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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The Yolk of an Egg is or are White

In Yorkton there is a sub who, whenever his class is lagging or he has free time, pulls out his “bag of tricks”. Which is just a bunch of laminated papers with word puzzles on them. One of which was the yolk of an egg one. He asked it to us every time. Every time. I know a lot of random word puzzles now.

But, that was unimportant. So I will move on to the blog post now.

Guys.

GUYS. guys, guys, guys guys GUYS

GUYs

Guess what? I separated an egg. I did it. I did the thing. I separated THREE whole eggs. I have a video that I will post later. But it was all very inspirational and very exciting. You should all be so proud of me, and maybe get me a medal, probably.

I made the mousse that I said I was going to make for like, five hundred million years. And it was the most difficult thing I’ve baked and I learned a lot from the experience. I am so proud of myself.

The recipe itself essentially had me do three separate things and then bring them all together.

First, I melted chocolate and cream in a bowl over how water. Which is a thing I’ve heard of but never done, so it was very exciting and just all-around thrilling.

Second, I had to whip the rest of the cream for the recipe into, like, a more solid thing. “Until stiff peaks form” as they always say in the recipes. That part was really easy because I just used an electric mixer so not that exciting.

The third thing I had to do was whisk together three egg whites. That means no yolk. That means Sarah gets to separate an egg and be successful, probably. We’ll assume successful because of the unnecessary amount of “Guys” written at the beginning of the blog.

So I separated the first egg and I took a video of it like a nice human person who is not awkward and bad at videos.

 

I would like you to know that my Mother took the video, so it is her fault it is a vertical video, do not blame me, I had no idea she was so misinformed until it had already passed, so this is what is recorded in the world of my success. A vertical video.

So the egg separation was actually not that hard. I did mess up on one egg, so I will give you the advice that if you choose to separate eggs this way, make sure that the pressure of the bottle is what draws the egg in, don’t try to unsqueeze the bottle yourself. It will lose pressure and the yolk will break. I only did that once, and after I learned not to do that, it was relatively easy!

So then all I had to do was whisk the eggs until they were also more solid and had stiff peaks, and that was easy, I’d already done that with the meringue on the coconut cream pie.

Then I had to add the cream and eggs to the melted chocolate slowly, and fold them in. Folding is not my favourite thing to do. I didn’t know how to do it before I made the mousse and I was very unsure the whole time. Basically you cut the mix in half and then scoop one part over the other and then just do it over and over until the thing is mixed.

I was not a fan, and by the time I was finished, the whole thing was kind of a light brown soup. The instructions said to make sure that I didn’t deflate the eggs or the cream, but I don’t know what that’s supposed to look like, so I just tried not to vigorously stir or something. And it was like, a liquid, so I was pretty sure I had deflated something.

Then I put the mix into bowls and stuck it in the fridge for an hour and a half. Recipe said two hours, but it was 10:30 and we had to go to bed.

I pulled them out and guess what? They were actually mousse! Like the bowls magically turned into the fluffy stuff. And I was so sure that they would not because I had deflated or whatever. But no! I did it! I made the mousse and it tasted good. So I am a baking machine who can separate eggs and fold things with the best of them!

#SoProud

Ah, so beautiful.

So I know this is where I’d usually put the math portion of the project, but instead I wanted to do my own learning. I wanted to do some research into mousse, and why it turns into bubbles like that. Apparently, those are air bubbles, but I don’t know how they showed up in my mousse when they weren’t there before.

So I did some digging and I found like, nothing. Like, it was so hard to find anything, so I encourage anyone who is feeling particularly web-search talented to find out why.

The only thing I found was on one recipe that said that the egg whites, when whisked, add the foam and air for the mousse. But like, my liquid, not refrigerated mousse was not airy, so what happened? I am very perplexed by this.

I found a ton of articles about a mousse you can make with just chocolate and water and the science behind that. But I was like, cool, I’d like to know why my deflated mousse re inflated. Maybe I am totally wrong and it was inflated(?) the whole time? Who knows? Only the mousse, and I ate that, so whoops.

I think that this, though it’s not a math lesson, shows that the world can make us inquisitive and ask questions about things that we don’t know the answer to. And we can then try to come up with an answer using the resources we have. I failed at that part. But I am hoping someone can help me. Or maybe the actual answer is really just “whisking the eggs made them fluff up because you added air and that air was transferred into the mousse”. But that’s a really boring answer. I want the real answer to involve fire or something.

Here are some Cooking Videos I have Discovered

So this week I went back to Yorkton again because my hometown and I have attachment issues and cannot be apart for too long. But this weekend my family decided to paint their ceiling in the kitchen, and thus I had no way of baking as I was down one kitchen.

I decided, because I am unable to cook this week, I would instead find some videos online on how to bake some things and also a video on how to actually separate an egg. Because I’m really stuck on this egg separation thing, it just sounds so fancy.

The video I found on how to separate an egg white was by this super excited man who has a YouTube channel called “Greg’s Kitchen”.

He showed how to separate an egg, and honestly, this looks like the easiest thing in the world, I can’t believe it. I looked up baking things that require you to separate an egg, so I think next weekend I’m going to make chocolate mousse or something. Because you know, I always wanted to know how to make mousse and it just so happens that it contains separated eggs, so it’s a match made in heaven!

I watched a few more of his videos and he seems to make a lot of simple, cheap, and easy to follow recipes. And if you can get past just the worst jokes ever (I can’t tell if they are cringe-y or amazing, honestly), he has some pretty decent recipes. I don’t think I would use his channel for any other cooking routines because the bad jokes just don’t do it for me, but it he did more small tutorial videos of this sort, I could see them being useful. Either way, he taught me how to separate an egg, so stay tuned to see if it is actually a viable method for me!

After that, I just started watching different YouTubers. And I have one to share that I found on my own, and one that a friend linked to me about a week ago and kind of inspired the blog post because of my lack of kitchen.

I found a channel called “How to Cake it“, and I think I may use one of her videos in a later learning project, because I thought she was super nice and genuine and her recipes are all about the artistic side of  baking, which I hadn’t even considered to be something I should also learn! Also, I lost a bet recently, and I owe a friend some baking, so this seems like a good enough project as any. Also, it’ll mean I will upgrade from “from a box” baking, and actually make my own batter.

The last videos I found are from a channel called “You Suck at Cooking”, and it’s technically a cooking channel, but there are some desserts as well. I’m not going to link to a specific video here, if you want to see any of the videos, you can check out the channel on YouTube, but there is a little bit of language, so keep that in mind. Trying to keep my blog appropriate for all readers. (Even though let’s be real, what informational value is there here?) The videos are….weird. It’s like, a robot and sometimes a human cooking food with decent instructions, but poor execution. I think it makes more sense when you actually watch it. I personally think the videos are funny, and I do think that you could learn how to make something using one of the videos because the recipes are simple.

 

But anyway, here is my super short update for this week, hopefully we’ll get back on track next week when I actually have a kitchen again. The goal is to make mousse, but we’ll see what happens!