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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

I don't know about all of you, but I think about 2-3 times a year, I use corn syrup, with the remainder sticking in my cupboard for the next 11 months. So this year, I decided to simply make my own version of corn syrup to use immediately.


Although not technically corn syrup, and much higher in calories than store brand, it is none-the-less more efficient to be utilitarian(at least for us cheap Yankees).


I do understand, also, the outcry with regards to using refined, invert sugars(such as corn sryup), so even though this is no better for you in one respect, it does have no processing issues many of you look out for.


These issues have been debated for decades and refer to certain studies that show serious health problems in mice after they have been fed a constant diet of of corn syrup. It has been shown that fructose(corn syrup) needs to be broken down in the liver, causing it to work more than needed, thereby shortening your life span. Other sugars, such as table sugars(sucrose) is processed by every cell in your body. But let's be honest and use common sense. If you fed mice a diet of table sugar to the extent they were fed corn syrup in these studies, the mice would die just as quickly.


There are a couple of different ways of helping to subdue this re-crystalizing.


An acid, such as what we are using below as well as cream of tartar are great ways. Baking soda also works, that is why it is added to peanut brittle. Another way is the preparation method we will be using below. By NOT stirring while our substitute corn syrup is cooking, it helps to keep the sugar that already has dissovled from forming crystals by keeping the fructose and glucose separated.

Although there is practically no way of completely preventing crystallization in any homemade, corn syrup substitution, store brand corn syrup has been refined and processed to the point where crystalization is prevented.


So it is in your best interest to use this as soon as you need it, letting it cool to room temperature first.


Emergency Karo Syrup


1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or cream of tartar


Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring a couple of times. Once boiling, stop stirring and let cook for 2-3 minutes.

The syrup will lightly boil around the edges for about 2-3 minutes and be cloudy looking, then all of the sudden it will hard boil, with frothy bubbles over the entire surface. Allow to boil one additional minute and then immediately remove from heat. Set pan aside until it cools to room temperature and use immediately. Don't refrigerate because it will thicken to the point of being useless.

There you have it, a great substitiute for corn syrup in pecan pies or homemade marshmallows, or whatever you need Karo syrup for.


Makes 1 cup


NOTE: Want dark corn syrup? Replace half the sugar with molasses, or even a quarter of it, depending on how dark you desire. And follow the link below if you would like additional information on the stages of boiled sugar for fondants, fudge, candy, pralines.....anything that requires a precise temperature of sugar.