Are you a math person?
I’m a weird sort of non-math math person. I’m the type of person who can figure out completely convoluted math word problems quickly. But then, I’m sad to say, my basic math skills – like multiplication and division – are pretty lacking. Sigh. I have absolutely nothing to say for myself.
Mike is always confounded as to how my mind works. He’s the opposite of me, so I guess we complete each other, lol.
In high school, I remember just about every math teacher I ever had telling the class that we’d be using math nearly every day for the rest of our lives. Of course that was usually in response to a wise crack from some student complaining When are we ever going to use this in real life?!
Well, kids, I can tell you that if you want to have a food blog you’ll be using fractions, ratios, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division almost every time you cook.
For example, take this recipe. (Which by the way, bears noting that it tastes like autumn and smells like heaven.) I made this gorgeous Pumpkin New York-Style Crumb Cake in a 7 by 11-inch rectangular baking dish. It’s an odd size, I get that. Normally you’d see 9 by 13-inch or 8 by 8-inch, but this recipe just fit perfectly into a 7 by 11. And I knew someone would ask me if they can use a different size baking dish. (I totally don’t mind, so don’t feel bad about asking questions! But I like to be prepared if possible.) So I wanted to calculate the area of the baking dish and see what would be comparable before the question crept up.
For this size rectangular dish, the area is length multiplied by width, or 7 X 11 = 77 inches2.
Easy enough, but I knew that in order to find a comparably sized dish, I would need to look at circular dishes and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to calculate the area of a circle. Enter Google…I found the equation and it all came flooding back to me. (Well, not really all, lol.)
For a circle, A = ∏r2.
Long story short and to spare you any math-related boredom, the closest size pan is a 10-inch round pan with an area of 78.5 inches2. So for this recipe, feel free to use a 7 by 11-inch rectangular baking dish or 10-inch round pan. Whatever works.
Note that this recipe should also work just fine either using an 8 by 8-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch round pan; but just a heads-up, you will most likely have to increase the baking time a bit to account for a slightly smaller pan being used. (If you try it in a different sized pan, let me know how it goes!)
And now about this cake. If you’re a fan of New York-Style Crumb Cake and you like seasonal flavors, this will be your new favorite. It’ll be your go-to when a friend wants to drop by for a quick chat…or when you need something sweet to bring to a party…or hey, maybe even just for a middle-of-the-week-I-made-it-to-Wednesday-treat. I won’t judge; some weeks that’s just the way it goes.
Serve it with coffee, tea, or steaming hot apple cider for maximum fall atmosphere.
P.S. If you’re into pumpkin treats, you might also like my recipe for Pumpkin & Cheese Spice Bread!