Working with Paige Hemmis is a true joy. She let me crash her segment and talk about the science behind tarnished metal and how we can achieve beautiful colors with ingredients you've got in your pantry.
Rock candy, so popularly associated with garishly colored sticks and strings, makes its first appearance in world culinography in 9th century Iran. It seems even at such an early time in human history we had already learned to grow sugar crystals. And why would we be growing sugar crystals? Keep reading!
Chili Peppers are not unique to one country or culture. Evidence of their cultivation dates back to 4,000 BC. But the love of hot foods is exclusive to humans. The rest of the animals on this planet either lack the neurological receptors to register hot food or they avoid peppers altogether, lumping them in with other poisonous plants. Why do we love them so much then?!
Soap is a rather remarkable creation resulting from the mixture of two common materials. Though it seems odd to say, soap is a salt. Salts are the products of acid+base reactions, in this case the fatty acids contained in vegetable oils and the alkaline properties of lye. Sodium Hydroxide (now industrially produced and known as lye) was once collected and made from ashes and rainwater.
Get shaking kids. We made butter on Home and Family this week and there's no reason you shouldn't follow suit. Warning: full science lesson attached to this one. Nerd alert.