[LMB] The Measurement of Greases and Particulate Solids (OT: WAS:- On the Art of Translation)

Carol Cooper carolcooper at shaw.ca
Sun Nov 20 16:31:04 GMT 2011

Lois Aleta Fundis wrote, in response to James's rant of
> >
> > Why, oh why, do all North American cookbooks measure
> > particulate solids and greases (butter, shortening, etc.)
> > by volume?
> It's how we're taught. It's the way my mother did it. And her mother, and
> my dad's mother, and probably *their* mothers  (and both of my
> grandmothers' mothers were born in the UK, albeit in the reign of Queen
> Victoria), as well as my home-ec teacher, and presumably *her* teacher...
> Mom did have a kitchen scale but seldom used it.
> --
As someone else mentioned, kitchen scales were something that would possibly
have been outside the budget of many families a hundred years or so ago.  My
grandmother rarely used kitchen scales, but although she was a good baker
her repertoire was very limited and not at all complicated.  However, my
mother did use balance scales and I'm still using them - I guess they must
have been bought back in the 1940s at which point they would have been
considered essential.  I've supplemented them by buying a set of metric
weights so I can measure both imperial and metric.

The thing is, just because my peasant forebears couldn't afford scales and
in any case never made anything more complicated than a cupcake, doesn't
mean that scales aren't better if you can get them.  I'm also unreasonably
attached to my  indoor plumbing, hot water, mixer, fridge, washing machine,
vacuum, etc - none of which my Gran used either.  The same Gran never used
the fridge that her loving children clubbed together to buy her for
Christmas, as she considered it a 'waste of electricity'.  Her kids lived in
fear that she'd die of food poisoning from some of the furry substances she
kept in her food cupboard.  She didn't - but she was sailing pretty close to
the wind at times!


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