How to: Cook like Nathan Myhrvold in your own kitchen

If you ever needed a good reason to buy a whipped cream maker: The New York Times adapted several of Nathan Myhrvold's Modernist Cuisine recipes to work with ingredients and equipment you're actually likely to have in your home kitchen. The whipped cream maker is the only tool used here that I don't own. And it might be worth buying one if it means that I can make bloody mary-infused celery sticks.


  1. What is a whipped-cream maker? I mean, I always though the way to make whipped cream was to…well, whip it. With a pair of beaters.

    1. A whipped cream maker is a thing you buy to divert suspicion away from your continual purchase of whipped cream chargers.

    2.  There is something really satisfying about whipping cream by hand.  And it’s not really that much work, y’know. 

      Of course, you need a whisk designed for the purpose.  You whip and whip and whip, and at about the three minute mark, all of a sudden, you feel the cream begin to thicken and it very quickly fluffs up.  Very cool.

      As far as using a N2O-charged cream whipper.  I own one.  The mouth feel and (what seems to be) the taste of the N2O whipped cream isn’t the same as cream whipped by hand (or mayby whipped by machine-whisk).

      Kind of like samosas:  give me the hand-kneaded samosas over machine-kneaded any day.

    1. The world is a complex place.  A person can do something wonderful, yet still be a total asshat.  Does the fact that the company he founded is evil make Modernist Cuisine any less of an achievement?

      1. Exactly. 

        This complaint is especially silly when no one is really suggesting you financially support Myhrvold in any way—I think Modern Cuisine is amazing, but I’m never going to buy it. This is a chance to do something cool, at home, without investing a fortune for the privilege. I think that’s a wonderful thing. And I think this being a wonderful thing can coexist with Myhrvold being a sketchy patent troll. The two concepts are not mutually exclusive. 

        1. Precisely. It’s that kind of silliness that’s going to deprive us all of Charles Manson’s divine recipe for crepes.

          When will the madness stop?

        2. I don’t care one way or the other about modern cuisine, but your argument is outdated.  Perhaps you have heard of celebrities.  These are people from whom you purchase nothing directly, but who get paid, basically, for being popular or trendy.  It’s a weird system, and the details are a bit sketchy, but that’s more or less how it works.  Something to do with daytime television I expect.  Anyhow, a front-page mention on a popular website is an indirect advertisement for the guy.  

      2. Yes, because the research was funded by the sweat of hard working innovators just because they happened to innovate in the same area covered by a patent held by these people.  Think of it as buying blood diamonds.  The are wonderful, but people had to die for them to get to you.  And thus, a general boycott of such things is in order.

    2. I’m sorry, but the content of this Boing Boing post violates the patent titled “Methods for Conveying Ideas and Concepts Through Unique Arrangements of Alphabetical Characters”, currently held by Intellectual Ventures.  You can expect to hear from our lawyers soon.

  2. I’m a huge fan of Cooks Illustrated for the same reason – they figure out how to make good food with ingredients and tools that you probably already have or that you can easily get.

  3. Someone taught me a long time ago that if my celery went limp from sitting too long in the fridge, I should just cut the tips off and submerge them in a cup of cold water for a few hours. This has always worked perfectly to re-hydrate the celery and make it crisp again.  

    Would it not work to infuse the stalks with bloody mary in the same fashion, and skip the $60-$90 whipped cream maker?  (If no one beats me to it, I will try this weekend and let you know.)

    1. Soaking any veg in cold water will make it crisp again, though the extent depends on just how wilty it was to begin with.  You can always add a bit of cold water to the container with your veg and this will keep them fresh longer.  For example, when you peel your carrots ahead of time, put them in a bag or container, add a bit of water, not submerging but just keeping the moisture in the sealed container, then keep in the fridge, sort of acts like a humidifier.  After rinsing your lettuce, wrap it up in a wet paper towel, then put in the fridge.  Similar to putting a piece of bread in a container of brown sugar to prevent it from hardening, or a piece of apple to a tin of cookies you want to stay soft.  Another tip, if you have fruit that isn’t ripe, put it in a bowl with ripe bananas, they speed up ripening of other fruit; this is handy with avocados, as I find they are always too hard at the supermarket.

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