It’s March 14 again — a time to remember that wonderful 3.14 that humans find so useful. Since Nature’s not able to bake a pie, she did the best she could.

Or the Life of Pi, perhaps. This photos been hanging out in my files since 2015. Every year about March 20 I think, “Well, darn. I should have posted that.” This year, I finally made it!

Do you get shoofly pie down there? It’s just molasses and butter crumbs — it can be delicious, or gummy and tasteless. But a good one is delicious, on my Top Twenty list of pies

I’ve never had shoofly pie, but there’s a southern variation called chess pie. It’s simple, too, and like your shoofly, can hit either extreme on the deliciousness scale. Chess pie usually adds some acidity in the form of vinegar or lemon juice, and a bit of corn meal. At least, my recipe does.

Believe it or not, I learned about the Ides of March from my mother, whose birthday was March 15. I still remember this silly joke she told:

Julius Caesar asked Brutus to bring him a dozen apples. When Brutus returned and Caesar counted the apples, he found only ten. That’s when looked his friend in the eye and asked, “Et tu, Brute?”

Actually, I think I might have been far enough along in my schooling that I knew the background story — probably in junior high. By 8th grade we were taking Latin, and memorizing that Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres thing. I think schooling was a bit different in those faraway days!

No, π r not 2. π r round. Cornbread r 2. Just wanted to clear that up. Love the picture. I’m celebrating π day by having a blueberry muffin and a vanilla shake. Life is short. Eat what you like.

That’s the Texas version of the saying I grew up with: “Pie aren’t square. Pie are round. Cake are square.” It’s the cornbread that makes yours Texan, I think.

“Life is short; eat what you like” is wisdom for the ages. I’ve always found that the medicinal application of ice cream can work wonders.

I found it: the Gregory-Leibniz series. I see it takes only about 500,000 iterations to come close.

That’s as good as this question that occupied me for a while a few weeks back:

Why is it that when you pick a number, any number, then double it, add 6, halve it, and take away the number you started with, your answer is always 3?

So far, three it’s been. I still don’t know why, but I had a lot of fun with it.

Let x be the starting number.
After you double it you have 2x.
After you add 6 you have 2x+6.
After you halve that you have x+3.
After you subtract the original number (which is x), all that’s left is 3.
Voilà!

You can thank me, and I can thank algebra, which has ridden to the rescue once again.

Mathematics has not yet ridden to the rescue in determining whether all so-called hailstone sequences end in a repeating cycle of 4, 2, 1. Here are the simple rules for forming a hailstone sequence:

Start with a positive whole number. If the starting number is odd, multiply by 3 and add 1; if the starting number is even, divide by 2. Repeat the process.

For example, if you start with 7, you get: 7, 22, 11, 34, 17, 52, 26, 13, 40, 20, 10, 5, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, …

Computers have checked every positive whole number up into the zillions, and every one has generated a sequence that eventually ends up with a repeating cycle of 4, 2, 1. The problem is that no mathematician has been able to prove that that will always be the case.

It took me a second to get the pattern, but I did. Solving little “puzzles” like this is great fun.

Speaking of mathematicians proving things, one of the most interesting novels I’ve read recently is titled The Mathematician’s Shiva.This excellent review gives a good sense of the plot. It’s well written, too.

What plant is that, Linda?

Being Australian I don’t recognise it.

(I don’t think I’ve had a pie since I was young – pies aren’t in my vocabulary/cooking since I’m single and have so many food allergies/intolerances. If I made a pie, I’d probably eat it in 2 sittings also. Being in remission from Diabetes – inherited, so its in the genes – I try not to have anything sweet in eyesight to tempt me).

I’m really not certain, Vicki. When I took the photo three years ago, I was far less knowledgeable about our native plants, and when I saw the pi-like arrangement of stems and vine, that’s all I focused on. Looking at it now, I see that the bloom is well on the way out. The filament and the color of the fading flower suggests it might be one of our native sages.

I make pies for events like Christmas or Thanksgiving, and I’ll occasionally make one for dinner guests or to take to a gathering. Unfortunately, I can’t just order a piece of pie somewhere, because I bake far better than I can buy. So, when the urge can’t be resisted, I sometimes make one in a 6″ pie dish and share it with a friend — especially when our berries or peaches are in.

Did you sing the kid’s song about Billy? That’s the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned cherry-berry pie:

Can she make a cherry pie,
Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she make a cherry pie,
Charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie,
Quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She’s a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

I’m just glad I managed to remember the big day. And apple it is! My grandmother firmly believed that pie (especially fruit pie) is an acceptable breakfast food. Many times I had apple pie with slices of cheddar and a side of homemade sausage for breakfast at my grandparents’ house. It was a fine tradition.

Now that was one fine grandmother! Most of my grandmothers rules were fairly standard. But she did make an exception. She made a strawberry shortcake to die for. And she insisted that we eat it before dinner! –Curt

That’s just as good as a pie… well, almost.

I’m with you. Make mine pecan, peach, or coconut cream, please.

Or Huckleberry!

Our dewberries are blooming…

That photo could almost represent the voice of pi. Whatever. It’s nice anyway.

Or the Life of Pi, perhaps. This photos been hanging out in my files since 2015. Every year about March 20 I think, “Well, darn. I should have posted that.” This year, I finally made it!

Dutch apple, plenty of cinnamon. Very nice photo!

Dutch apple’s good, and extra cinnamon’s good, too. The photo’s not so well shot, and I don’t know what the plant is, but it surely did make me smile.

Do you get shoofly pie down there? It’s just molasses and butter crumbs — it can be delicious, or gummy and tasteless. But a good one is delicious, on my Top Twenty list of pies

I’ve never had shoofly pie, but there’s a southern variation called chess pie. It’s simple, too, and like your shoofly, can hit either extreme on the deliciousness scale. Chess pie usually adds some acidity in the form of vinegar or lemon juice, and a bit of corn meal. At least, my recipe does.

Pi and the ides of March – funny they should be back to back, eh?

Believe it or not, I learned about the Ides of March from my mother, whose birthday was March 15. I still remember this silly joke she told:

Julius Caesar asked Brutus to bring him a dozen apples. When Brutus returned and Caesar counted the apples, he found only ten. That’s when looked his friend in the eye and asked, “Et tu, Brute?”

I take it she didn’t wish to tell you exactly what Brutus really did, eh?!

Actually, I think I might have been far enough along in my schooling that I knew the background story — probably in junior high. By 8th grade we were taking Latin, and memorizing that

Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tresthing. I think schooling was a bit different in those faraway days!It sure seems that way!

No, π r not 2. π r round. Cornbread r 2. Just wanted to clear that up. Love the picture. I’m celebrating π day by having a blueberry muffin and a vanilla shake. Life is short. Eat what you like.

That’s the Texas version of the saying I grew up with: “Pie aren’t square. Pie are round. Cake are square.” It’s the cornbread that makes yours Texan, I think.

“Life is short; eat what you like” is wisdom for the ages. I’ve always found that the medicinal application of ice cream can work wonders.

More fruit from the Garden of Mathematics:

π = 4/1 − 4/3 + 4/5 − 4/7 + 4/9 − 4/11 + …

I found it: the Gregory-Leibniz series. I see it takes only about 500,000 iterations to come close.

That’s as good as this question that occupied me for a while a few weeks back:

Why is it that when you pick a number, any number, then double it, add 6, halve it, and take away the number you started with, your answer is always 3?

So far, three it’s been. I still don’t know why, but I had a lot of fun with it.

Let x be the starting number.

After you double it you have 2x.

After you add 6 you have 2x+6.

After you halve that you have x+3.

After you subtract the original number (which is x), all that’s left is 3.

Voilà!

Good gosh. That makes perfect sense. Even better, I can “see” how the formula works. Thanks!

You can thank me, and I can thank algebra, which has ridden to the rescue once again.

Mathematics has not yet ridden to the rescue in determining whether all so-called hailstone sequences end in a repeating cycle of 4, 2, 1. Here are the simple rules for forming a hailstone sequence:

Start with a positive whole number. If the starting number is odd, multiply by 3 and add 1; if the starting number is even, divide by 2. Repeat the process.

For example, if you start with 7, you get: 7, 22, 11, 34, 17, 52, 26, 13, 40, 20, 10, 5, 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 4, 2, 1, …

Computers have checked every positive whole number up into the zillions, and every one has generated a sequence that eventually ends up with a repeating cycle of 4, 2, 1. The problem is that no mathematician has been able to prove that that will always be the case.

It took me a second to get the pattern, but I did. Solving little “puzzles” like this is great fun.

Speaking of mathematicians proving things, one of the most interesting novels I’ve read recently is titled

The Mathematician’s Shiva.This excellent reviewgives a good sense of the plot. It’s well written, too.What plant is that, Linda?

Being Australian I don’t recognise it.

(I don’t think I’ve had a pie since I was young – pies aren’t in my vocabulary/cooking since I’m single and have so many food allergies/intolerances. If I made a pie, I’d probably eat it in 2 sittings also. Being in remission from Diabetes – inherited, so its in the genes – I try not to have anything sweet in eyesight to tempt me).

I’m really not certain, Vicki. When I took the photo three years ago, I was far less knowledgeable about our native plants, and when I saw the pi-like arrangement of stems and vine, that’s all I focused on. Looking at it now, I see that the bloom is well on the way out. The filament and the color of the fading flower suggests it might be one of our native sages.

I make pies for events like Christmas or Thanksgiving, and I’ll occasionally make one for dinner guests or to take to a gathering. Unfortunately, I can’t just order a piece of pie somewhere, because I bake far better than I can buy. So, when the urge can’t be resisted, I sometimes make one in a 6″ pie dish and share it with a friend — especially when our berries or peaches are in.

That’s just awesome! I love pie, but I didn’t bake one for pi.

Maybe next year we should devise a recipe for pi pie.

Okay! I’m in!

I prefer nature’s pie. This is lovely. (Well, OK — a really good cherry berry pie might make me reconsider…)

Did you sing the kid’s song about Billy? That’s the first thing that came to mind when you mentioned cherry-berry pie:

Can she make a cherry pie,Billy Boy, Billy Boy?

Can she make a cherry pie,

Charming Billy?

She can make a cherry pie,

Quick as a cat can wink an eye,

She’s a young thing

And cannot leave her mother.

Very clever, Linda. :) Make mine apple. –Curt

I’m just glad I managed to remember the big day. And apple it is! My grandmother firmly believed that pie (especially fruit pie) is an acceptable breakfast food. Many times I had apple pie with slices of cheddar and a side of homemade sausage for breakfast at my grandparents’ house. It was a fine tradition.

Now that was one fine grandmother! Most of my grandmothers rules were fairly standard. But she did make an exception. She made a strawberry shortcake to die for. And she insisted that we eat it before dinner! –Curt