When I taught math, there was no day that I loved more than that of Pi Day. March 14th (or 3 14…get it?). Let’s face it, math can sometimes be a bit dry and from a teaching stand point it can be very hard to motivate students to want to learn higher math. When asked why we had to learn this “stuff” I usually replied, because “I had to and it seems only fair to make your life miserable as well”. Which they all know I was teasing, kind of. The real reason you learn math of course is money. Most of the jobs that pay the best involve you getting a degree that uses higher math. That tends to motivate students a little more. I mean, even drug dealers (at least the good ones) should know the metric system. But Pi Day was the one teaching day a year I was sure the kids would have fun….yet educational at the same time.
Every year we would have team competition where they would earn points for each event, like a decathlon. Nothing like eating a pie, but then having to solve the area of a circle problem that was at the bottom of the pie pan when you are done. But what was more fun/torture was the bat spin. The kids would place their head at the top of a bat, spin a few times, have to run over to a chalkboard set up outside (Phoenix has nice weather in March) and have to draw a circle and then get a ruler, figure out the diameter and then find the circumference. For those that don’t know what happens when you put your head on a bat and go spin a few times…go get a bat and find out.
Seven years ago Pi Day meant something different, it became my wedding day. I married someone who thought it would be great to get married at 3pm because on a 24 hour clock that meant that our wedding date and time would be 3.1415. If you are a math nerd you get this. If not you think we are dorks. Which we are. This year of course it goes back to being just a day about math. Which will most likely be odd for me since I am not teaching or celebrating an anniversary. In fact, all I will be doing in scorekeeping hockey. Festive.
To honor Pi Day I was actually going to make cake to be a pain in the butt, but decided I wasn’t feeling all that rebellious and stuck with pie. This is super easy and totally Sandra Lee…but I don’t care, money is tight and if you want things up here more frequent you are either going to have to donate or just put up with store bought pie crust and cheesecake filling…because they are cheap. Is the cheesecake in a tub anywhere as good as real cheesecake…NO! But it was on sale this week for $2.50 a tub. Works for me. This is just pie crust that is filled with cheesecake filling, white chocolate chips (leftover from the Brownie Treats), fresh strawberries, and crushed Graham Crackers (actually Teddy Grahams…again on sale). Cheesecake in a hand pie works for me. You can make these whatever size you want…but if you do make them, come back and tell me what the area and circumference of your circle were and please do all you work in pencil.
Strawberry-White Chocolate Cheesecake Hand “Pi” es
2 packages refrigerated pie dough (or make your own)
2 cups fresh strawberries sliced
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup crushed graham crackers (I used Teddy Grahams because I am mean and like to bite their heads off in a cannibalistic manner)
6 ounces (give or take the amount that goes in your mouth) premade Cheesecake filling
Preheat oven to 450F.
Cut pie dough into circles. I used the top to the cheesecake filling tub to make mine. I got 6 circles. But I did have to gather the dough and roll it out to get the last two.
Place one dough circle down on a greased baking sheet. Spread cheese cake filling, about 3 TBSP worth.
Place about 5-8 strawberry slices onto cheesecake filling.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and cracker crumbs.
Place another pie dough circle on top. Crimp the edges with a fork. Cut top dough to vent.
Depending on your size, bake 10-14 minutes. Let cool before serving at room temperature.