I Can’t Cook Because I am Afraid of Math


Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Cooking is an art they said
Maybe it is so
The colors, the textures
The way the ingredients are brought together
The heady smell of a well-baked cake
A medley of colors in a simple salad
A dance performance when you see the perfect layered biryani
Sheer artistry when you see cakes and bakes in all their shapes and designs
Plating is an art form all by itself

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Cooking is nothing but science they said
I agree with all my heart
Yeast reacts with dough
Oil reacts with batter
Heat things to get a certain taste
Burn things to get another
Freeze stuff to create a whole different magic
A kitchen is a chemistry lab in disguise
So much goes on in the simplest of dishes

Image by Nadja Golitschek from Pixabay

But no one warned me that cooking has so much math
Ratio and proportion
One cup of rice is to 3 cups of water
And what if I use one and a quarter cups of rice?

Precise measurements
The height of the container that can go into the cooker
Which vessel do I use to make this dish? Is it big enough?
Brought sugar from the store. Can this bottle hold it all?
Oh no, the bottle is just a little small.
2 spoons of sugar need to be eaten since the jar can’t hold them!

Image by Chuk Yong from Pixabay

Making a new dish?
Follow the easy recipe
Add three cups of this, a half cup of that, and a quarter cup of something else
How do you measure a quarter cup exactly?
The answer — oh just eyeball it!
What happened to precision?
You miss out, you mess up!

And then there is geometry
Roll out the rotis and puris
They better be perfectly round
Damn, I couldn’t get perfect circles even with my compass in school
End up creating amoebae of different shapes and sizes

What about weights and measures?
For two people, we buy half a kilogram of a certain vegetable
We are having guests, dear God, please help!
3 of them
How many kgs of veggies should I buy?
Can they bring along another person so that the math is a bit easier?
3 is just plain odd!

What is a teaspoon?
I am not a tea drinker, thank you!
And a tablespoon?
I never keep any spoons on my table
What is the <beep> difference?

Image by Henrik Larsen from Pixabay

There is a reason I never took to baking
I feel positively dumb when I see a baking recipe
Accurate measurements down to the last gram
So many ingredients to bring together
Remember to preheat the oven
Wait…is the temperature in centigrade or celsius?
An hour later…dang. They mean the same thing, don’t they?

Time, time, let’s not forget the importance of every minute
Did you check when you starting cooking the idlis?
Have you noted the time?
Should it cook for ten minutes? Or fifteen?

I can attempt to be an artist.
I can aspire to be a scientist.
But a mathematician?
That’s where I draw the line
And even that line is not straight without a scale!

Note: Er…I can cook. My family survives to tell the tale. But I do face some of the challenges noted above. Wonder if the math of it all gets to others too?

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