Should you still be looking for ideas to pass those 405 weekend closure hours in a few weeks, San Francisco-based food writer Karen Solomon has a 70+ suggestions in her latest book, Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It. Turn the pages and you will find a homemade bacon recipe, of course, but also recipes for ginger-pickled grapes, quince paste, Worcestershire sauce, corned beef and pastrami, miso pickles (which includes a recipe for homemade miso), and smoked almonds, cotija cheese and jalapeños (otherwise known as chipotle peppers in smoked form).
There are several kitchen project chapters beyond the title's implications here, too: One on pantry staples (preserved lemons, barbecue sauce), baking basics (for Solomon, that means bagels, English muffins, hamburger/hot dog buns and pizza dough) and roasted ingredients (homemade cocoa nibs!) among them. But we were won over by the seemingly random, and hilariously fun, recipes for homemade cornflakes and puffed rice cereal -- and we don't even care all that much for the store bought versions.
As Solomon says in the recipe introduction, "There come moments in kitchen projectry when one has to ask oneself, 'Is this insane? Have I crossed the line from food-craftiness into utter madness, making my own cornflakes?' Should you decide to move forward, the recipe to fuel your fire is below. Now, if you need me, I'll be sitting in the corner over there, whittling my own toothpicks."
As will we.
From Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It by Karen Solomon.
Makes: About 9 ounces.
Note: Per Solomon: "Stored absolutely airtight (and refrigerated in humid weather), these will last for 3 days."
2/3 cup corn flour or finely ground cornmeal
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
11 ounces water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and oil two large rimmed baking sheets.
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2. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and water in a bowl and stir with a fork until smooth. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Tilt the pans to distribute the batter evenly over the entire surface of the pan. If needed, use a bowl scraper or spatula to help with this task.
3. Bake until the edges are brown and the cereal starts to pull away from the sides of the pan, 11 to 13 minutes.
4. Let the pans sit for about 30 seconds after you remove them from the oven. Use a spatula to lift up the cereal sheets and break them into bite-sized flakes in the pan. Eat immediately.