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  • November 18, 2017, 04:55:16 AM

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Author Topic: An Adult Should Really Know This - Silly Things You've Had to Tell People  (Read 1259438 times)

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Jocelyn

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What I will never understand is why Americans keep measuring solids in volume instead of weight.
Because a measuring cup remains the same size, year after year, whereas scales will get miscalibrated over time?

Snooks

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What I will never understand is why Americans keep measuring solids in volume instead of weight.
Because a measuring cup remains the same size, year after year, whereas scales will get miscalibrated over time?

But as someone else pointed out it depends how tightly you pack the cup.

Outdoor Girl

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But if you are consistent with your measurements every time you make the recipe, it works out.  You can adjust your liquid volume a bit if you have to.  Bread purists swear that you have to weigh your flour to get good quality bread every time.  I use cup measures and have never had a batch flop (unless the yeast was too old and I didn't proof it properly).  What I do, though, is shove the cup down into the middle of the flour, lift it out and level it off by running a knife or my finger across the top.  So every cup of flour I use is going to be pretty close to the same weight.  I don't shake the cup or pound it on the counter, which would settle the flour and let the cup measure more than I intended.

And if you use the same cup to measure your liquids that you use to measure your solids, then everything is reasonably proportional.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

Julian

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For years I've used one of these - a measuring cone which converts volume to weight depending on the substance being measured.  They're easy to use, and many have both metric and imperial measurements on them.


http://www.getprice.com.au/Cooks-Dry-Measuring-Cone-Gpnc_251--41989765.htm

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And the humidity we'd breathe,
We'd watch the lightning crack over canefields
Laugh and think, this is Australia.

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Jocelyn

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   Bread purists swear that you have to weigh your flour to get good quality bread every time.   
My mother once told me that my grandmother never used a recipe for making bread- she just made it. Until one day when she broke her bowl, and for awhile after that, the bread wasn't as good, until she learned how much of each ingredient to put into the new bowl!

Katana_Geldar

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Measuring accurately is no substitute in knowing how something is meant to be. Particularly with dough if I'm making scones or pastry. It needs to feel right.

Elfmama

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  • Derailing threads since 2001!
My biggest problem is when recipes (regardless of nationality) call for one can of this, one cube of that or one package of something else... without saying how much is in a can, a cube or a package!!!
It can be equally frustrating when it's done here, too.  I tried to help a friend redact an old family recipe from her DH's late grandmother.  "Take a 50-cent box of vanilla wafers, mush them up, put them in the blue bowl and add milk until it looks right."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Common sense is not a gift, but a curse.  Because then
you have to deal with all the people who don't have it.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

RegionMom

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My granny used to make drop biscuits in a brown wooden bowl that she kept in a cupboard, always with a lining of flour. 

she just dabbled a bit of this, a gob of that, and mixed it by hand.  Sooooo good!!

I so wanted that bowl after she died, but alas, it was already gone.  I hope whoever got it actually uses it.

I do have many of her recipes, and I sat down with her years ago and went over the sizes of cans and boxes so I would know. 

 :)
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

menley

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My biggest problem is when recipes (regardless of nationality) call for one can of this, one cube of that or one package of something else... without saying how much is in a can, a cube or a package!!!
It can be equally frustrating when it's done here, too.  I tried to help a friend redact an old family recipe from her DH's late grandmother.  "Take a 50-cent box of vanilla wafers, mush them up, put them in the blue bowl and add milk until it looks right."

My mom had the same issue with my dad's mother's recipes! She had lots of traditional family recipes from their home country, but they were all things like "Use a dime's worth of salt" and "mix a few handfuls of flour into an egg or two until the consistency is right." If she had been able to try baking them with her when my grandmother still had her memory, it would have been one thing - she could've seen what was meant - but my grandmother had Alzheimer's and by the time we came across the recipes, she couldn't be trusted in the kitchen for safety reasons. It's really quite sad because she was apparently legendary in her hometown for her pastries.

BB-VA

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Alton Brown ("Good Eats") preferred measuring dry ingredients by weight instead of volume.

I have an old edition of the "Mennonite Community Cookbook".  The cookbook was compiled from family recipes and each recipe was "calibrated" to use modern measurements.  The author included comments about some of the measurements she found - one of which was 10 "blubs" of molasses.  She also comments on an older lady who, in telling her how to make cookies, told her to add flour until it looks right, but not to add too much because then the cookies would be too dry.
"The Universe puts us in places where we can learn. They are never easy places, but they are right. Wherever we are, it's the right place and the right time. Pain that sometimes comes is part of the process of constantly being born."
- Delenn to Sheridan: "Babylon 5 - Distant Star"

Piratelvr1121

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Gigi, my maternal grandmother, was an amazing cook. I still miss her deviled crab. I've seen deviled crab cakes available in the grocery store and everytime I look at them I think "they won't be as good as Gigi's." 

When I was a child she once made up a cookbook of not only her recipes but those of her family members.  She had them contribute recipes and had it all printed and typed up and I got my own copy that she signed for me. :)   I still have it and have used it to make a crab dip that's delicious, and her deviled crabs were quite spicy but that's what made them so good.  I remember one year when DH and I were living in California because he was stationed there, and Gigi mentioned to me that she'd made her deviled crabs.  (she lived on the East coast and there was no way to get back home anytime soon).  I told her she'd made my mouth water so she mailed quite a bit out to me. :)

I tried making them once but since we couldn't afford real crab meat at the time I used the fake stuff and it wasn't bad but it just wasn't the same.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

TootsNYC

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Most of my sewing and measuring things include both metric and English measurements. And we don't really even use the English system, I assumed that was common. It is handy when using American recipes.

A great many of ours do, too--and it's useful when using European recipes.
But the smaller measuring spoons and the dry measuring cups are one-system only.

And all our recipes are written that way (as you point out).


I remember once finding an op-ed piece of some sort written by someone who advocated the "use the scale" method of measurement. He said that *it was a conspiracy* to keep the recipes in magazines, cookbooks, etc., in the imperial system.

Since at the time I worked for a high-profile publisher of food magazines and cookbooks, I got a huge kick out of it.


My biggest problem is when recipes (regardless of nationality) call for one can of this, one cube of that or one package of something else... without saying how much is in a can, a cube or a package!!!
It can be equally frustrating when it's done here, too.  I tried to help a friend redact an old family recipe from her DH's late grandmother.  "Take a 50-cent box of vanilla wafers, mush them up, put them in the blue bowl and add milk until it looks right."

At that same publishing company, they wanted to drop the "1/2 cup" and just start saying, "1 stick of butter." I guess for now everybody would know, but it just really bothered me, as a copyeditor.

"Stick" is not a universally agreed-upon unit of measurement.


My mother tells the story of her best friend's mom, who made the most wonderful biscuits. Until the coffee cup she was using to measure broke, and the new one she got was a different size and held a different volume of flour.

And I once read a mystery where the heroine ran a bakery, and there were recipes sprinkled throughout the book. She measured her flour by PACKING IT into the cup very firmly. I thought that would probably be a more accurate way to measure flour by volume than sifting it is.

I had a never-fail choc.chip cookie recipe that suddenly started going wonky. I couldn't figure it out. I theorized that I was not getting the right amount of flour, so I started measuring, then weighing what I was measuring. I discovered that actually it was pretty consistent. (Turned out to be that I'd forgotten the 30 seconds that belonged on the cooking time--I had a timer that would keep the minutes for the next batch, but lose the seconds.)

camlan

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My mother tells the story of her best friend's mom, who made the most wonderful biscuits. Until the coffee cup she was using to measure broke, and the new one she got was a different size and held a different volume of flour.



My dear sister-in-law was kind enough to give me the recipe for her apple pie. But her measurements were in coffee cups and tea cups! So I had to ask my brother to convert the cups to something I could use. Because they live overseas, all their measuring cups are in MLs. So once I got the conversion from my brother, I then had to convert MLs to cups.

The pie tastes nice, but not exactly the same as SILs. It's either my cooking skills, the numerous measurement conversions or that the ingredients I can get over here aren't exactly the same as what she can get over there.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Carotte

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At that same publishing company, they wanted to drop the "1/2 cup" and just start saying, "1 stick of butter." I guess for now everybody would know, but it just really bothered me, as a copyeditor.

"Stick" is not a universally agreed-upon unit of measurement.

That would not be cool for those, like me, that have to convert everything. Even a cup of butter is a weird concept, even room temp butter would be a pain to cut in little bits to fill up a cup, squashing it so that it's packed, then emptying the cup and having to clean all the greasy residue.

I printed a handy little guide with metric/imperial measures, C° and F°, and what one cup of flour/sugar/butter/rice.. is in grams, and Oz to Grams...
It's really usefull, I get most of my recipes from tastespotting (and thus mostly english blogs) and since I moved out without taking the measuring cups, I just write it down with the conversion.

My guide is the one from here: http://www.everest.co.uk/products/kitchens/kitchen-cheat-sheet/
free download possible.

nutraxfornerves

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Getting back to the topic, but still about cooking.

Cookbook author and cooking teacher Marion Cunningham wrote a column about novices in the kitchen, and underestimating how words can be taken literally.
Quote
When we were exploring the produce section of the supermarket, for example, I asked the students if anyone had bought and used green onions. One student replied that she had--but she had cut the white part off and discarded it because onions are called "green" onions.

Since green onions go by other names in other places,here's a picture:

Nutrax
The plural of anecdote is not data