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Cooking without Proportions

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Algebra and Proportions 2

Remember that x will not always be in the numerator. Sometimes the variable is in the denominator, but the process is the same.

Solve the following for x.

36/x = 108/12

Cross multiply:36 * 12 = 108 * x432 = 108xDivide both sides by 108 to solve for x.432/108 = 108x/1084 = xCheck and make sure the answer is right. Remember, a proportion is defined as 2 equivalent fractions:Does 36/4 = 108/12?36/4 = 9108/12 = 9It’s right!

Use Proportions to Modify a Recipe

On Monday, you are cooking enough white rice to serve exactly 3 people. The recipe calls for 2 cups of water and 1 cup of dry rice. On Sunday, you are going to serve rice to 12 people. How would the recipe change? If you’ve ever made rice, you know that this ratio — 1 part dry rice and 2 parts water — is important. Mess it up, and you’ll be scooping a gummy, hot mess on top of your guests' crawfish étouffée.

Because you are quadrupling your guest list (3 people * 4 = 12 people), you must quadruple your recipe. Cook 8 cups of water and 4 cups of dry rice. These shifts in a recipe demonstrate the heart of proportions: use a ratio to accommodate life's greater and smaller changes.


Vegetable Oil

Vegetable oil is a generic term used to describe cooking oil derived from vegetable sources.  It is generally lower in saturated fats than animal based fats and oils and is commonly used for frying food, baking and other cooking.  As vegetable oil is often a blend of different types of oil it is not possible to determine the ratio between the different types of fat.  Labels on different vegetable oil products may give some clue as to the type of oils used and their relative fat contents. In the UK rapeseed oil is often labelled as vegetable oil.