Tag Archives: Culinary

Pi à la Mode

IMG_4546

Every year on March Fourteenth people around the world celebrate the most famous mathematical constant: the ratio of the length of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. This is an irrational number, approximated to 3.14 (or 3.1415926) and represented by the Greek letter π. As a number, π is transcendental and real as well as irrational. Mathematician James Glaisher remarked of π that “a complete account of its calculation would almost amount to a history of mathematics.” (Quoted in: William Dunham, The Genius of Euler: Reflections on His Life and Work: On the History of Euler’s Constant (The Mathematical Association of America, 2007), p. 147.)

π has been calculated out to over a trillion decimal places, but we still do not know where it ends! Competitions to recite the known sequence of digits are held regularly around the world. (See pi-world-ranking-list.com for record-setting recitations.)

Mathematician Mark Kac noted that “pi, so intimately connected with circles, keeps cropping up in probability theory and statistics, the two disciplines which deal with randomness and luck.” (Mark Kac, Enigmas of Chance: An Autobiography: The Search for the Meaning of Independence (Harper & Row, 1985), p. 55.) We have an activity set up for you to experience this, based on Buffon’s Needle, the proof named after Georges-Louis LeClerc, Comte de Buffon, a scientist who enjoyed gambling.

The Greek letter π is pronounced like our English word “pie” – hence the puns, since pie is usually made in a circular pan, and, being a delicious pastry, may be difficult to divide fairly, as memorialized in the old English nursery rhyme:

A was once an Apple pie; B bit it; C cut it; D dealt it; E eat it; F fought for it; G got it; H had it; I inspected it; J joined it; K kept it; L longed for it; M mourned for it; N nodded at it; O opened it; P peeped in it; Q quartered it; R ran for it; S stole it; T took it; U upset it; V viewed it; W wanted it; X, Y, Z, and ampersand, all wished for a piece in hand.

March Fourteenth is also the birthday of Albert Einstein (b. 1879), who theorized what is perhaps the most famous equation using a constant in our universe: the relationship of mass to energy, represented by E=mc2 (E=energy; m=mass; c=the speed of light).

March Fourteenth is the death anniversary of another famous physicist: Stephen Hawking (d. 2018) who developed theories about the origins of our universe, and black holes, based on Einstein’s work.

The Library is displaying books by and about Einstein and Hawking, plus books on number theory and pastries, this month.

Come on in for some Pi!

 

New Culinary Books

Enjoy biscuits and cakes, puddings and pies, from romance and comedy through to horror and science fiction, and discover fun, edible versions of your favorite novels.

Scone with the Wind: Cakes & Bakes with a Literary Twist by Miss Victoria Sponge: TX771 .S366 2015

“Jenny’s creative cookie designs are achievable, yet impressive. Jenny always delivers when it comes to creating eye-catching and delicious treats that everyone can enjoy.” (Desiree Smith, Wilton Brands)

Cookie Class: 120 Irresistible Decorating Ideas for Any Occasion by Jenny Keller: TX772 .K39 2019

“A fascinating read full of delicious detail. Claire Stewart explores the diversity of American wedding food and wedding feast traditions.” (Vicki Howard, visiting fellow, University of Essex)

As Long As We Both Shall Eat: A History of Wedding Food and Feasts by Claire Stewart: GT2690 .S74 2017

“What a joy this is for hungry readers everywhere: stylish, fun and clever. If there is comfort food, there is also comfort reading, and The Little Library Cookbook is it.” (Bee Wilson)

The Little Library Cookbook: 100 Recipes from Your Favorite Books by Kate Young: TX714 .Y687 2017

The Big Book of Amazing Cakes brings the magic of The Great British Baking Show to your kitchen with easy-to-follow recipes for every shape, size and delicious flavor of cake you can imagine.

The Great British Baking Show: The Big Book of Amazing Cakes by The Baking Show Team: TX771 .B535 2019

Welcome to the amazing world of pigfiteroles in mud, koala macarons, and the enchanting cat paradise cake… It’s time to infuse your baking with a sprinkle of glitter and a menagerie of cute creatures with the help of Kim-Joy–finalist on Great British Bake Off and America’s Great British Baking Show!

Baking with Kim-Joy: Cute and Creative Bakes to Make You Smile by Kim-Joy: TX771 .B355 2019

Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis

9781538106976

By Robyn Griggs Lawrence, best-selling author of The Cannabis Cookbook

Call number: TX 819 .M25 L38 2019

View record in IvyCat

Intended for culinary research; also useful for written and oral presentations on the topic of marijuana legalization and medicinal use. “A comprehensive history of cannabis as a unique culinary ingredient, from ancient India and Persia to today’s explosive new market. Cannabis, the hottest new global food trend, has been providing humans with nutrition, medicine, and solace […] since the earliest cavepeople discovered its powers. In colorful detail, the book explores the debate over the cannabis plant’s taxonomy and nomenclature, then follows as it co-evolves with humans throughout history, beloved by the masses, reviled by the elite, and shrouded in conflict and secrecy. […] Along the way, Robyn Griggs Lawrence explores the medicinal qualities of cannabis and its resurgence as a both a recreational drug and a respite from various illnesses and ailments. With recipes and stories throughout, this work is sure to entertain and inform readers about the history of cannabis as an edible ingredient in a variety of foods.” — Publisher

Never Home Alone

97815416457451From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live

By Rob Dunn

Call Number: QH309 .D866 2018

View in IvyCat

Just in time for mud season, we have acquired this best-selling science book. It is a fun read, and contains relevant information for our agriculture, biology, building construction, culinary, health sciences, and HVAC-R programs. Rob Dunn is a rigorous scientist who writes in an engaging style about his research, revealing how simple curiosity can advance knowledge. There are so many astonishing facts in this “natural history of where we live,” that readers will be transported back to a childlike appreciation for creepy-crawlies. Dunn also walks  through the history of microbiology as he investigates water pipes, air systems, construction materials, kitchens, and the bodies of humans and their pets. There is a good dose of social history, too, as he considers how science has changed the way we live – not always for the better. His frank admission of what biologists don’t know yet will inspire budding scientists.

March is Frozen Food Month

An email from the Census Bureau alerted us that March is “Frozen Food Month.” Frozen food is easy to cook, but a complex topic. The frozen food industry was born in the USA and continues to develop globally, involving agriculture, food science, logistics, and refrigeration engineering – all subjects taught here at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

Frozen foods have both responded to, and influenced, our culture; from the way we cook to our transportation infrastructure. The contribution of this industry to our economy is massive. We have assembled some statistics in our library displays marking this month.

Tucked in among the charts, books, and journals are some themed treats, while supplies last … and yes, you can chew gum at the computers!

 

How to Roast Everything

9781945256226_p0_v4_s550x406

A Game-Changing Guide to Building Flavor in Meat, Vegetables, and More. 

Call number: TX 690 .H69 2018  View record in IvyCat

“The first cookbook devoted to the art and science of roasting from America’s Test Kitchen, pulling together decades of test kitchen experience and knowledge in one place” (publisher). Designed as a master class in roasting, each of the 175+ recipes includes a “Why this recipe works” feature explaining the cooking process. Wholesale cuts of meat and their attributes are explained, along with safe handling and storage practices. An extensive section on roasting vegetables and fruits is included, and many dressings as well. A chapter on using charcoal or gas grills extends the versatility of this book. Includes metric conversions and index.

Light up December

Welcome to December, the darkest month of the year in the northern hemisphere. It’s not surprising that all cultures and traditions in this area have celebrations involving lights or fires and feasting. We have displays of cookbooks from our extensive collection that you can check out for your holiday cooking.

Our December graduates will surely shine brightly on all around them. We wish them all the best as they leave us. Special thanks to our wonderful library student assistant Cassondra.

New Products in the Library include the Testing and Education Reference Center database. It has practice entrance exam questions for public safety jobs, for Accounting certification, Teacher Praxis exams, the GED, SAT, CLEP, LSAT, and many more. Also included are tools for assessing career choices, writing your resume, and interviewing.

GFCLearnFree is a resource that we’d like to reintroduce. This portal contains hundreds of free training tools for students and really any adult trying to function in the USA. Improve your computer keyboarding and mousing, understand how Excel spreadsheets work, get an overview of using social media tools, reading a transit map, and so much more.