The End of the Line…For Now

What a season, what a season. If I were in person for this blog, I’d probably applaud myself and cheer rather pathetically, as is my style.

This blog post is designed to be your one-stop shop for all of my learning project posts in case you ever need to lose a few hours to me bumbling around, trying to find math in the most interesting places. All baking related, of course. I learned a lot in the ten posts that I made during this project, and I got to eat and share a lot of yummy things, too!

My friend, my sister, and I made pies this weekend, and I instructed both of them on how to properly mix the custard-y fillings, and how to make whipped cream. And how to separate eggs, so I really did feel that I made progress in my cooking. My sister even said, while we were baking, that she thinks I have come along way because I no longer look terrified when I am baking something. So that’s a plus! Below are the blogs I made wherein I learned to bake.

 

One-Stop Shop for all Your Blogging about Cooking Needs

  1. Intro – the first thing I did was decide that I was going to bake for this project. Honestly, I mostly just wanted to eat tasty things and tell everyone it was for a class. I didn’t expect much from it other than that. I added in the mathematical knowledge on top of it, for two reasons. As I mentioned in the post, I did do a baking project with my Grade 8s (I saw all of them a week ago, it was amazing, but also sad because I missed them so much, and I wish I could just stay there, but alas, I have to Film Festival it up, yo), but also because I wanted to prove to myself that I could find math in anything, and make it tangible and worthwhile to me and to my imaginary students.
  2. Salted Caramel Cookies – in my first post, I started with cookies becuase I thought it would be easiest. But it turns out I actually learned a lot from the experiement. I learned that cookie dough thickens depending on the temperature and the amount of flour proportionally, and that caramel like, evaporates in heat. For this math lesson, I did Grade 8 proportions, based on those two learnings.
  3. Salted Caramel Cookies – Revised – this post was more for me to actually learn from my mistakes of last time, and to try something new. That is, to put more caramel in smaller balls of dough. Not a complete success, but definitely an improvement.
  4. Cheesecake Brownies – I learned that my biggest impedement to cooking is my self confidence, as evidenced by my being wayyyy too stressed about how long to bake the brownies for. I decided to then make the math lesson revolve around Grade 9 linear realtions so students could find ways to graph and understand those baking times I struggle with.
  5. Cupcakes – This was when I made so many cupcakes it was like, the worst decision, there were 60 cupcakes, send help. The learning I did here was incredibly valuable, because it helped me gain confidence in my baking skills. I had to work hard and perservere when my recipe for the fillings didn’t turn out. And I learned to trust my judgement and not be afraid to try new things. Once again, my math lesson revolved around my learning and mistakes, with it being Pre-Calc 20 linear inequalities, and working with adjusting amounts of variables in an equation to make the best baking even if the recipe asks for different numbers of cups or amounts.
  6. Cake – Super fun one where I baked with my Mom. I love my Mom, she’s great, and she was a big help in me making the cake that I always make her make me for my birthday. Not much learning here, except again, gaining that confidence with baking times. I decided that the math could fall into Workplace and Aprenticeship 20 or 30, with surface area and volume. Mostly because it facinates me that the poke cake increases it’s surface area with the holes, but decreases its volume.
  7. Cooking Videos – The week of no kitchen because my parents were doing renovations. So I watched some videos to help inspire me for weeks to come. This blog will forever be known as The Time that Sarah Decided She was going to Separate an Egg and Talked about it for Literally a Million Years before She Actually did it. I hope I capitalized appropriately there.
  8. Pie – Probably where I learned the most, to be honest. I learned about how pie filling thickens, and to trust the recipe when it tells me these things happen. I learned about how meringue is formed by egg whites, and I learned how to make every part of a recipe from scratch. This lesson was for pi day, and so I used Pre-Calculus 30 as my lesson, as I thought it would be kind of cool for students to use a pie to introduce and look at the unit circle. Not because of any actually mathematical relevance the pie would have, just because it would look cool and be fun to cut in to.
  9. Brownies – The time I lost a bet and had to blog about it, because it involved baking. The best part of this blog was that I got to take one of Carmelle’s awesome suggestions and make it – which was the best idea! The Oreos in the recipe made me think it would be cool to ask Grade 7 students how many cookies could possibly fit into the recangular shape without losing any part of the cookie. Of course, you can break the cookies and reshape them. But in my math class, we don’t waste any of that cookie, it goes on that brownie.
  10. Mousse – The be all end all of the project. I learned to separate an egg (I DID IT) and I learned how to fold in ingredients. It was a super fun part of the project, and I felt like I had actually learned a lot when I got to this point. Especially in the way of confidence, because though I thought I had failed, I just kept trying, and working at the recipe, where in January, I would have just given up and asked someone to just do it for me. So that was the biggest step of all for me. I also learned a little bit about baking and how air is useful in baking. I am still not 100% sure how mousse is made, but I do have some better ideas due to the beating of the eggs and heavy cream.

So that’s it! There’s the whole project! I hope you enjoyed being a part of the learning, and I hope  you try out some of the recipes yourselves. If you take anything away from this experience, I hope it’s what I learned the most – to be confident in yourself and just keep trying, because failure is not the worst thing.

Oh, and also, math is totally everywhere, I bet you can find it. Learning is everywhere, I bet you can find it.

 

Have a great, amazing, splendid, and worthwhile day, you are all wonderful humans, probably.

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I’m a Day Late, but Guess What I Baked (for Yesterday)!

I feel like I try too hard every week to think of a new way to start blogs when I inevitably type “so this week I” every time when I start. I chose to change that phrase into this mess today, so I’m not sure if that’s an improvement, but it’s a difference all the same.

It was Pi Day Yesterday, as probably all of you know, which is so very exciting and inspirational. So inspiring and inspirational that, when I went to think about how I had said I wanted to make mousse this week, I realized that I was missing literally the perfect opportunity for math and baking. Like, if it’s Pi Day, I think I am seriously failing as a baker if I do not make pie!!!

I was in Regina this weekend so I made my pie with the lady who is related to me in a very complex way involving ” third cousins twice removed” and things like that. She is an excellent cook and an excellent baker, so it was awesome to learn from her. We did like, everything from scratch. We made the graham cracker crust (which like I have NEVER made, I didn’t even know that was a thing people did). It wasn’t that bad, even though I second guessed myself constantly as I was pressing the crumbs and butter and sugar in to the pie plate.

The recipe itself called only for egg yolks, so we did some egg separating! I saw it happen! It was a thing! I didn’t do it myself because she does it with like, the two egg shells and the pass it between the two thing, and I don’t think I’m nearly talented enough for that. Next weekend I am going to try the pop bottle method and let you all know how that goes.

The pie filling needed to be heated and stirred until thickened, and that was also incredible, because that happens so quickly. Like, for the first ten minutes, nothing was happening and I was stirring liquid and thinking that maybe we’d done something wrong and were just going to have to eat coconut soup and call it pie. But then, over the course of like 30 seconds, suddenly it thickened and was doing the slow bubble thing.

When it was finished, I put that stuff into the pie crust, shoved it in the oven, and we went about making the meringue.

The recipe we had technically asked for a dream whip topping, but we had all these egg whites, so we whipped them up with sugar and stuff and made a meringue! I have never ever never ever never seen that done before. Ever. And I have certainly never done it myself! Let me tell you, the most exciting thing in the world is when the eggs start to like, get more frothy, and then you add sugar and like, it turns into magic and I think I’m a wizard, Harry.

Once we added the meringue on top, and ovened it for a bit, we left it outside to cool (yay Canadian winters! Good for something, I guess!)

The pie was really tasty – I am a fan of coconut, it’s a different kind of sweet that I don’t find overwhelming. So this was a great success and I learned a ton!

I learned how to make meringue, I learned how to separate eggs the ‘old fashioned’ way, I learned how to make a graham cracker crust, and I learned to trust a recipe when it says the coconut soup will thicken.

 

Now, obviously, I think that I would never forgive myself if I didn’t tie the making of pie with pi. That would be just a missed opportunity, don’t you think?

 PC30.1 – Extend understanding of angles to angles in standard position, expressed in degrees and radians.

I’d like to point out that I don’t think I would use the pie for the discovery and understanding of radians, because I think there’s some useful treaty and Indigenous content there involving basket weaving and the inherent way some First Nations’ groups use pi without calling it pi (six hands and a thumb…so I guess tau technically, but let’s not get into that debate right here right now on the use of pi and things, I would rather we were all friends and ate pie instead of debating (at this moment, I am a fan of a good old fashioned debate, but I didn’t put my debate shoes on, so I am not prepared)). So instead, I think I would use the pie to introduce the unit circle. Make students actually make the cuts and see the sizes and I don’t know, it’s not exactly inquiry or anything complex. I just think it could be fun to have students looking at a tangible model of the unit circle and to be measuring and cutting the angles out.

Not as in depth math as some of the others, but I also think that there is so much less fun had in pre-calculus, so you know what? I think we all deserve to cut up some pie once in a while!