Friday Night Tasty Fun

By cjohnson | March 31, 2006 11:27 pm

vanilla nitroSo for the first time ever, I stepped into our fancy new Molecular Biology building (it’s been finished for a year or so now….). I was expecting to be accosted by security the moment I walked in, because, I don’t really expect that they’d let us poor theoretical physicists walk around in such splendid surroundings! Luckily, the first person I saw as I walked in was Mike Waterman (he who helped host the reading of our play last month), whose Computational Biology group is now also in this building. So all was ok.

vanilla nitroWhy was I there? Well, it’s been an incredibly long day (all day committee meeting retreat in a hotel boardroom in downtown LA) and now it’s Friday night…. and so that means fun, of course! Seriously, I went back to campus for a short while and ran into my colleagues Gene Bickers (condensed matter physics) and Leonard Adleman (biology, see below), carrying a blue cask. They turned out to be on their way back to Leonard’s lab (he’s both a Computational Biologist and a Molecular Biologist) to make ice-cream using liquid nitrogen! Better yet, they invited me along to have a look and try some! (Above is Leonard and his daughter Stephanie.)

So, remember our last cooking time together when I made beef lo mien? Well, it’s time for desert…. So, pour in the ice-cream mix, which one of the experimenters (Pablo) had prepared earlier (his secret recipe, perhaps):
vanilla nitro

Pour out some liquid nitrogen (boiling point is 77 K = -196 °C = -321 °F) into a handy container for accurate pouring….

vanilla nitro

And then start stirring the mix, and then have someone pour the liquid nitrogen into the mix….
vanilla nitro

Stir away….

vanilla nitro

Ready to eat?

vanilla nitro

Serve it out…..while the eager observers await:

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and, here’s Gene letting us know that it is just delicious (vanilla-orange flavour)!

vanilla nitrovanilla nitro

Yep. Physics is tasty fun. It’s official.


CATEGORIZED UNDER: Entertainment, Food and Drink
  • Brunsli

    I always wanted to make ice cream with liquid N2, but I didn’t trust my labmmates’, shall I say, cleanliness. We finally broke down and got a Musso Lussino. That’s what happens when a scientist goes to law school – we see torts waiting to happen everywhere!

  • spyder

    Bill Nye, yes that science guy, did this a while ago on some TV program, and sparked a whole new line of technologically inspired Burning Man feasting. Now, many attendees come out to the playa with their tanks of liquid nitrogen and make smoothies, ice cream, blender drinks, and other tasteful amenities, reducing the need to bring along even more massive containers of ice and dry ice.

  • David

    I saw an article on this and always wanted to try it — the only hitch was where to get the Liquid N2? I saw a big dewar of it between RTH and SSC, but I doubt security would take kindly to a couple of college students hopping the fence and filling up a Rubbermaid insulated tote with cryogenic liquids. Probably think we’d be using it for some sort of fraternity prank…

  • Plato

    Right up there with the idea of molasses I’d say and of course, could not help think of the nobium sphere as a “artistic backdrop” to all things superconducting influenced?

  • Harv

    Ah, yes, that’s one of our standard things to do at Astronomy Camp. And it used to be pretty standard at department parties.


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