For a dry ice martini, try the Hungry Scientist Handbook


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Do you like to play with your food? Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns, the authors of ‘The Hungry Scientist Handbook,’ do. In the book -- officially out next Tuesday, but available now on Amazon -- they bring their love of technology into the kitchen and share simple DIY instructions for light-up lollipops, pomegranate wine and more.

Many of the projects in the book, which were inspired by group dinners near San Francisco, began with questions. Can you fold up wonton wrappers like origami paper? Yes: the book has complete instructions for making the crane croutons above. Could you create conductive frosting, so that a birthday cake could be decorated with LED lights instead of candles? After some icky false starts, they hit on a tasty recipe, explained in chapter four.


There are also crafty/construction projects; one, which requires some tools and skill, is building an oversize outdoor barbecue-like contraption called a hotbox. Just about anybody could make the portable camp stove from three cans of cheap beer (one needs to remain unopened, which is probably best for everyone).

This is not a kiddie book, as can be seen in the photos accompanying the first project: edible caramel lace lingerie. It’s really for grownups with a sense of fun, for people who think fizzy lemonade would be more zesty with dry ice -- the same kind of people who’d love to sip a dry ice martini (stirred, not shaken, because once it’s added to the shaker the martinis begin ‘bubbling like crazy’).

The thing about DIY manuals is that they begin to make you believe that you really could do any of this yourself. Me, I’m wondering if there’s a way to get dry ice into the martinis in people’s hands, so they get to see the spectacular bubbling. Maybe dangle some in a tea infuser? Since there’s a resource list in the back of ‘The Hungry Scientist Handbook,’ I’m halfway there -- I know where to find some edible dry ice.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo by Lenore M. Edman of