Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun with the periodic table

In my first post An Auspicious Beginning, I was trying to work out how to preserve some of the habaneros from the store's garden. I'm sure drying would work, but where the fun in that? Besides, why not use my employment to my advantage? So I went about freezing my habaneros with liquid nitrogen.

Here's what I started with, a few dozen beautiful peppers, ready to set someone's mouth on fire.


I made sure to store them away in the refrigerator for a few hours in order to bring down their temperature. I learned this from the master of the food network, Alton Brown, in his Good Eats episode Frozen Cache.

Why mess around with a small container of nitrogen, when you can siphon directly from the tank?

I admit that I had James Archie, who runs the plant, help me with this. I didn't want to burn myself like I did during my 8th grade science project.
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After priming the line for a minute, James turned that pan of peppers into this.
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When the smoke began to clear:

Gone:

Word to the wise, don't drop the item you just dipped in liquid nitrogen.


When all the nitrogen had evaporated, I scurried off the break room and stored my peppers in the freezer. I think they were frosting over pretty badly in that scant 40 seconds.


With the indispensable usefulness of a Whole Foods freezer bag, they made it home in one piece and still frozen. They now lie in wait, ready to tear some poor soul's tongue to shreds.

They did look cool.

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