Contents Acknowledgments x Preface xi Introduction: How to Cook Up a New Invention xiii The Edible Inventions Pantry xvii 1 Crazy Kitchen Gadgets and Useful Utensils 1 Make a Better Butter Maker 3 Project: Handmade Butter in a Jar 4 Project: Make a Motorized ButterBot 8 3D Food Printing 14 Computers, Drawings, and Pancakes 16 Project: Plot a Drawing on a Graph 17 Project: Make a Hydraulic LEGO 3D Food Printer 20 More about Cooking Tools 36 2 Create Chemical Cuisine 37 Gels, Bouncy Spheres, and Rubbery Noodles 39 Project: Juicy Gelatin Dots 41 Project: Agar Noodles 45 Recipe: Agar-Agar Raindrop Cake 50 Foamy Goodness 52 Recipe: Baked Foam Meringue Cookies 53 Recipe: Homemade Whipped Gelatin Marshmallows 58 Recipe: Marshmallow SunPies 61 Recipe: Fizzy Watermelon Lemonade 63 P vii.
Acknowledgments Thanks to the following people for their advice, help, and support in creat- ing Edible Inventions: * Miguel Valenzuela for introducing me to the idea of edible inventions with his original LEGO PancakeBot and designing a scaled-back ver- sion for this book that anyone can build—and for suggesting I write this book in the first place * John Ceceri III for lending his LEGOs and his expertise * Lily Born and her father Joe for sharing the inspiring story of the Kangaroo Cup * Amy Halloran for her tips on pancakes and baking soda * Howard Stoner and David Borton for their tips on solar ovens and tin can stoves * Kay Holt and Bastian for testing the solar project * and everyone at Maker Media and Happenstance Type-O-Rama, espe- cially my hard-working editor Patrick DiJusto. P x.
Preface In 2012, Make: magazine asked me how I came to invent the PancakeBot. I told them that one day for breakfast I was drawing pancakes for my daughters Lily and Maia and reading Make: magazine. There was an article (http://makezine.com/2014/02/11/blockheads/) that described using LEGO to build a prototype of a machine that stamps images onto pancakes. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I think I mentioned the article to Lily and the next thing I heard was, “Maia! Papa is going to make a pancake machine!” Maia screamed in excitement and both of them did some kind of dance, and the next thing I knew, I was on the hook to make a PancakeBot. Over the next few years, I brought different versions of the PancakeBot to Maker Faires in New York, San Francisco, France, the UK, and Norway. One of the highlights of that time was when we were invited to the White House Maker Faire in Washington, D. C. Today, I run a company called PancakeBot LLC. We’ve partnered with another company named Store- bound that helps us make and sell machines that automatically “print” pancakes in any design you create. And I've learned a lot about how an invention goes from an idea to a reality. The thing with inventing is that most inventors focus on, well, the invent- ing part. As a result, many people struggle to share their inventions with the world. There are lots of way to “take your invention to market,” which is when an idea goes from the drawing board to the store shelf (or even an online store). Before sharing your idea, though, you should ask yourself if you want to protect it, or put it out there for the world to run with. If you want to protect your idea, you’ll have to file a patent application. That lets you claim a “patent pending” status and tell the world you intend to protect your idea. Luckily, the United States Patent Office has lots of information on this. You can visit uspto.gov for more information. Another route that you can consider is licensing, where you share your protected idea with a manufacturer who can take it to market for you. In exchange, you get P xi.
Introduction: How to Cook Up a New Invention j i g h B elieve it or not, there’s a lot of inventing going on in the kitchen. Most kitchens today are full of gadgets that can physically transform ordinary ingredients into something new and interesting. They can be as simple as a wire whisk or as com- plicated as a microwave oven. Then there’s the chemistry involved in cooking. All food—even “natu- ral” and organic food—contains chemicals. That’s not a bad thing. Every substance on Earth is made up of chemicals, and chemical reactions are what give cooked foods their taste, texture, and appearance. When you add chemicals to a dish to make it thicker, gooey-er, or puffier, you turn a bunch of plain ingredients into a mouth-watering meal. Some of the methods you’ll get to try in this book go back thousands of years. Others give you a peek at the future of cooking. You’ll design machines that make food preparation easier (or just sillier). You’ll experi- ment with chemicals that give food weird, alien forms. You’ll discover how microscopic living organisms can add zing to what you eat. You’ll explore growing your own food—no farm needed. You’ll learn about ways to cook outdoors, without gas or electricity. And you’ll get to try out fascinating tools and techniques with delicious recipes. P xiii.
The Edible Inventions Pantry j i g h C ooking is a lot easier when you have a well- stocked pantry. You probably already have things like salt, pepper, flour, eggs, milk, lettuce, and tomatoes in your refrigerator or on a shelf. If not, they are easy to find in any grocery store. This list includes the less-common tools and ingredients you’ll need to make the projects and recipes in this book and where to look for them. You don’t need them all for every project—and in many cases, if you have something that will do the same job, it’s fine to substitute. In fact, that’s one way to invent a new version! P xvii.
Crazy Kitchen 1 Gadgets and Useful Utensil s j i g h D iscover what it takes to come up with the next must-have cooking gadget or wacky food machine, and find out how to invent your own! Figure 1-1: A 3D food printer made out of LegOs? Why not?.
2 Create Chemical Cuisine j i g h w hen cooks start playing around with science, the results can be pretty surprising. Try some of these weird recipes and see for yourself.
3 Hack It from Scratch j i g h M ake do-it-yourself versions of your favorite ready-to-eat foods at home—with ingredients you already have in your pantry! Figure 3-1: Homemade fries, ketchup, and pickles make convenience food like hot dogs even tastier.
4 Grow Your Own Ingredients j i g h n o matter the weather, you can enjoy garden-fresh vegetables year-round! Figure 4-1: Bring kitchen scraps back to life for quick and easy baby vegetables.