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One of the most enjoyable ways I know of to do math is using food.
When my lad was young we used skittles and m&m’s to count and subtract. We broke hallowe’en candy down into groups and numbers, seeing how it all went together and what not. We’ve done gummy bear math, lego math, and math blocks. Lots of fun in many different ways.
As he gets older I find it harder to make math fun, but I’ve also discovered my lad finds new food FUN NOW!! Gack! Can you imagine it? This super picky boy likes experimenting with food now!
It moves fun into the kitchen, trying new recipes, finding ones that are for singles and making them work for threes, finding recipes for crowds, and making the recipe just enough for one, maybe two meals. Math is fun when it involves new food.
Here’s a recipe we worked with recently, that was way too big for our family of three. Throw into the math mix was the variation in veggies available. What to do eh? Can a lad use his math skills to figure out how to work it all out? Can he use his critical thinking skills to determine all the changes he may need to make?
- 2 cups frozen peas and carrots
- 2 cups frozen green beans
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 2/3 cup butter
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 4 cups cubed cooked turkey meat – light and dark meat mixed
- 4 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
- Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Place the peas and
carrots, green beans, and celery into a saucepan; cover with water,
bring to a boil, and simmer over medium-low heat until the celery is
tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the vegetables in a colander set in the
sink, and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a
saucepan over medium heat, and cook the onion until translucent, about 5
minutes. Stir in 2/3 cup of flour, salt, black pepper, celery seed,
onion powder, and Italian seasoning; slowly whisk in the chicken broth
and milk until the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Remove from
heat; stir the cooked vegetables and turkey meat into the filling until
- Fit 2 pie crusts into
the bottom of 2 9-inch pie dishes. Spoon half the filling into each pie
crust, then top each pie with another crust. Pinch and roll the top and
bottom crusts together at the edge of each pie to seal, and cut several
small slits into the top of the pies with a sharp knife to release
- Bake in the preheated
oven until the crusts are golden brown and the filling is bubbly, 30 to
35 minutes. If the crusts are browning too quickly, cover the pies with
aluminum foil after about 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before
Would you like to work through the same thinking my lad had to do?
There are no really wrong answers. It’s playing around with a recipe and seeing what you think works and then proving out your thoughts and math skills.
Click on the image below for a free printable.
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