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  • Writer's pictureMonica Kay Royal

Learning Python with Chicken (and pies)

This is an ongoing project... nothing is ever finished when you are learning 🌱


I wanted to revisit the nitty gritty basics of Python and share progress of a personal project. This is to emphasize that learning takes more than just completing an online course, you will maximize your abilities if you apply the knowledge and topics to a personal project.


I love food and cooking, so I wanted to see if I could create some kind of program that will cook different kinds of meats.


First, I created a dictionary with the meats I want to cook.


cookbook = {
  "poultry" : {
    "animal" : "chicken",
    "cooked_temperature" : 165
  },
  "steak" : {
    "animal" : "cow",
    "cooked_temperature" : 145
  },
  "pork" : {
    "animal" : "pig",
    "cooked_temperature" : 145
  },
  "ground_beef" : {
    "animal" : "cow",
    "cooked_temperature" : 160
  },
  "fish" : {
    "animal" : "fish",
    "cooked_temperature" : 145
  }
}

Off to the kitchen! 👩🏻‍🍳


I started writing my program with a focus on Chicken 🐔🍗


This starts very simple, defining variables and creating an if/else statement.

x = 165
y = 'chicken'

if y == 'chicken' and x < 165 :
  print("The chicken is not done")
else :
  print("The chicken is ready to eat!")

It is very important that you define your variables with descriptive names. DO NOT use 'x' and 'y' like I did above, that does not help. You want to write code in a way that other people can read it and know what it does (so long as they know how to read Python) 🤓

degrees_fahrenheit = 165
meat_type = 'chicken'

if meat_type == 'chicken' and degrees_fahrenheit < 165 :
  print("The chicken is not done")
else :
  print("The chicken is ready to eat!")

This brings in a while loop, which increments the temperature through each iteration.


The chicken starts at a temperature of 75 degrees, which assumes that you start cooking your meat at room temperature.


⚠ This probably is not a good idea for chicken but if preferable for beef.


If the temperature is still below the cooked temperature, then it prints 'Put me back in! I am still raw'


One the chicken has reached safety regulated temperature of at least 165 degrees, it prints 'Stick a fork in me, I am done!'


🧠 Improvement Opportunities:

- Specify the amount of time each iteration takes and be more accurate with how to increment the temperature (below uses 12 for no real reason)

current_temp = 75 # assumes you start cooking your meat at room temperature
chicken_cooked = 165 # safe temperature for cooked chicken
meat_type = 'chicken'

if meat_type == 'chicken' :
    while True :
        if current_temp < chicken_cooked :
            print('The chicken is currently ' + str(current_temp) + ' degrees fahrenheit')
            print('Put me back in!  I am still raw')
        elif current_temp == chicken_cooked :
            print('The chicken is currently ' + str(current_temp) + ' degrees fahrenheit')
            print('Stick a fork in me, I am done!')
        elif current_temp > chicken_cooked :
            print('Oh no!  I am overcooked by ' + str(current_temp - chicken_cooked) + ' degrees')
            break 
        current_temp = current_temp + 12

For fun, this was my first function attempted outside of my formal course.


As seen in the notes, the purpose of this function is to create a sentence when passed two strings as parameters.


def my_function(word1,word2):  # this is a comment labeling the function header
   
    ''' The purpose of my function is to create a sentence when passed
    two strings as parameters '''
    
    sentence = word1 + ' ' + word2 + '!'
    
    return(sentence)

abracadabra = my_function('Hello','World')

print(abracadabra)

I am slowly starting to introduce more types of meat. I did this by creating a function. You can see by the notes that this function takes a string parameter and checks the cooking time for the type of meat.


The same while loop is used here but with a new concept of global vs. local variables.


👉🏻 chicken_cooked and pork_cooked are global variables (they can be used throughout the entire script.


👉🏻 current_temp is a local variable (it can only be used within the function)


🧠 Improvement Opportunity:

- I am sure there is a way to create parameters within the function instead of having two of the same loops for each meat. This is not sustainable / scalable.

chicken_cooked = 165 # safe temperature for cooked chicken
pork_cooked = 145 # safe temperature for cooked pork

def cooking(meat_type):
    ''' This function takes a sting parameter and checks the cooking time for the type of meat '''

    current_temp = 75 # assumes you start cooking your meat at room temperature
    
    if meat_type == 'chicken':
        while True :
            if current_temp < chicken_cooked :
                print('The chicken is currently ' + str(current_temp) + ' degrees fahrenheit')
                print('Put me back in!  I am still raw')
            elif current_temp == chicken_cooked :
                print('The chicken is currently ' + str(current_temp) + ' degrees fahrenheit')
                print('Stick a fork in me, I am done!')
            elif current_temp > chicken_cooked :
                print('Oh no!  I am overcooked by ' + str(current_temp - chicken_cooked) + ' degrees')
                break 
            current_temp = current_temp + 12
    elif meat_type == 'pork':
        while True :
            if current_temp < pork_cooked :
                print('The pork is currently ' + str(current_temp) + ' degrees fahrenheit')
                print('Put me back in!  I am still raw')
            elif current_temp == pork_cooked :
                print('The pork is currently ' + str(current_temp) + ' degrees fahrenheit')
                print('Stick a fork in me, I am done!')
            elif current_temp > pork_cooked :
                print('Oh no!  I am overcooked by ' + str(current_temp - pork_cooked) + ' degrees')
                break 
            current_temp = current_temp + 12
    else: print('I do not know how to cook this meat')
            
    return current_temp

cooking('steak')

This was by far the best and most fun topic. Error Handling


Why?


Because I get to intentionally break things to see the innerworkings of Python


💬 I like to say: failure is the best way to learn something. Specifically with coding, you can learn so much from researching a particular error message to see why things work the way they work.


I stepped away from my chicken cooking program, I wanted to cook dessert instead 🥧


This function calculates how many pies to cook given the parameter, which is the number of people to feed.


I had to put a cheezy disclaimer here that it assumes a pie feeds 3.14 people... get it 😜

## Error Handling

def pie_calculation(people):
    ''' This function will calculate how many pies to cook given the parameter,
    which is the number of people to feed 
    NOTE: this function assumes that a pie feeds 3.14 people, hehe '''

    try:
        if(people < 0):
            raise ValueError('Number of people cannot be negative')
        return round(people / 3.14)
    except TypeError:
        print('Number of people must be an int or float')
        
pie_calculation(2)
pie_calculation('two')
pie_calculation(-5)
pie_calculation(20)

Below is a screen of the output from the above script. This is Spyder, an IDE for Python. I like this tool because it feels familiar. I started my programming career learning R and it feels a lot like RStudio.


Other tools I have used for Python are Jupiter Notebooks and PyCharm.



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