Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 11-08-2018, 03:27 PM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I didn't know what a swede was, so thanks for that clarification.

Is the filling pre-cooked, or do you just count on it baking inside the crust?
Derived from Swedish Turnip, I believe.

No, the filling's raw, and stews inside the pastry.
  #102  
Old 11-08-2018, 05:34 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I didn't know what a swede was, so thanks for that clarification.

Is the filling pre-cooked, or do you just count on it baking inside the crust?
I didn't know swede, nor "gas 4", but I'm going to assume that's a medium-hot oven, perhaps 350F.
  #103  
Old 11-08-2018, 05:54 PM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I didn't know swede, nor "gas 4", but I'm going to assume that's a medium-hot oven, perhaps 350F.
"Gas Marks" are reasonably standard on UK ovens. Gas ones, anyway...

Electric ones use Celsius (Fahrenheit's long, tortuous death is just about complete); Gas 4 is about 180C, so yes, around 350F.

Swede/Rutabaga. Funny thing: first time I ever heard of rutabaga was on the ingredients list of the classic British condiment, Branston Pickle. God knows why, but it's not listed as swede, and I had to look it up.
  #104  
Old 11-08-2018, 05:57 PM
Tapiotar Tapiotar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,482
Here's a recipe for the Michigan version.

From the cooking channel:

https://www.cookingchanneltv.com/rec...nd-pie-2042803
  #105  
Old 11-08-2018, 06:58 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
Electric ones use Celsius (Fahrenheit's long, tortuous death is just about complete); Gas 4 is about 180C, so yes, around 350F.
That is to say, a medium oven.

Although I see that on most of the internet "moderate" is more common.
  #106  
Old 11-08-2018, 07:18 PM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
That is to say, a medium oven.

Although I see that on most of the internet "moderate" is more common.
Do folks use adjectival settings for ovens? I've only ever seen them graded in some sort of numbers.
  #107  
Old 11-08-2018, 07:30 PM
silenus's Avatar
silenus silenus is offline
Isaiah 1:15 Screw the NRA.
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: SoCal
Posts: 50,231
Emeril's recipe

Alton Brown perpetuated the "Savory at one end, sweet at the other" canard.
  #108  
Old 11-08-2018, 09:42 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 79,463
IIUC, British ovens having "gas marks" originated as a way of smoothing out confusion from the F-C conversion. Old recipes all had temperatures in F (usually in gradations of about 50 degrees), and so ovens were marked the same way: An oven could be set to 200 F, or 250, or 300, or 350, or 400, or 450. But those wouldn't be nice round numbers in C, but at the same time nobody wanted to throw out or re-figure their old recipes. So they kept the oven settings, but just called them "gas marks" instead of multiples of 50 F.
  #109  
Old 11-09-2018, 04:51 AM
Filbert Filbert is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 4,839
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melbourne View Post
Although I see that on most of the internet "moderate" is more common.
Well, a radical lefty oven would probably make you take everything to a collective bakery or something...
  #110  
Old 11-09-2018, 05:57 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
IIUC, British ovens having "gas marks" originated as a way of smoothing out confusion from the F-C conversion. Old recipes all had temperatures in F (usually in gradations of about 50 degrees), and so ovens were marked the same way: An oven could be set to 200 F, or 250, or 300, or 350, or 400, or 450. But those wouldn't be nice round numbers in C, but at the same time nobody wanted to throw out or re-figure their old recipes. So they kept the oven settings, but just called them "gas marks" instead of multiples of 50 F.
I used to hear "regulo" - meaning Gas Mark - from older relatives and on old radio shows from the 50s. Were things really changing from F to C that long ago? I think we were still pretty entrenched in Fahrenheit then.

And a Gas Mark is equivalent to a 25F step, as far as I can tell.
  #111  
Old 11-10-2018, 05:37 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
Do folks use adjectival settings for ovens? I've only ever seen them graded in some sort of numbers.
Yes, a lot of old American recipes say to cook in a high, low, or medium (moderate) oven. High is 400-450F, medium is 325-375F, and low is 250-300F, generally speaking.
  #112  
Old 11-10-2018, 06:04 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filbert View Post
That's not a pasty, it's a Bedfordshire Clanger. Might still be a myth that it was often sweet and savoury in the past, but I like to get my mistakes accurate.


Pass-tea and pasty are virtually the same for me. In Cornwall it's short 'a', not pah-stie, if you want to be authentic.
Like the name "Patsy", but with a couple of the letters in the wrong order.
  #113  
Old 11-10-2018, 06:08 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
Yes, a lot of old American recipes say to cook in a high, low, or medium (moderate) oven. High is 400-450F, medium is 325-375F, and low is 250-300F, generally speaking.
I guess we'd say to "keep it warm in a (s)low oven" or "start it off as hot as you can, then turn down to..." but anything other than super-hot and barely on will be done numerically. Description possibly makes sense though: ovens are so variable that the settings may as well be an abstract numerical scale.
  #114  
Old 11-10-2018, 06:14 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
Do folks use adjectival settings for ovens? I've only ever seen them graded in some sort of numbers.
The adjectives presumably come from a time when a home oven had a fire, and no thermometer.
  #115  
Old 11-10-2018, 06:22 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidwithanR View Post
The adjectives presumably come from a time when a home oven had a fire, and no thermometer.
That would make sense, of course. I was just curious as to how widespread it was elsewhere, because in my experience it isn't particularly.

I know that American cookery "feels" imprecise to Brits because of the use of capacity rather than weight (which is apparently because of a self-confessedly terrible American cook who wrote a cookbook for the clueless, in which everything was done in capacity even if that wasn't the most sensible way to measure - she was clueless - and it became popular, and the convention was established), so this may have been more of the same.
  #116  
Old 11-10-2018, 08:52 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 79,463
Cite for the clueless cookbook? I'd be curious to read about that.

Whatever the origin, it's a self-perpetuating problem, because most Americans don't have kitchen scales. Why not? Because we never measure ingredients by weight. Because none of our recipes use weight. Because nobody has a kitchen scale.
  #117  
Old 11-10-2018, 09:51 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 3,996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
... I know that American cookery "feels" imprecise ...
It IS imprecise, to that extent.
  #118  
Old 11-10-2018, 10:25 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
Cite for the clueless cookbook? I'd be curious to read about that.

Whatever the origin, it's a self-perpetuating problem, because most Americans don't have kitchen scales. Why not? Because we never measure ingredients by weight. Because none of our recipes use weight. Because nobody has a kitchen scale.
It was The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer (the "Mother of Level Measurements"). So maybe not "clueless", but the story - as I found it in Bee Wilson's "Consider the Fork" - goes that she had no flair, no feel (and no truck with the idea that such things mattered) and she knew what suddenly being cast adrift in a kitchen with no experience felt like. So she was utterly rigorous about the idea that a series of volumes and measurements, followed to the letter, would turn out right. And her idea sold ridiculously well. Historically, American cooks had used the same jumble of weights and measures as everyone else, and she sought to simplify this for the bewildered...but didn't really get it. But of course, the bewildered who were her audience didn't get it either, so didn't criticise!

Last edited by Yorkshire Pudding; 11-10-2018 at 10:27 AM.
  #119  
Old 11-10-2018, 08:08 PM
Melbourne Melbourne is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
That would make sense, of course. I was just curious as to how widespread it was elsewhere, because in my experience it isn't particularly.

I know that American cookery "feels" imprecise to Brits because of the use of capacity rather than weight (which is apparently because of a self-confessedly terrible American cook who wrote a cookbook for the clueless, in which everything was done in capacity even if that wasn't the most sensible way to measure - she was clueless - and it became popular, and the convention was established), so this may have been more of the same.
All of our American Cookbooks used F.

"Moderate" or "Medium" would be in the CWA cookbook (Country Womans Association), and yes, they would have been using ovens without accurate temperature readings, and, further, the same temperature means different things in different types of oven. Also in school/community recipe collections. Magazine recipes would have given both the descriptive term and F.

Only our American cookbooks gave weights. None of our Aus cookbooks used weight. Only volume, except perhaps for meat.

Last edited by Melbourne; 11-10-2018 at 08:09 PM.
  #120  
Old 11-10-2018, 08:22 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 26,510
A few years ago, I read an article in The New York Times advocating the use of weight measures instead of volume measures when cooking. The article suggested that you could be more precise and mess up fewer containers.

It sounded good, but then I still saw volumes used in recipes after that.
  #121  
Old 11-11-2018, 05:05 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
A few years ago, I read an article in The New York Times advocating the use of weight measures instead of volume measures when cooking. The article suggested that you could be more precise and mess up fewer containers.

It sounded good, but then I still saw volumes used in recipes after that.
It's very much a culturally entrenched thing now, of course, so if there's any shift I suspect it will be very gradual. It's easy to consider the things you're used to as making more sense than the alternative (whether that's true or not), so indignation (at the perceived needless complexity) tends to set in when change is suggested.

Took me ages to start thinking in metric, for example, but it feels so obvious now I've done so. Despite the fact that I can slice of an exact ounce of butter entirely by eye. Well, with a knife, but you know what I mean.

But I digress. British (and European, to my knowledge) recipes use a mixture: liquids are given in capacity while everything else is done in weight. But they're the same thing - 100ml of water is 100g of water - so I frequently tend to weigh liquids too nowadays, as then - per the NYT article - it's more precise and requires fewer containers.

Last edited by Yorkshire Pudding; 11-11-2018 at 05:08 AM.
  #122  
Old 11-11-2018, 06:41 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 7,908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
But I digress. British (and European, to my knowledge) recipes use a mixture: liquids are given in capacity while everything else is done in weight. But they're the same thing - 100ml of water is 100g of water - so I frequently tend to weigh liquids too nowadays, as then - per the NYT article - it's more precise and requires fewer containers.
Same here.

I have 5 electronic scale, about the size and shape of a small mouse-mat. For any recipe I come across I simply bang the container (mixing bowl, pan, whatever) on the scale and press the tare button, then add the relevant weight of ingredient, then tare, then weigh in the next one, then tare.....and so on. Dry or liquid it is all the same process, no conversion necessary other than 1ml is 1g.
  #123  
Old 11-11-2018, 07:02 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
Same here.

I have 5 electronic scale, about the size and shape of a small mouse-mat. For any recipe I come across I simply bang the container (mixing bowl, pan, whatever) on the scale and press the tare button, then add the relevant weight of ingredient, then tare, then weigh in the next one, then tare.....and so on. Dry or liquid it is all the same process, no conversion necessary other than 1ml is 1g.
I have pause when needing largish amounts of something like yoghurt, as I've no idea of its density. If it's specified in ml, I'm not sure if it's accurate to go with the ml=g conversion. That's probably only because grammes are so damn precise that the idea of absolute precision usually being possible gets stuck in my head...but still, I'll measure things if they're of a sufficiently different viscosity to water to make me suspicious.

Last edited by Yorkshire Pudding; 11-11-2018 at 07:03 AM.
  #124  
Old 11-11-2018, 07:47 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
I have a cooking scale. And some of my recipe books give both weights and volumes. There area lot of situations where volume works better. For instance, if you are adding stuff to the already-hot pot, you can measure and transport your ingredient in the same vessel if you use volume. (Add 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, cook on a high flame for about a minute, stirring, then add two cups of broth...) Also, if your recipe calls for brown sugar, you need to use volume. It's very hydrophilic, and its weight varies a great deal more than its volume depending on how damp it is. A little water more or less in the cookie dough or pie filling doesn't matter as much as more or less sugar.

But yes, making something like scones, weight is very easy, and lets me dirty fewer dishes.
  #125  
Old 11-11-2018, 08:27 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I have a cooking scale. And some of my recipe books give both weights and volumes. There area lot of situations where volume works better. For instance, if you are adding stuff to the already-hot pot, you can measure and transport your ingredient in the same vessel if you use volume. (Add 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons of tomato paste, cook on a high flame for about a minute, stirring, then add two cups of broth...) Also, if your recipe calls for brown sugar, you need to use volume. It's very hydrophilic, and its weight varies a great deal more than its volume depending on how damp it is. A little water more or less in the cookie dough or pie filling doesn't matter as much as more or less sugar.

But yes, making something like scones, weight is very easy, and lets me dirty fewer dishes.
Agreed, but you could add two (whatever the weight of cups is) of broth. In my kitchen, this makes sense as I make a load of stock and freeze it in tubs, and the simplest way to portion it out is by putting the tubs on the scales and pouring it in. But weight=volume anyway: so I guess I'm using volume and weight at the same time! In other kitchens though, a measuring jug may be more readily to hand.

That much could be dismissed as a matter of preference; the real problem lies in things which can settle - a cup of flour could be 3/4 cup of flour if you bang it a few times - or big things which leave of unpredictable amounts of air space: how much carrot is a cup of carrot? How finely chopped is it? And looking at whole carrots, how do I know many I need to achieve that many cups?
Use weight and all that ceases to matter.
  #126  
Old 11-11-2018, 08:46 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
I've never cooked anything where it mattered if i used 50% or 200% of the amount of carrots in the recipe. I adjust all of those sorts of ingredients "to taste" anyway, often basing it on how many carrots I have, and when I next might use them. That is too say, my recipes generally say "one medium onion and two carrots" and I've never cared to measure more precisely than that. If you weigh your sliced carrots, what do you do with the rest of the carrots you've sliced, anyway? Throw them out?

I always "fluff" my flour before measuring, unless I am using a scale. That is, I store my flour in a sealed plastic bottle, and I turn it upside down and then right side up before sticking the measuring scoop in. This gives me very consistent results. If I'm using more than about a cup of flour, it's easier to weigh it, but for smaller amounts, the measuring scoop is awfully simple.
  #127  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:00 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I've never cooked anything where it mattered if i used 50% or 200% of the amount of carrots in the recipe. I adjust all of those sorts of ingredients "to taste" anyway, often basing it on how many carrots I have, and when I next might use them. That is too say, my recipes generally say "one medium onion and two carrots" and I've never cared to measure more precisely than that. If you weigh your sliced carrots, what do you do with the rest of the carrots you've sliced, anyway? Throw them out?

I always "fluff" my flour before measuring, unless I am using a scale. That is, I store my flour in a sealed plastic bottle, and I turn it upside down and then right side up before sticking the measuring scoop in. This gives me very consistent results. If I'm using more than about a cup of flour, it's easier to weigh it, but for smaller amounts, the measuring scoop is awfully simple.
Yeah, carrots was the first item to mind because I'm about to make a stew and I was checking how many I had! I won't - you're quite right - be measuring them. But recipes that ask for butter or shortening in tablespoons require one to mash butter into a tablespoon, which is more awkward then putting it on a set of scales. Or - as an exasperated Dutch friend living in Canada once told me - measuring broccoli or cilantro in cups is a pain!

I make a lot of bread, and bakers' percentages allow ease of scaling up and down. If I need the water to be 60% of the weight of the flour - which is about standard - then 1000g of flour and 600g of water is very easy to scale up and down when making more or less. A wetter dough might be 65%, 70%, even 75%: all easy to play around with. But I concede, that's more about sensibly interchangeable units than weight per se: it was never that easy when I was using imperial measurements!
  #128  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:26 AM
Athena Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,286
I do almost everything by weight nowadays. If a recipe is in volume, it's easy enough to convert in my head, especially since (as folks have pointed out) things like vegetables don't really need precise measurements. Flour is 5 oz/140gr to a cup, sugar is 7oz/200 gr to a cup, butter is 1/2 ounce per tablespoon etc. etc.

I do still do spices and things like baking powder/soda by volume, since you have to pull out a spoon anyway, and it's too easy to go over/under by a couple grams if doing by weight.
  #129  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:45 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I do almost everything by weight nowadays. If a recipe is in volume, it's easy enough to convert in my head, especially since (as folks have pointed out) things like vegetables don't really need precise measurements. Flour is 5 oz/140gr to a cup, sugar is 7oz/200 gr to a cup, butter is 1/2 ounce per tablespoon etc. etc.

I do still do spices and things like baking powder/soda by volume, since you have to pull out a spoon anyway, and it's too easy to go over/under by a couple grams if doing by weight.
I thought flour was 4oz to a cup! I guess that's the thing about density/settling/etc. I didn't look up a standard conversion, I used an American cup measure and my scales, but I guess it needed tapping down a bit more. My American "biscuits" (quotes necessary when an Englishman calls those vaguely scone-like things biscuits) and cornbread nevertheless always turn out OK.

And yeah, baking powder, spices and whatnot generally happen in spoons. Though I have started weighing salt in my bread, as I'm using scales anyway.

Last edited by Yorkshire Pudding; 11-11-2018 at 09:47 AM.
  #130  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:52 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 7,908
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
I have pause when needing largish amounts of something like yoghurt, as I've no idea of its density. If it's specified in ml, I'm not sure if it's accurate to go with the ml=g conversion. That's probably only because grammes are so damn precise that the idea of absolute precision usually being possible gets stuck in my head...but still, I'll measure things if they're of a sufficiently different viscosity to water to make me suspicious.
Fair enough but when I make my own yogurt the volume doesn't seem to change and I suspect that a straight mg/ml conversion is fine. When I strain it and make it greek-style the density may change a bit but to be honest, when it is that thick the error introduced by trying to get an accurate ml measurement is probably just as much an issue as treating it as a weight.
  #131  
Old 11-11-2018, 09:54 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
Yeah, carrots was the first item to mind because I'm about to make a stew and I was checking how many I had! I won't - you're quite right - be measuring them. But recipes that ask for butter or shortening in tablespoons require one to mash butter into a tablespoon, which is more awkward then putting it on a set of scales. Or - as an exasperated Dutch friend living in Canada once told me - measuring broccoli or cilantro in cups is a pain!

I make a lot of bread, and bakers' percentages allow ease of scaling up and down. If I need the water to be 60% of the weight of the flour - which is about standard - then 1000g of flour and 600g of water is very easy to scale up and down when making more or less. A wetter dough might be 65%, 70%, even 75%: all easy to play around with. But I concede, that's more about sensibly interchangeable units than weight per se: it was never that easy when I was using imperial measurements!
I'd pull out the scale to make bread. Large amounts of flour are probably the biggest win for using weight rather than volume.

But butter? My butter comes in sticks and the paper wrapper is marked in tablespoons. I just cut it to the right volume and drop the block in. No mashing, weighing, no container, even.

Broccoli? Cilantro? Do people try to measure these with any precision? I'd just chop broccoli until it looked like about the right volume. I hate cilantro, but I "measure" parsley by grabbing a bunch that looks like a good amount. Then i often cut it with scissors into the dish.

Now I'm curious about how people cook.
  #132  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:00 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Oops, butter is marked by ounces. I don't even know if that's fluid ounces (volume) or weight. But I am measuring the pre-measured marked volume on the stick.

Last edited by puzzlegal; 11-11-2018 at 10:00 AM.
  #133  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:12 AM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I'd pull out the scale to make bread. Large amounts of flour are probably the biggest win for using weight rather than volume.

But butter? My butter comes in sticks and the paper wrapper is marked in tablespoons. I just cut it to the right volume and drop the block in. No mashing, weighing, no container, even.

Broccoli? Cilantro? Do people try to measure these with any precision? I'd just chop broccoli until it looked like about the right volume. I hate cilantro, but I "measure" parsley by grabbing a bunch that looks like a good amount. Then i often cut it with scissors into the dish.

Now I'm curious about how people cook.
I use butter in 250g "pats" (bit like a stick but fatter and shorter) but a lot of people use some sort of fat from a tub. Pats do often have 50g graduations marked on the paper (as we all deal with butter in weight) but it's not universal. And if it's been dug into with a knife for somebody's toast, they're not strictly adhered to! So when I look at an American recipe and it's got the butter in tablespoons, I need to know what a tablespoon of butter weighs, or to mash it into a tablespoon.

I guess the idea is that a good recipe ought to work for people who don't know how to cook that well, so they don't necessarily know what the right amount of carrots, broccoli, cilantro (or whatever) is. Or have the confidence to accept that it doesn't matter. So if you're going to specify, then specifying in terms which tune out that doubt for them would be useful, and weight can do that more reliably than volume. Specifying volume probably has more scope for confusing the inexperienced when the item in question doesn't suit volumetric measure.

Last edited by Yorkshire Pudding; 11-11-2018 at 10:13 AM.
  #134  
Old 11-11-2018, 10:19 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: South East England
Posts: 7,908
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
Oops, butter is marked by ounces. I don't even know if that's fluid ounces (volume) or weight. But I am measuring the pre-measured marked volume on the stick.
Well there you go, if it were melted butter would it now be oz or floz?

The whole volume/wet/dry/imperial USA/imperial UK seems unnecessarily complex to me. A gram is a gram everywhere, a ml is a gram. Metric is the clear winner for clarity and reproducability.

That's baking of course and accuracy is needed. When I'm cooking I never weigh anything, it is all by sight, taste and feel.
  #135  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:46 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
I use butter in 250g "pats" (bit like a stick but fatter and shorter) but a lot of people use some sort of fat from a tub. Pats do often have 50g graduations marked on the paper (as we all deal with butter in weight) but it's not universal. And if it's been dug into with a knife for somebody's toast, they're not strictly adhered to! So when I look at an American recipe and it's got the butter in tablespoons, I need to know what a tablespoon of butter weighs, or to mash it into a tablespoon.

I guess the idea is that a good recipe ought to work for people who don't know how to cook that well, so they don't necessarily know what the right amount of carrots, broccoli, cilantro (or whatever) is. Or have the confidence to accept that it doesn't matter. So if you're going to specify, then specifying in terms which tune out that doubt for them would be useful, and weight can do that more reliably than volume. Specifying volume probably has more scope for confusing the inexperienced when the item in question doesn't suit volumetric measure.
American recipes all have butter on ounces or pounds, because that's how sticks of butter are universally marked in the US. I've never seen a recipe calling for tablespoons of butter. And you measure it before you melt it, of course.

Yeah, if you are using cooking fat from a tub, I guess weighing would be easier. I suppose you'd put a bit of wax paper or something over the scale, and then spoon fat onto the paper until you hit the right weight?

As for recipes for novices, I think volume of veggies is easier. You can eyeball that pile of chopped carrots and think, "that looks like about a cup", and so long as the recipe doesn't lead you to believe that the precise volume matters, you'll do fine. It's much harder to eyeball veggies and guess their weight. I imagine a novice could be off by a factor of 5, whereas they'd probably get the volume to within a factor of 2, which should be good enough for most recipes.

If you actually measure all your veggies precisely, you are working far too hard, and cooking will be a chore. Any recipe that suggests you should do so is really doing you a disservice.
  #136  
Old 11-11-2018, 11:50 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
no, I guess it is tablespoons. Anyway, American butter is about the easiest thing in the world to measure, which is why I don't even remember how I do it.
  #137  
Old 11-11-2018, 01:27 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 79,463
The first time I ever made an apple pie, I saw that it called for so many cups of sliced apples, and assumed that it meant that the apples themselves should have that volume. I didn't feel like measuring the water displacement, so I assumed that they were slightly less dense than water, weighed the apples when I bought them in the supermarket, and made a mental note of how many apples made up that volume.

Of course, I ended up with much more apples than would fit in a pie, a dilemma I resolved by making two apple pies.
  #138  
Old 11-11-2018, 03:48 PM
Athena Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
I thought flour was 4oz to a cup! I guess that's the thing about density/settling/etc.
I've seen both 4 and 5 ounces per cup of flour in various conversion guides. Google it; you'll see. Most recipes work if you're somewhere in the range - I guess that's not surprising given how volume measurements of flour can be vastly different depending on how you measure, the humidity, the exact type of flour, and the phase of the moon.
  #139  
Old 11-11-2018, 03:57 PM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
I've seen both 4 and 5 ounces per cup of flour in various conversion guides. Google it; you'll see. Most recipes work if you're somewhere in the range - I guess that's not surprising given how volume measurements of flour can be vastly different depending on how you measure, the humidity, the exact type of flour, and the phase of the moon.
I guess it's easy to forget that baking is an ancient, ancient part of our culture. Ingrained into what makes us human, really. Breaking bread, this bread is my body, give us this day our daily bread, bread of life, bread and water, etc, etc.

Precision is a modern luxury.
  #140  
Old 11-11-2018, 05:02 PM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
The first time I ever made an apple pie, I saw that it called for so many cups of sliced apples, and assumed that it meant that the apples themselves should have that volume. I didn't feel like measuring the water displacement, so I assumed that they were slightly less dense than water, weighed the apples when I bought them in the supermarket, and made a mental note of how many apples made up that volume.

Of course, I ended up with much more apples than would fit in a pie, a dilemma I resolved by making two apple pies.
I measure apples for pie by volume. As i cut them, I toss the cut pieces into the empty pie plate. When the pie plate in comfortably overflowing, I stop cutting up apples.

  #141  
Old 11-11-2018, 07:08 PM
Yorkshire Pudding Yorkshire Pudding is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 356
Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I measure apples for pie by volume. As i cut them, I toss the cut pieces into the empty pie plate. When the pie plate in comfortably overflowing, I stop cutting up apples.

With you all the way. If I've started a big-ass cooking apple in a pie and run out out of space, I'll chop the rest and freeze it for apple sauce.

"Cooking apple" you say, Yorkie? What's your cooking apple of choice?" Well, I'm glad you asked. It's a Bramley. THE apple with which to cook.

" "THE" apple. Really?"

Sorry. Of course. Bit vague there, wasn't I? That should be THE apple.
  #142  
Old 11-11-2018, 07:29 PM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 79,463
Of course baking apples are different from eating apples. I don't know Bramleys-- I usually use Granny Smiths, in mine. But I'll keep an eye out for it next time I'm making a pie.

Which will probably be a while, now... I'm back close to family again, which means any pie event I attend will also likely be attended by my uncle, and I know enough not to try to compete against him.
  #143  
Old 11-12-2018, 03:02 AM
Celyn Celyn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Glasgow
Posts: 4,770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
...
Of course, I ended up with much more apples than would fit in a pie, a dilemma I resolved by making two apple pies.
So it all worked out VERY well in the end.
  #144  
Old 11-12-2018, 09:47 AM
MrAtoz MrAtoz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,448
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
I used to hear "regulo" - meaning Gas Mark - from older relatives and on old radio shows from the 50s. Were things really changing from F to C that long ago? I think we were still pretty entrenched in Fahrenheit then.
Thank you! I used to hear things like "set the oven on regulo 2" on old episodes of Are You Being Served?, and I had no idea what it meant!

It didn't help that I heard it as "reggy-low," and so I had no luck trying to search for it!
  #145  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:30 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 13,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
It was The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer (the "Mother of Level Measurements"). So maybe not "clueless", but the story - as I found it in Bee Wilson's "Consider the Fork" - goes that she had no flair, no feel (and no truck with the idea that such things mattered) and she knew what suddenly being cast adrift in a kitchen with no experience felt like. So she was utterly rigorous about the idea that a series of volumes and measurements, followed to the letter, would turn out right. And her idea sold ridiculously well. Historically, American cooks had used the same jumble of weights and measures as everyone else, and she sought to simplify this for the bewildered...but didn't really get it. But of course, the bewildered who were her audience didn't get it either, so didn't criticise!
This is fascinating and is an important cultural mark.

Can you provide some good references on this as a historical matter, or a spiffy cite to start?
  #146  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:30 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
..."Cooking apple" you say, Yorkie? What's your cooking apple of choice?" Well, I'm glad you asked. It's a Bramley. THE apple with which to cook.

" "THE" apple. Really?"

Sorry. Of course. Bit vague there, wasn't I? That should be THE apple.
I obtained some of those a few years back. Very nice cooking apple. I still like Jonathans, which hold their shape fairly well in a pie (when they are fresh) and have a delightful flavor after they have been baked.

I have also made nice pastries with Caville Blanc, a french cooking apple. It is nicely sour and holds it's shape INCREDIBLY well. It's also a very hard apple, so it's easy to cut it into beautiful thin regular slices.
  #147  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:32 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorkshire Pudding View Post
It was The Boston Cooking School Cook Book, by Fannie Merritt Farmer (the "Mother of Level Measurements"). So maybe not "clueless", but the story - as I found it in Bee Wilson's "Consider the Fork" - goes that she had no flair, no feel (and no truck with the idea that such things mattered) and she knew what suddenly being cast adrift in a kitchen with no experience felt like. So she was utterly rigorous about the idea that a series of volumes and measurements, followed to the letter, would turn out right. And her idea sold ridiculously well. Historically, American cooks had used the same jumble of weights and measures as everyone else, and she sought to simplify this for the bewildered...but didn't really get it. But of course, the bewildered who were her audience didn't get it either, so didn't criticise!
I have also heard that the Shakers, who cooked collectively, wrote recipes so that random members could step in and cook the same food. They measured everything based on the standard cups and bowls in their kitchens. Or so I read somewhere.
  #148  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:33 AM
puzzlegal's Avatar
puzzlegal puzzlegal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3,328
Also some theory about pioneers in covered wagons having access to standard-size (to them) cups and spoons, but not to accurate scales.
  #149  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:39 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Here
Posts: 13,424
Quote:
Originally Posted by Filbert View Post
That's not a pasty, it's a Bedfordshire Clanger. Might still be a myth that it was often sweet and savoury in the past, but I like to get my mistakes accurate.
...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teuton View Post
You're quite right, although I'm sure I've heard it said about pasties before.

Interesting that the wiki page for the Clanger also mentions the suggestion that the pastry was just to hold the filling and wasn't eaten.
OK, it's not a faggot, but I've always wanted to know what a savory duck is.

Or do they only use caul, like faggots, crepinettes, etc.?
  #150  
Old 11-12-2018, 11:42 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 79,463
It's hard to imagine the Shakers being the origin of a nationwide cultural practice.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:00 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017