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### Author Topic: imperial measurements  (Read 8112 times)

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#### Mazdoy

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #45 on: August 09, 2011, 07:11:21 AM »
I grew up learning metric in school and I've always been more comfortable with that.  Although I'll give my height in feet & inches, I'll give my weight in kg (because that's what I use on the gym equipment programs).

My mother has some old cookbooks that use imperial and I have some American recipes but I only start using them when I was given measuring cups as a gift.  Before that I had no clue which size cup to use.

Our speed signs (Ireland) changed to Km about 6 or 7 years ago and since then all the cars are in km whereas before they had both miles and km.  It's strange driving over the border into Northern Ireland and trying to remember what 60mph is.  Thankfully I don't go there very often.

#### One Goat to Rule Them All

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #46 on: August 09, 2011, 04:34:25 PM »
I think a deciliter would be a very useful measurement. A mL is so tiny!

Australian here. Reading US recipes, I was trying to work out how on earth they measure butter by the cup. I was imagining people softening the butter, and squashing it into the cup and trying to wash it afterwards. What do you do if you use a bit more or less than the exact amount on the paper?

Thank goodness for google telling me how many grams a stick of butter weighs.

As others have mentioned, most people here still give babies' birthweights in pounds. I actually had no idea that there were 16 ounces in a pound until my second was born at 9lb15. 15? I was sure there were 12 ounces in a pound. I must never have come across a baby born at more than 11 ounces.

You can measure a cup of butter by filling a two cup measure with 1 cup of water, and adding butter until the water level is up to two cups. It results in wet butter, but it's not the end of the world. I just use the markers on the butter wrapper, and if it's not exact it hasn't resulted in disaster yet!
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 09:42:33 PM by Jabberwock »

#### SouthernBelle

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2011, 04:53:23 PM »
Generally speaking, you can't have too much butter.

Or bacon.

#### CakeEater

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2011, 10:42:42 PM »
Generally speaking, you can't have too much butter.

Or bacon.

True!

#### kareng57

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2011, 10:52:04 PM »
I think a deciliter would be a very useful measurement. A mL is so tiny!

Australian here. Reading US recipes, I was trying to work out how on earth they measure butter by the cup. I was imagining people softening the butter, and squashing it into the cup and trying to wash it afterwards. What do you do if you use a bit more or less than the exact amount on the paper?

Thank goodness for google telling me how many grams a stick of butter weighs.

As others have mentioned, most people here still give babies' birthweights in pounds. I actually had no idea that there were 16 ounces in a pound until my second was born at 9lb15. 15? I was sure there were 12 ounces in a pound. I must never have come across a baby born at more than 11 ounces.

In Home Ec (Canada, but in the early 70s before we "converted") we were taught the "displacement" method - kind of like Archimedes?  If you wanted a 1/2 cup butter, you filled the glass measuring cup to 1 cup with water, then added chunks of butter till it reached 1 1/2 cups.  And no, I'm not kidding...

Some butter-packager later wisely started adding approximate cup-measurements along the foil wrapper, so you could cut off chunks of 1/4 lb, 1/2 lb etc.  And yes, I know that I'm mixing volumes and weights.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 10:55:32 PM by kareng57 »

#### Spoder

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #50 on: August 09, 2011, 10:53:06 PM »
Generally speaking, you can't have too much butter.

Or bacon.

True!

Ha, yeah. You don't need to *measure* butter. If in doubt, just throw the whole stick in.

#### Mazdoy

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #51 on: August 10, 2011, 04:15:49 AM »
Our butter doesn't come in sticks so I'm glad it's always in grams in recipes.

#### Craftyone

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #52 on: August 10, 2011, 07:13:32 AM »
And just to add more confusion.  Australia's (and possibly New Zealand, googling bought up conflicting answers) official tablespoon measurement is 20ml, 4 x a teaspoon (5ml).  Some Australian recipes state that they are using the official tablespoon.  Yet when you go to a cooking shop, because most of them are imported, the tablespoons are 15ml.  I use a lot of American recipes too (love, love, love epicurious.com) so I have to remember the difference.

#### mechtilde

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #53 on: August 10, 2011, 07:26:57 AM »
Some packs of butter in the UK will have little marks on the wrapper to show where to cut for different amounts- it is always in metric, and sometimes in imperial as well.
NE England

#### Elisabunny

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #54 on: August 11, 2011, 11:55:29 PM »
I grudgingly admit that metric is better for scientific purposes (I'm a chemist, so I pretty much have to ), but I really think Imperial is better for real life.  It's hard to cut things into 10 pieces, but pretty easy to eyeball 1/3s and halves, and by extension 1/12ths and 16ths.  And temperatures: 0C is the feezing point of water, but only if it's pure and at sea level.  0F, OTOH, tells you something no matter where you live: it's COLD.  And above 100F, yeah, it's HOT.

I have to say though, my absolute favorite unit is the stone.  14 lbs.  Really?  It seems so delightfully random.     I really want a scale to measure my weight in stones.
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#### One Goat to Rule Them All

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #55 on: August 12, 2011, 02:48:58 AM »
I grudgingly admit that metric is better for scientific purposes (I'm a chemist, so I pretty much have to ), but I really think Imperial is better for real life.  It's hard to cut things into 10 pieces, but pretty easy to eyeball 1/3s and halves, and by extension 1/12ths and 16ths.  And temperatures: 0C is the feezing point of water, but only if it's pure and at sea level.  0F, OTOH, tells you something no matter where you live: it's COLD.  And above 100F, yeah, it's HOT.

I have to say though, my absolute favorite unit is the stone.  14 lbs.  Really?  It seems so delightfully random.     I really want a scale to measure my weight in stones.

You lost me on the temperature. I think it's much better knowing that zero is when water freezes, and 100 is when water boils. When the temperature is 0, you know you need a toque!

My DH has a story about driving down to the states in November and camping in the desert. He had this conversation with the guy running the campsite:

Guy: Are you sure you want to camp in just tents? It gets pretty cold at night!
DH: Our sleeping bags are good to 5 degrees, do you think we'll be ok?
Guy: Oh sure! It won't get that cold, you'll be fine!

You can see where this is going...DH forgot where he was and was thinking in Celsius, and the guy was thinking in Fahrenheit. They spent the whole night running into the bathroom and filling their bags with hot air from the hand dryers

#### Leafy

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #56 on: August 12, 2011, 06:20:34 AM »
I grudgingly admit that metric is better for scientific purposes (I'm a chemist, so I pretty much have to ), but I really think Imperial is better for real life.  It's hard to cut things into 10 pieces, but pretty easy to eyeball 1/3s and halves, and by extension 1/12ths and 16ths.  And temperatures: 0C is the feezing point of water, but only if it's pure and at sea level.  0F, OTOH, tells you something no matter where you live: it's COLD.  And above 100F, yeah, it's HOT.

I have to say though, my absolute favorite unit is the stone.  14 lbs.  Really?  It seems so delightfully random.     I really want a scale to measure my weight in stones.

You lost me on the temperature. I think it's much better knowing that zero is when water freezes, and 100 is when water boils. When the temperature is 0, you know you need a toque!

My DH has a story about driving down to the states in November and camping in the desert. He had this conversation with the guy running the campsite:

Guy: Are you sure you want to camp in just tents? It gets pretty cold at night!
DH: Our sleeping bags are good to 5 degrees, do you think we'll be ok?
Guy: Oh sure! It won't get that cold, you'll be fine!

You can see where this is going...DH forgot where he was and was thinking in Celsius, and the guy was thinking in Fahrenheit. They spent the whole night running into the bathroom and filling their bags with hot air from the hand dryers

OT - as an Aussie I only know what a toque is from having been in Canada recently. My DH and I fell in love with this word and used it the rest of the trip. A toque is a beanie in Australia.

And back to the topic, I just have to say that I am loving this thread and finding the discussion fascinating. I had never realised before that tablespoons could be different measurements based on the country. I am going to have another look at some of my recipes to see where they are from.

On the point of butter - we have 50g portions indicated on the side. Count me as another person who wondered how to get the butter in the cup for measuring - I never thought it could be indicated on the packaging. i always pictured myself smooshing it into the cup to measure it and then giving up on the recipe as it was too hard.

#### Outdoor Girl

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #57 on: August 12, 2011, 09:36:10 AM »
I have a Pampered chef measuring cup that lets you put solids, particularly fats, in the one end to measure and then it has a plunger to push it out!  If you butter/margarine/shortening/lard is soft, it is easy to squish it in.

When I make bread, I make 8 loaves at a time.  Each one takes 1/4 cup butter so I fill the cup to the 1 cup mark and I can plunge out 1/4 cup at a time.
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#### Ereine

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #58 on: August 12, 2011, 01:40:34 PM »
I grudgingly admit that metric is better for scientific purposes (I'm a chemist, so I pretty much have to ), but I really think Imperial is better for real life.  It's hard to cut things into 10 pieces, but pretty easy to eyeball 1/3s and halves, and by extension 1/12ths and 16ths.  And temperatures: 0C is the feezing point of water, but only if it's pure and at sea level.  0F, OTOH, tells you something no matter where you live: it's COLD.  And above 100F, yeah, it's HOT.

I've been wondering what sort of cooking needs dividing things that would be different for metric. I mean even if I'm using metric measurements there's nothing stopping from diving my bread dough to 16 pieces, for example. About the only ingredient that I regularly divide is butter (I confess to smooshing butter into a cup, it never occurred to me that there was some other way...) and even that usually comes in 400 g blocks and very rarely you need 40 g of butter, it's more likely to be 100 g so you just divide it by 1/4ths. Everything else is measured by weight or volume, which seems a lot easier.

0C is very useful for me too, it tells me if streets are likely to be icy and if I need winter clothes, 0F doesn't really tell me anything as at that point it's usually clearly a winter and it isn't even particularly cold, you don't need anything except normal winter clothes. I sincerely hope that I never have experience 100F.

#### JoW

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##### Re: imperial measurements
« Reply #59 on: August 13, 2011, 12:01:52 AM »
.... I sincerely hope that I never have experience 100F.
Why?  100F is a fraction colder than 38C.  Its hot, but with a shade and a cold drink its tolerable.

I grew up using F, but use C at work.  I have a feel for both scales.  I can also estimate lengths and volumes in either system for the same reason.  Thats how the metric system will take hold in the US.  People like me and the people I work with are being forced to learn the metric system at work because our employers want to sell our products outside the US.