Metrics and non metrics that matter!
My collection of recipe books come from the USA, Canada, Austria, Australia, Peru and a few other places where we have lived or gone on holidays over the years. Most of them use spoons and 8 oz cups, but the Australian books are the only ones that use the ½ pint, or 10 fluid ounce measure, in addition to the standard quarter of a litre, or 250 ml cup, which is the standard in most places.
My 17 year old son, who likes to cook and bake has asked me to please leave my recipe books to him on my will, as he would like to inherit them! I am not that old, so I don’t think I will be writing my will any time soon, but I still considered his request a sort of compliment, as I also happen to treasure those books! They have accompanied me through many different countries and they also have to do with people I love, like my mother and my two grandmothers.
I now live in Austria and everything is metric here: like kilos, grams and litres. Every year people bake beautiful Christmas biscuits, but at first I was kind of disappointed, as all recipes were measured in grams, not cups, which is what I was used to. To make matters worse, I also did not have any weighing scales! So as to be able to bake those delicious treats I was seeing printed on magazines and newspapers around Christmas time, I ended up having to buy weighing scales and I am happy I did! Those scales actually offer a completely different way of baking, as one can measure ingredients one after the other, as it is just a matter of setting the machine to 0 before weighing the next one. Measuring butter or margarine is not a messy affair any more, as it is only the weight that matters.
1/3 and 1/2 cup
One of my favourite recipes is banana bread, for which I use very ripe bananas, or as my family refers to them: rotten bananas . I have given that bread to a few of my friends, so I was not surprised when one of them asked me for the recipe. I copied it and gave it to her, but she was most disappointed when she realized the recipe was not in grams, but that it had 1/3, ½ and a full cup! Once I had my weighing scales I was able to convert the recipe to grams, as she wouldn’t have been able to bake it otherwise!
The kitchen scales are one of my priced possessions now and I use it for other things besides baking and cooking, like finding the weight of my used books before I sell them in Amazon!
I went to a British school in Peru and there we had to learn to do calculations using feet and yards (three feet to the yard), but also pennies, shillings and pounds (twelve pennies to the shilling and twenty shillings to the pound)! They also liked to use inches instead of centimetres, although I must admit that I still prefer measuring snow in inches, not centimetres and for sewing I also rather use inches!
It is easier now that we have the Internet, as one can easily convert measurements in no time at all, unfortunately that was not always the case!