Ever since getting a pedometer, I've had the urge to measure how many steps (or even better miles) go into everyday events. Last week, as I eagerly anticipated a marathon night of Thanksgiving baking, I wondered just how many steps it takes to make challah, two pies, a cake and braised cabbage. A tiny part of me wondered if the distance would be enough to counteract all the pie dough and chocolate I was sure to sample in the process.
It seemed unlikely that the math would come out in my favor, but I liked the idea. Now I was conducting an experiment, testing a hypothesis to be exact, not just being nerdy with my pedometer. No, no, no. No nerdy number crunching here. What made it even better is that I won either way. If my hypothesis was accurate and I would ingest more calories than I burned while baking, then I'd be right. And that's winning. Just ask any five year old. And if my hypothesis was wrong and I burned more calories than I ate, well then my body would win, ergo I win again. I liked my odds.
Walk to store for ingredients. Wander store looking for candied yams = 770 steps, 0.25 mile, 90 calories
Walk back and forth from refrigerator, to cutting board on counter, to stove, to cook book and back again for several hours = 1510 steps, 0.58 miles, 738 calories
That's 2,280 steps, 0.83 miles, and 828 calories burned.
Now to compare that to the tasty nibbles I enjoyed along the way.
What? I didn't keep track?
I guess it's a good thing I'm not a scientist.
If you would like to conduct this experiment at home, you can replicate it using the recipes listed below. All have been thoroughly taste tested and approved.
Braised Cabbage with Apples and Caraway Seeds from Spilled Milk podcast
Gâteau au chocolat fondant de Nathalie,or, Kate's Winning-Hearts-and-Minds Cake from the Orangette blog
Fig Olive Oil and Sea Salt Challah from the Smitten Kitchen blog
Silky Smooth Pumpkin Pie from the Smitten Kitchen blog
Apple Pie from The Joy of Cooking