International conversions & terminology

    • 746 posts
    February 16, 2011 1:53 AM GMT
    Lucy, when it comes to butter, I just put in some "extra'! LOL
    • 1652 posts
    February 15, 2011 1:23 AM GMT
    Indeed Traci, it's all about pinches, dashes, blobs and er, knobs we use, you know.
    Do Americans have knobs of butter?
    • Moderator
    • 1980 posts
    February 15, 2011 2:03 AM GMT
    Of course. A knob of butter is the same as a US chunk of butter only a little bigger. I think.

    Really, thank you so much for the post, Lucy, it definitely deserves a place of its own and will be a permanent part of the forum once the new site is up and running. Yes, there is much confusion about units of measure which could lead to bad outcomes in recipes, especially baked goods which require more precise proportions than some other recipes. You are absolutely right about measuring cups being units of volume which can be different for liquids or solids. As you pointed out a cup of flour would be different in weight and volume from, say, a cup of rice. Not only that but a cup packed down as opposed to a cup loosely scooped can vary considerably. A kitchen scale is nice if you're the sort who likes to be exact.

    Myself, I tend to cook as you do, to me cooking is more art than science. A pinch of this or a handful of that and for most recipes it works just fine especially if you know your way around the kitchen a little. Experimenting is fun and unless you totally burn it or something like that the results are usually at least edible. One thing I always do is taste as I go along and also try to remember that it's much easier to add than to subtract.

    Thank all of you so much for the great ideas and recipes. Please don't hesitate to chime in.

    Hugs...Joni Mari

    • 746 posts
    February 15, 2011 1:19 AM GMT
    Excellent post Lucy! I too, over time, have learned to just grab a "pinch" here or a "splash" there based on experience and late grandmother always cooked that was like, "Grandma, how much of this do I put in"? Or "what is the recipe"? She would look at me like I was the Inquisition, but then I was always a little "different", even then! (smile)

    Traci xoxoxo
    • 1652 posts
    February 15, 2011 12:11 AM GMT
    I think this subject deserves a thread of its own. Melody has provided a link to some comprehensive UK/US conversion tables:
    There's a fairly important point below all the tables on this link, about the difference between US and UK liquid measurements:
    "The American liquid measures are only 4/5 of the UK, or Imperial, measures. So the pint here is 20 fl.oz, not 16..."
    So bear the following in mind if fluid ounces or pints are used in a recipe:
    1 Imperial pint (20 UK fl oz) = 568.261485 millilitres
    1 US pint (16 US fl oz) = 473.176473 millilitres
    1 Imperial fluid ounce = 28.4130742 millilitres
    1 US fluid ounce = 29.5735296 millilitres
    There’s only a difference of about 100ml between a US and UK pint, but that may be enough to affect a delicate recipe. Not to mention beer drinkers across the UK…

    As for cups, which in England are things we drink tea from…
    I’ve always wondered exactly how much “a cup” is, and if I’ve understood correctly, a cup is not a measurement of weight, but of volume. So a cup of flour will weigh more than a cup of marshmallows. It’s therefore best to use a measuring jug rather than try to convert cups to ounces or grams, or find a cup in your cupboard that holds 236.59ml (half of a US pint) of liquid.
    There’s quite a good article on Wiki if you’re bothered about all this stuff:[...]easures

    But I don’t fret about weights and measurements too much. Part of the fun for me is working out what went wrong and adjusting the recipe accordingly; trial and error, sometimes takes me a few goes…
    • Moderator
    • 1017 posts
    March 19, 2011 5:25 PM GMT
    Hi all,

    While doing research for a recipe I'll post soon, I ran across another site with all sorts of weights, measures, calculators and converters: