The Mathematics of Cooking

Out of complete boredom a few months back, I asked my fellow contestant from Junior Masterchef if he liked math. He said he hated it. I tried to explain that  if he wanted to be a good chef, he had to learn math. Irritated, he told me to be quiet, though in harsher terms, and I left the subject. Then my father told me to write about  the mathematics of cooking.  I guess he wants me to love  math as I do cooking. So here goes…

One time , I cooked steak for my family. It turned out, it was really salty. Mom said I did not use the right proportion of salt to the weight of the meat. Ignoring mathematics in the kitchen could destroy your dish.

These are some of the math concepts that come in handy :

  1. Measurements
  2. Fractions
  3. Addition
  4. Subtraction
  5. Multiplication
  6. Division
  7. Time
  8. Weight
  9. Ratio and Proportion
  10. Approximates

Here’s my first attempt at using math in cooking. One Friday, our charity, The Healthy Kidchen ,  were going to cook sweet plantains for recess. We were going to feed 50 kids at Holy Spirit Elementary School in Bgy. Holy Spirit .

We found a recipe for 1 serving of sweet plantains:

4 pieces plantains (saging na saba)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Problem:  I need to cook for 50 kids. Each kid will receive 2 plantains. The recipe is made for 4 plantains a serving. So what do I need to do?

Requirement: 50 servings ; 2 plantains per serving

Solution:

  1. I multiplied 50 by 2 to get 100 plantains, that we need to buy.
  2. I divided the 100 plantains by 4 (because the recipe makes one serving with 4 plantains). So that makes 25 the multiplier for each quantity of ingredients.
  3. I multiplied the 3/4 cups brown sugar by 25. That makes approximately 19 cups of brown sugar.
  4. I multiplied 1 1/2 cups water by 25. That makes 37 1/2 cups of water.
  5. I multiplied 1 teaspoon vanilla extract by 25. That makes 25 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
  6. I multiplied 1/4 teaspoon salt by 25. That makes 6 1/4 teaspoons of salt.
  7. This makes 25 servings of 4 plantains each, or in proportion, 50 servings of 2 plantains each.

Procedure:

1. Peel the plantains. Slice plantains diagonally.

2. Boil the water in a cooking pot.

3. Add brown sugar and stir until diluted.

4. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix well.

5. Put in the plantains and adjust the heat to medium. Cover the cooking pot and simmer for 8 to 12 minutes or until the liquid thickens.

6. Turn-off heat and allow the plantains to cool.

7. Transfer to a serving plate and serve.

Mathematical concepts used

  1. Ratio and Propotion
  2. Fraction
  3. Multiplication
  4. Division
  5. Approximate

Here are the results:

Some very happy kids =)

Math + cooking = Some very happy kids

Please Vote for Me, (pleeeaaasee…..=))

Please like this page

I’m very happy to be a finalist in Philippine Blog Awards. Please like the link below to vote for me.  The deadline is on December 2, 2011.  It wouldn’t be possible without you, my readers . Thank you very much!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150389489924926&set=a.10150389488519926.357565.102102369925&type=3&theater

Thank you friends!

Junior Master Chef Pinoy Edition (Part 7) – The Treston Experience continued- Knife Skills (DICE)

How to Dice a Potato

Click here to watch the video.

Knife skills - batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise

DICE

LARGE DICE

Large dice (19mm)

A large dice is a 3/4 inch (19 mm) cube.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 3/4″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 3/4″ strips.
  5. Cut into 3/4″ cubes.

MEDIUM DICE

Medium dice (12mm)

A  medium dice is a 1/2″ (12mm) cube.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/2″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/2″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/2″ cubes.

SMALL DICE

Small dice (6mm)

A small dice is a 1/4″ (6 mm) cube.

  1. Cut off top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato later.
  3. Cut into 1/4″ slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/4″ strips.
  5. Cut into 1/4″ cubes.

My Halloween at SM Megamall

Hey everyone. Welcome to my Halloween blog. Today I’m going to tell you all about my Halloween party.

Oct 30. 2011.
 Sunday

Me and my family packed our bags and wore our clothes. My mom told us to wear our Halloween costumes right away. Her reason is when we get to the hotel we’ll just leave our bags in our room and well go directly to SM Mega mall.

The taxi came to pick us up. It took us half an hour to get to the Shangri la hotel. After 20 minutes we went to SM to trick or treat. I saw the party was so…. crowded with people. I was so excited to trick or treat because it was my first time.

We bought eco bags with a list of 50 stores. There were about 50 stores who will give candies to kids.

First, we went to the food court. There were more than 20 stores in the food court. We could get a prize by getting signatures from 20 shops. Too bad the other stores don’t have candies yet. So we still need to go around the mall to get more candies.

This is how we did it. First we asked the nearest store the Jollibee. Next we went to Greenwich.

Trick or treat!

When we went to 17 stores, the 18th store was a hair salon. In the hair salon there were 3 witches. When we went in and said “trick or treat”, a group of children came out of nowhere. Zia, Oz and I were pushed by the kids while Zoe just stood there like a post, she wasn’t pushed even an inch. After that, my mom took a picture of us with the three witches.

Me my siblings and the 3 witches.

The last store we went to was the Pepper Lunch. They gave us 3 candies and we finally got 20 signatures. My mom told us to get 1 more extra to be sure. Then Oz said “what?! I’m hungry already. Let’s just eat” after a few seconds he changed his mind. He said “ok but just one more”.

After that we went to a man who was in charge of giving the bags, list and prizes. The prize was just a notebook, poster, candy and jelly juice.

Then we ate lunch at Yoshinoya. I ordered a bento box because I was hungry.

Mmmm.. it's a delicious lunch.

The lunch was good and nourishing. After lunch, we went to Toy Kingdom.

I will give 5 stars for the trick or treat and the lunch. And that’s all for today everyone. See you next time Arrivederci, and Hasta La Vista guys.

Junior Masterchef Pinoy Edition (part 6) – Treston Experience continued – Knife Skills

How to Batonnet and Julienne a Potato

Click here to watch the video.

Knife skills - batonnet, julienne, dice, brunoise

BATONNET

  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato on this side later.
  3. Cut one side into 1/4 inch (6 mm) slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/4 inch (6 mm) strips.
  5. Cut the length into 2.5 inches long if you want a true batonnet.

1. Cut the sides

2. Form a rectangle.

3. Cut into slabs.

4. Cut into strips.

REGULAR JULIENNE
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato on this side later.
  3. Cut the potato into 1/8 inch (3mm) slabs.
  4. Cut it into 1/8 inch (3mm) strips.
  5. Cut the length into 2 1/2 inches long.
FINE JULIENNE
  1. Cut off the top and bottom of the potato.
  2. Slice the sides to make a rectangle but leave one side uncut so you can hold the potato on this side later.
  3. Cut the potato into 1/16 inch (1.5mm) slabs.
  4. Cut into 1/16 inch (1.5 mm) strips.
  5. Cut the length into 2 inches long.