to slow down the process...OK...I need cold water. Well I added a huge amount of cold water and I heard a weird tinking sound and then Kaboom. The Pyrex pot exploded. The sugar on the bottom of the pot was now resting comfortably on the electric burner still turned on high. That immediately burst into flames. I screamed fire and my Dad bolts into the kitchen barefoot and guess what, stepped on a piece of broken pyrex. By that time the fire extinguished itself and my dad needed to get stitches in his foot. My mom came home and saw her sparking stove stop charred and caramelized. Needless to say it was about a week before I was allowed back in the kitchen. I learned a very valuable lesson. If you want to learn how to use cursewords in proper context, set your parents kitchen on fire.

Now if that hasn't dissuaded you from making rock candy, here is a perfectly acceptable method. Please above all, ask to make sure its ok with Mom and Dad, even if you no longer live with them.

From the Accidental Scientist, Science of Cooking

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