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In 2015, chef Makini Howell took a sabbatical from her vegan food empire to cook for Stevie Wonder on tour. We discuss her unique take on vegan cooking and what she learned during her year on the road. Plus, we discover the strange history of flavor science; Adam Gopnik reveals J.D. Salinger’s favorite recipe for popcorn salt; and we learn Croatia’s secret to perfect cabbage rolls.
This episode is brought to you by Ferguson.
Questions in this Episode:
“I recently adopted a 30-year old sourdough starter from a neighbor. It makes good pancakes but it’s not that funky. Is there a safe way to get more funk in there?”
“You and Sara often talk about the quality of spices and flours. But nobody ever really talks about sugar. When you go into the store, the price of the sugar from the local vendor is usually half the price as the name brand vendor. Is there really a difference?”
“My mother is British, and when I was a child, we would wait for the Christmas package to come from our Nan with Lyle’s golden syrup. The steamed pudding (cake, really) with a pool of golden syrup at the bottom is one of my oldest memories. We can find it pretty easily now. I’ve substituted it for corn syrup in recipes like millionaire’s shortbread and various other recipes. Is there anything more I should be aware of in these substitutions?”
“My wife uses hot water from the kitchen faucet as a quick solution for obtaining hot water required in recipes. My question—is this possibly adding dissolved chemicals or an off-taste to recipes that require hot water?”
“I used some old melting chocolate that had ‘white ash’ on it. Since it melted to the proper color I used it to coat some candies. However, they dried with the ash. What is it, and is it edible?”