Mar 07, 2002, 1:45am
Just wrapped up a fun evening of using magic pixie dust. It's also known as carrageenan.
See, for many years now, I've been seeking out a supply of this elusive stuff that is more fine than even talcum powder. Why? If you visit this page, scroll down and find the "better frappacino recipe".
See, carrageenan is the magic pixie dust that makes milk-based drinks THICK. As in a carton of chocolate milk. As in Starbucks' Frappacinos. As in fruit smoothies. But it's darn near impossible a food additive to find in the raw form.
A few years ago, I was sent some via a very kind food science student (btw, I know now his was diluted - read on). I used it extensively till I ran out - about 2 tablespoons for a drink. I was in heaven. But then I was out of stock. For several years, I sought out a new source. Then a fellow I know online, Ted Simpson, found a stock.Problem was, you had to buy in bulk, as in 100 lbs or more. And live in the midwest USA. Gulp.
Enter Barry Jarrett of Riley's Coffee and Fudge. Barry, being one of the founders of the fine online coffee loving community, volunteered to buy it, test it, and sell it in bulk (5, 10lb packages). After getting it he decided to bag it up in 1lb packages and sell it to people like me who were seeking it out. I guess I started the trend looking for this stuff with my occasional public appeals, but others also picked up the cause. Barry sold his stock in about 3 days. Wow.
I got two lbs of it. I was worried about it being shipped across the border, because it can easily be confused with a certain illegal magic pixie dust from Colombia, but no DEA agents were at my door. Tonight, I experimented. Started out with a teaspoon in about 14 oz of ice cubes, strawberries, milk, water and sugar. I created the blob. It was so thick, I had to use a squeegie spatula (whatever those things are called) to get it out of the glass.
After much experimentation, I realized that like 1/6th, 1/8th a teaspoon is more than enough for 12-16oz of drink. WOW. I think my 2lbs is a lifetime supply!
More wacky food science later...
|Previous Ten Daily Rants
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|The Real Reasons for Olympics Auto Gratuities
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|Vancouver Olympics - Nice Prices, Profiteer (gouger) Restaurant Listings
|| 1:15am, 02/18
|More on Auto Gratuities
|| 7:45pm, 02/16
|Price Gouging in Vancouver During Olympics (and Price Heroes!)
|| 1:20am, 02/16
|Ideal Mac (or any pc) netbook....
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|NetMacBook Hackintosh Update
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|Balance Board Wii Game I'd like to see - Boxing!
|| 5:00pm, 07/26
Photos from Algonquin Park
Photos from my trip to Algonquin Park this fall with my Mom and two brothers.
Making Snow for the Fortress
One of the worst jobs I ever had... till I got out.
Tools I Use
The tools I use to build websites and lead a tech life.
iPod and iTunes Offline
iMark's iTunes and iPod isn't iPlaying anything right iNow.
Most Recent Songs
Fiddlers Green by The Tragically Hip
Around The Bend by Pearl Jam
Here With Me (Rollo's Chillin' With the Family Mix) by Dido
With arms open wide by Creed
truffle pigs by Matthew Good Band
In the News
Burundi and Beyond - NY Times
Great article by Peter Meehan - provided some background.
St. Petersburg Times
Side mention in an article about good machines
AP Story on Espresso
Background and information provided
NY Times - Grinders Article
Especially proud of this one - got the reporter to focus on grinders
Globe and Mail
LOL - showing bad reporting, dude says I'm an American-based site!
The Olympian, WA
Talks about my love for the El Sal Siberia Pacamara
Seattle Times - Clover
Interviewed for comments on the Clover brewer
NY Times - How it Works
Background and information for various espresso machines
Time Mag Article
Just a brief mention, article about roasting beans.
Front page article about consumers getting into specialty coffee.
Quoted reference to what I wrote in an article at CoffeeGeek.
USA Today - Barista Jam
Intereviewed for my thoughts on what the epitome of espresso is.
The Wall Street Journal has interviewed me 3 times. This is the first time my name got in a story.
Interview with Reuters, Jan 2 - this is the USA Today version.
My Other Stuff
Launched Dec 22, 2001, this is THE online community for espresso and coffee fanatics.
It's all new, as of March, 2002. My personal coffee obsession site.
My company's site - needs an update!
Hey, if you feel the need to buy me something, check here!
Great gadget site run by the guy who used to do Gizmodo.
This is how I get my daily news fix.
The most active forums for digital photography online today.
Need my Daily Zen fix!
A blog about car stuff. Vroom Vroom.
An industrial design blog. Very cool stuff.
Friends and Family Plan
Beata's got her own blog! She updates it most days.
Riddla on Flickr
Matt Riddle's flickr account, updated regularly
Irdy, my friend from Jakharta, on Flickr
Canon EF 24-105 f4 L Lens
The best lens I've ever owned. Super sharp and quick.
A full frame dSLR, with luscious colour reproduction.
Alzo Digital Lights
Some amazing florescent cold lights for product photography
Canon Xsi dSLR
Amazing technology and image quality in a tiny package.
Latest prosumer camera from Canon - a much better upgrade than the 30D
Great 2.2lb computer that does most of my travel / writing needs
28mm f1.8 Lens
A great lens for closeup work and full picture photography
Finally got the right tools for freezing green coffee.
Canon 50mm 1.4
Most amazing lens I've ever owned. Produces stellar photos.
Super wide angle (full frame fisheye) zoom for my Canon 20D