Mediterranean diet

The following account is an actual conversation between myself and the pharmacist at Walgreens (while picking up a prescription for grandpa).

Matt: “How many prescriptions does the average 70 year old have?”
Pharmacist: “It depends on the person.”

Matt: “The average shouldn’t depend on the person.”
Pharmacist: “Good point. Probably 10 or so.”

Matt: “You said it depends. What then makes the greatest difference in the number of prescriptions a person has?”
Pharmacist: “A mediterranean diet.”

Matt: “Huh?”
Pharmacist: “You know, mostly fresh plants and fruits, whole grains, moderate wine consumption, and regular physical activity.”

Matt: “And how many prescriptions does the mediterranean diet patient have?”
Pharmacist: “4-6. Most everyone else, 10-12.”

Matt: “Hmmm.”

Knife Sharpening

Over the years, I have acquired numerous sharpening and honing devices: whetstones, carbide rods in holders, diamond stones, and more. While the carbide “pull it down the blade” sharpeners work, they do no produce an edge that lasts. Invariably, I keep returning to the whetstone.

But I loathe using the stones, probably because I’m not very good at it. It takes me a half hour per knife to get something resembling that super-sharp factory edge. Because it takes so long, I don’t sharpen them often enough. So I start using the santoku knife instead of the chef knife, and a carving knife instead of a paring knife. Until there’s not a sharp knife left on my magnetic knife bar.

Then, finally, I spend a half day sharpening all my knives. Which I did, last week. And by jove, they are much sharper. But it’s also obvious which ones I didn’t spend enough time on. My chef’s knife no longer glides through raw carrots like it did 15 years ago when it arrived from the Henckel factory. And I lack the sharpening skills to get it there.

I considered hiring a service to sharpen them all, setting the edge for me. Then I could continue touching them up with the stones. But for the same money, I found and purchased a knife sharpener. My review is on Amazon’s site.

[amazon asin=B000TYBWJ0&template=iframe image&chan=default]

Kitchen Math: Area

Q: Your pizza dough recipe is for a 12″ diameter pizza. Your pizza pan is 14″ diameter. You proceed by:

a) make a thin crust pizza
b) scale the recipe by __%

I chose to scale the recipe. A twelve inch pizza pan has an area of 6 * 6 * 3.14 (π) = 113. A fourteen inch pan has an area of 7 * 7 * 3.14 = 154. The difference in area is 154 – 113 = 41. Since the existing recipe is for 12 inches, I need to scale it up by 41 / 113 * 100 = 36%.