Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Happy Pi Day!

3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592307816406286208998628034825342117067982148086513282306647093844609550582231725359408128481117450284102701938521105559644622948954930381964428810975665933446128475648233786783165271201909145648566923460348610454326648213393607260249141273724587006606315588174881520920962829254091715364367892590360011330530548820466521384146951941511609... It goes on into infinity. The digits never stop, and never repeat. Most simple uses do shorten pi to 3.14, though.

To refresh the memory of those who haven't been helping their kids with their math homework, pi is the Greek letter that represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Regardless of the size of the circle, pi remains the same. It is a constant. In his book, The Joy of Pi, David Blatner claims that no number has captured the attention and imagination of number fanatics and nerds throughout the ages as much as pi. Math geeks love their pi.

In mathematical circles, March 14 (3-14) is often set aside as a day of celebration for the digits of pi. Schools hold trivia contests, pie eating contests, math workouts, poetry contests, and other events in honor of pi. 3-14 is Pi Day and a day to promote a little fun within the seriousness of the math world. It is the day that everyone recognizes the honest truth that pi makes things go round. :~)

In honor of pi, I am posting a constant in our home. My hubby loves his cream pies. In years that the Chocolate Eclair Cake doesn't make the cut for birthdays, you can usually find a cream pie on the birthday table. Banana Cream Pie is a favorite. The original recipe suggests a meringue topping, but I really only like meringue with lemon pie. In my opinion, whipped cream is much more suited to Banana Cream Pie. I hope that you can enjoy a slice of pie on Pi Day.

Banana Cream Pie
1 2/3 cups water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 can Eagle Brand Condensed Milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (9-inch) pie shell, baked
3 medium bananas, sliced
whipped cream or whipped topping

Mix water and cornstarch until smooth.
Stir in Eagle Brand milk and egg yolks.
Cook until thick in saucepan or microwave.
Stir in 2 tablespoons butter.
Add vanilla.
Cool slightly (stirring occasionally).
Pour 1/2 of filling on pie crust.
Place sliced bananas on filling.
Pour remainder of filling on the sliced bananas.
Top with whipped cream after chilling pie (may also garnish with banana slices dipped in lemon juice to prevent browning). (Serves 8)

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