## Thursday, February 28, 2008

### A Little Math Distraction

My extended family and I have been playing with an e-mail that was going around with a math problem regarding girls, backpacks and cats. Maybe you've seen it... I have a math problem of my own.

Yesterday, I was making sugar cookies, which called for 1 cup of oil and 4 cups of flour, among other things. I used up all of my oil. Meanwhile, Daniel decided to start "washing the dishes," which means playing with all the dishes and getting water everywhere. In the process of adding the rest of the ingredients, I realized I had added an extra cup of flour. I tasted the dough (why else do I make cookies but to eat the dough?) and it was indeed too flour-y.

What to do? Hmmmm... I'm out of oil... I found some olive oil - half a cup. So, here are some possible questions... What was the limiting reagent in my cookie recipe? (That would be for the first year chemistry student.) How much more flour (and other ingredients, if I had listed them) do I need to add to make the cookies taste right?

Those are some valid questions. However, the questions I want answered are these: How many cookie dough balls did Daniel eat while I was on the phone? How much time did it take me to clean up the mess that Daniel made while I was making cookies?

One note about Daniel eating cookie dough balls... When I started to squish the balls with a glass dipped in sugar (with Daniel's help, of course), Daniel pointed to the spot where a ball had been and asked, "Where'd it go?" This is a game we like to play with things that Daniel hides. I said, "I don't know... where's it go?" At this point, usually he pulls it out from behind his back and says, "There it is!" This time, however, he said with a sheepish smile, "In my mouth!"