Monday, October 15, 2007

Kitchen Math

I'm hoping that a time will come when I will be able to make my living through my cooking. Probably won't be any time soon, but it's still a goal I have. One way I would love to do this is teaching children's cooking classes aimed at reinforcing the basic skills learned in school. This month's Daring Bakers Challenge provided a great example of a cooking math lesson (and no, I will not be giving any clues about this month's challenge in this'll just have to wait until 10/29 to find out about it).

The recipe called for 2 3/4 Tbs. of cornstarch. I'm not sure about you, but I don't have a 1/4 Tbs. measure. So how to get the precise amount? Eyeballing it just wouldn't do.

So, I pulled out my handy-dandy kitchen scale, placed a small ramekin on it and zeroed it out. Then, I measured out my tablespoon of cornstarch.

I then weighed my tablespoon of cornstarch. Apparently, 1 Tbs. of cornstarch is 8 g.

Then I used math, algebra even, to figure out how much 2 3/4 Tbs. of cornstarch would weigh. Apparently, the answer is 22 g. This is when I hope I did the math right so the entire blogging world doesn't see that I'm an idiot. :-) But since the recipe worked, I think I'm ok.

I then weight out my 22 g of cornstarch and went on with my baking :-)

I love it that there are so many things you can teach (and learn) through cooking. Math is a very obvious one. But science and chemistry are important. And reading. You have to be able to read to follow a recipe and. And I like the idea of using food to learn about other cultures. I can see myself teaching geography and culture through food. Understanding the cuisines of the world and why they are what they are. There's so much there. And by using food and cooking to teach these lessons to kids, you are able to open their eyes to new things, and help them build a skill that will serve them well the rest of their lives. I know my kids (when the time comes) will do lots of learning in the kitchen with me.