Cooking With Fractions

I love to read cookbooks but I don’t necessarily cook any of the recipes especially if I need to half or double a recipe; fractions can be problematic.  Reading cookbooks vs. cooking; it’s a lifelong habit of daydreaming about culinary creations that could be.  Let me explain.

While rummaging around this weekend I found my copy of Betty Crocker’s Cook Book for Boys and Girls.  I would let you know how old it is but the first page that is still in the book is page #21.  I’m seeing photos of cakes but no cake recipes in the pages I have.  It makes sense, in a cookbook for children you would put dessert first.  It seems like a good plan for any cookbook.  Desserts are what we look for first whether we’re a child or an adult.

The Story Behind the Recipe

This cooking story falls into the “why do we always remember the bad things and not the good” category.  It was probably 4th or 5th grade.  I’m trying to remember which classroom I was in at the time but all the hallways were the same so it’s hard to jog my feeble brain cells.  Doesn’t matter.  The story is actually about math failure.

The homework was to find a recipe and double the ingredients.  Obviously it was a mathematics problem and as I recall we were working with fractions.  Memory is fickle so I’m not sure if I chose the Candle Salad or the Bunny Salad, they are on adjoining pages.  To be sure you completely understand my mistake I’ll give you both recipes, although I’m 90% sure it was the Candle Salad.

Let me just say, to shorten the story considerably here’s the bottom line: I failed.  I was sent home in disgrace to find a better recipe.  The teacher told me I had not done the assignment correctly and must go do it again.  Since I do not remember any other homework assignment from my elementary schooldays this must have been my defining moment; the moment when I knew I better know my nouns from my verbs and the year Columbus sailed the ocean blue because math was not going to be my friend.

The Recipes

Candle Salad

Prepared candle salad

For candle base use – 1 slice pineapple

The candle is ½ banana set upright in center of pineapple   slice

The flame is 1 maraschino cherry, fastened on top of banana with a toothpick.

Bunny Salad

Not quite the same but similar to my bunny salad

Place crisp lettuce leaf on a plate

One top of it, place upside down – a chilled pear half

Make bunny, using narrow end for face

Eyes – 2 raisins

Nose – 1 red cinnamon candy

Ears – 2 blanched almonds

For his tail – cottage cheese ball.

You Be the Teacher

If you had been the teacher would you have accepted either of these recipes?  Remember the idea was for us to use fractions.   I hang my head in shame.

If you would like an email when a new blog is posted click on the “Follow Blog” button in the right column, in the meantime, leave me a reply and comment about the favorite recipes you made as a child – successes and failures.

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3 Comments on “Cooking With Fractions”

  1. Jennifer says:

    That is the most interesting dessert I have ever seen. 🙂

  2. […] Cooking With Fractions (foodthoughtsbyjhg.wordpress.com) […]


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