I make Texas shaped waffles every Saturday morning. But this weekend I ran into a snag. The recipe called for 2 cups of Bisquick and I only had 1 1/4 cups left!

### Break out the fractions!

“This shouldn’t be a problem,” I thought. “I’m good with fractions. I’ll just scale down the whole recipe.”

2 cups is the same as 8 quarter cups. I have 1 1/4 cups of Bisquick – or five quarter cups.

So I need to break the other ingredients down into eight pieces and only use five of them.

This is the thinking that most math people would translate into, “I need 5/8 of the whole recipe.”

### Sounds good!

Until I saw the other ingredients…

- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons oil

For real?!

Here’s how I thought about the fractions in the 1 1/3 cups milk:

Since I need 5 of the eight pieces, I need 5 of the 1/6 cups. Grief!

“Don’t panic,” I thought, “4 of the 1/6 cups give me 2/3. And 5/6 is pretty close to 1. So let’s just estimate the milk as ** almost a cup**.”

### Now what about the egg?

I was not about to find 5/8 of an egg. So I thought:

The recipe doesn’t say a large egg or a medium egg. And the variations of eggs are huge. So what would it matter if I used one egg or 5/8 of an egg? It’s still pretty close.

I dumped the whole egg in.

### And I threw caution to the wind.

At this point, my fractions were so far gone I just tipped the bottle of oil up and let it go.

And wouldn’t you know – we had some pretty awesome waffles!

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I once had an automatically-scaled recipe call for 5/8 of a pinch of salt.

Colin Beveridge recently posted..Cancelling Fractions – Secrets of the Mathematical Ninja

Well, Colin, I’m just not sure how to respond to that.

Which was probably your response as well!