5 comments on “More math food blogging: I may need some help from my Southern friends.”

More math food blogging: I may need some help from my Southern friends.

I think I may have an eating problem. Or just a eating mathematically problem. Here’s my problem today.

Delicious, delicious pigs-in-a-blanket (from pillsbury.com):

Pigs-in-a-blanket, for the uninitiated, are little hot dog/sausage type things warmly embraced by crescent rolls dough. In fact, that’s the ingredient list:

  • Little sausages.
  • A can of crescent rolls dough.

Cooking instructions: Wrap those little buggers up and toss them into an oven until you can’t stand it any longer.

At least, that’s how I’ve always made them. Maybe I could get super-ambitious and make my own dough but that sounds a lot of work for breakfast (side note: yes, this is a breakfast food).

Here’s the problem. How am I supposed to cut this triangular piece of dough to ensure proper sausage coverage?

Like this, this, or this? Or none of the above?

I can’t seem to get congruent triangles out of this thing. So I end up with mismatched pigs-in-blankets. Some have too much dough, some have too little. Many don’t wrap properly.

Awful. Just awful.

Like I said, I can’t get the triangles to come out congruent.

Not only are the triangles not congruent, they’re not similar at all. They’re not even the same type of triangle. So I need advice on a few levels.

How can I cut the initial right triangle dough in order to get:

    • The most congruent-like triangles?
    • The most similar-like triangles?
    • Obtain congruent and similar triangles that make for easy sausage-wrapping?

Here’s what I start with.

I want to end with those perfectly covered pigs-in-blankets above. How to I get from start to finish? Please let me know in the comments or tweet me a picture of the proper triangle-slicing orientation.

0 comments on “Area, Overlap, and Sandwich Meat Efficiency”

Area, Overlap, and Sandwich Meat Efficiency

I find myself writing about food a lot on this here blog. I’m starting to wonder if one could construct a whole thematic unit around the Math of Food. Or create a “meal” from appetizer, main course, and desert items.

Or maybe I just need to eat breakfast.

Artifact

Good Sandwich Guide.

Not sure where it originated, but I found it here on one of those 99 Life Hacks! pages.

Guiding Questions

  • How much overlap of bologna occurs in the “traditional” versus the “life hack” method?
  • How much area of bread is wasted in the “traditional” orientation?

Suggested activities

  • This seems like an investigation ripe for Geogebra.

I’d also consider bringing several bread sizes and shapes. How would you orient the bologna for rectangular kinds of sandwich bread?

And don’t even get me started on cheese.

8 comments on “Can we make an even “edgier” brownie pan? What about the “perfect” brownie pan?”

Can we make an even “edgier” brownie pan? What about the “perfect” brownie pan?

Artifact

This, my friends, is part math, part food, part art, all deliciousness:

It’s the all edge brownie pan, which I found from my new Favorite Website of All Time, Reasons to Go Broke. Here’s the description from the Amazon page (perfect 5-star rating):

“For corner brownie fans and chewy edge lovers, it’s a dream come true — a gourmet brownie pan that adds two chewy edges to every serving!”

2012 just became the best year ever.

Guiding Questions

  • How can we measure the “edginess” of this brownie pan?
  • What would happen if you added a couple more horizontal partitions?
  • What if you liked the center brownies? Could we make a pan to cater to these monsters?
  • Similarly, what if you like brownies with three or four edges?
  • Can we make an even “edgier” brownie pan by adjusting the partitions?
  • Does the edginess change if we increase or decrease the dimensions of the pan?

Suggested activities

  • Develop a metric for the “edginess” of a brownie pan. I’m thinking surface area-to-volume ratio should do the trick.
  • Plot the number of partitions against the “edginess”.
  • Use Google Sketch Up to make a model of this brilliance.
  • (Just go with me on this one) Take a poll. Figure out how many people like 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, or zero-edged brownies, then challenge the class to make the “ideal” brownie pan.
  • Make awesome brownies.

I’d also be willing to bet that someone more skilled than I at Geogebra could make a construction of this, complete with a diagram and a plot of partitions vs. edginess.

The more I think about it, the more I like that “ideal” brownie pan idea. But here’s my question: are there people out there than think two is not the ideal number of brownie edges? My fear is that the “ideal” brownie pan has already been made. And it’s available for $34.95 at Amazon.