Most unusual measurement you've seen in a recipe

Last weekend I was making some coleslaw to take to my wife’s family reunion. The recipe is one that has been in the family for years - she got it from her mom or aunt, who got it from their mother, etc. One of the ingredients for the dressing for this slaw is “7/8 cup and 2 tsp sugar”.

That just struck me as such a bizarre measurement. First of all, how would I even measure out 7/8 cup? I have 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 cups, but no 7/8. Second, wouldn’t it be easier to just make it “1 cup minus 1 tsp”, or even easier “1 cup”? I mean seriously, at that point does one tsp of sugar make that much of a difference?

What’s the most unusual measurement you’ve come across in a recipe?

“3 unpreased”:

Nitpick : 7/8 cup + 2 teaspoons is 1 cup minus 4 teaspoons.

Alton Brown had a recipe that called for 1 bottle and 1 tablespoon of beer, but that was obviously a joke.

You’re right. :smack: I was thinking of a stick of butter or marge divided up into eighths, but that’s only a half cup not a full cup. 7/8 cup is a cup minus 2 Tbsp. So much for trying to do the math in my head.

I have gotten some unusual measurements on recipe sites that have a calculator where you can re-calculate the ingredients depending upon what fraction of the original recipe you want to make (half the batch, one quarter of it, a double batch, etc.) Sometimes I’ve ended up with something like 1.4 eggs.

One eye. Of newt of course.

Have your .4 child crack it. Easy peasy.

I think it’s a little weird. One of my recipes call for 1 and 1/2 tablespoons, but I don’t have a half tablespoon measure so I just add a teaspoon instead.

I heard this one second-hand years ago. “An egg of butter” - a lump of butter the size of an egg. I believe from a Martha Washington cookbook, though I’m unsure. Obvious once explained, but not necessarily one I’d have figured out. And eggs were smaller then, so that has to be noted.

I think JKellyMap wins, though. I’m going to have to click that link to find out what it means.

edit: Clicked the link, but now think it should be disqualified, given its nature.

I have had a need for a ‘knob of butter’? It’s been a family joke for years now. If any one requires butter, we say “would you pass me a knob of butter, please sir?”

You put sugar in coleslaw? Nearly a cup ? Dear Lord, how much were you making?


Fannie Farmer standardized this as a quarter pound of butter. As matter of fact, Farmer standardized just about every measurement used in the US today: cup, half cup, teaspoon, etc.

Different person, but I’m a southerner, and we put sugar in coleslaw. No idea how much, though. Don’t eat it and don’t make it.

Cole slaw does tend to be sweet, so I could see having sugar in the dressing, but nearly a cup does seem like a lot. I hope the recipe uses more than one head of cabbage.


Then you’re 1/2 of a teaspoon short. A teaspoon is 1/3 of a tablespoon, not 1/2.

Yep, southerners put sugar in coleslaw. Think of KFC coleslaw that’s how it supposed to taste. I add sugar to taste. I think a cup may may be a bit sweet for me. Southern cookery is an enigma sometimes.

Yeah, I was imagining 20 cabbages and mixing it in the bathtub. :slight_smile:

I have family recipes from the 19th and early 20th century that uses smidges pinches dashes ect

my favorite is “pour ingredient in until it reaches desired consistency”

the recipies usually come with the qualifier "it never exactly taste the same way twice "

A friend of mine has a set of measuring spoons that includes spoons for one pinch, one smidge, one dash, etc. I was upset that there was no spoon to measure one skosh, though.

I have my mother’s recipe books. There are many in there that call for “1 can of tomatoes” or the like. No size, mind you. It can be frustrating.