Accurate measurement is necessary to insure success in cooking. It is best secured by using gallon, quart, and pint measures, the half-pint cup and tablespoons and teaspoons of standard size.

Measuring cups hold one half pint (milk measure) and may be bought in tin, enameled, and glassware, with handle. Some are divided on one side into quarters and on the other into thirds; or you may find one cup in quarters and another in thirds. They should supersede entirely the use of tea cups, blue cups, and tumblers, which were called for in nearly all old time recipes.

Tablespoons of the usual size are three inches long and one and three fourths inches wide.

Teaspoons should measure two inches long and one and one fourth inches wide.

Half-teaspoons should be in every kitchen; they are like a teaspoon with the bowl cut through the middle from tip to handle, with an upright edge forming a back on the line of division. They are convenient, especially in measuring a half teaspoon of liquid.

How to Measure. All measurements should be level. Before measuring, sift dry materials like flour, meal, and powdered sugar into a pan; or, to save dishes, sift on to a piece of clean paper, usually measured with a spoon dipped into the box — first stir them or break up lightly, then sift on to a paper and measure without pressure when filling the spoon.

The results of careless measurement are most objectionable when there is an excess of salt, soda or pepper. These should be measured with special care.

Cup Measure. Hold the cup over the pan and fill with a spoon or scoop, even with the groove if a part of a cup is needed, and slightly more than full for a whole cup; then with the back of a table knife held perpendicularly scrape off till it is level. Do not dip the cup into the material nor shake it when filling, nor press the material in when leveling.

A Scant Cup. Measure level, then remove two tablespoons of material.

For liquids, stand the cup in a saucer and fill by pouring in from a pitcher or something with a lip, as much as it will hold without running over.

To measure butter or lard, cut small portions and pack in closely, leaving no air spaces; other solid materials like diced vegetables, meat, fish, and bread should be filled in lightly.

Tablespoon and Teaspoon Measures. Fill by dipping the spoon with the left hand into dry material; take up, and with a table knife in the right hand, scrape off all that is above the rim of the spoon. With butter, cream, molasses or other sticky substance, do not dip in, for a portion will cling to the under side of the spoon and if removed and used, you will have more than the correct proportion. With liquids like melted butter, and molasses, fill by pouring; with soft butter and lard, fill by packing it level with a knife.

Half Teaspoon. Fill teaspoon level, divide lengthwise, scrape out one half. One fourth teaspoon, divide the half portion crosswise, for one eighth, divide the quarter diagonally.

Speck or Grains. This is the amount which may be taken up on the point of a paring knife or other quarter-inch surface; or a slight shake from the pepper box.

Weights. Scales are necessary for meat and large quantities of fruit and vegetables; they are convenient and economical for butter and lard, as both time and material are wasted in packing and removing butter from a cup, and also from a tablespoon where several measurements are to be used.

By memorizing the tables of weights and measures, and frequent comparisons of the two, and frequent practice in dividing by the eye, accuracy may be secured. We are expected to learn how to divide by the eye a loaf of bread or cake into slices of given thickness, pies into sixths, and to serve many foods into equal portions. It is equally easy and equally desirable to save time and labor by cutting a pound of butter into halves, quarters, and ounces; and by practice be able to cut off with two strokes of a knife a cube which is equivalent to two tablespoons. It should measure about one and one fourth inches each way.

This cutting by the eye is very quickly done with print butter which is partly divided into quarter-pounds, sometimes into ounces. Divide the quarter-pound in the middle each way, and you have one ounce or two tablespoons, the measure most frequently used.

With tub butter weigh out a pound, pack it into rectangular shape, then divide in halves, quarters, and again into quarters, until you have the ounce portion. Where frequent portions of measured butter are needed daily it is well to prepare a quantity at a time and keep them cool until needed.

Butter which is soft and watery from insufficient pressure in the making, has less fat than that which is close-grained and has been thoroughly worked over. Therefore, no matter how accurately you measure the level spoon, the results will be different with different butters.

tbsp. stands for tablespoon.
tsp. ” teaspoon.
spk. ” speck.
c. ” cup.
h. ” hour.
m. ” minute.
pk. ” peck.
gal. ” gallon.
qt. ” quart.
pt. ” pint.
lb. ” pound.
oz. ” ounce.
fl oz. ” fluid ounce.

Time may be saved in writing recipes by using T for tablespoon and small t for teaspoon. It is not necessary to use the suffix ful in writing or in recitation. We do not say a pintful or a quartful; why should we use it with cups of spoons? If we say “one cup” we mean that it is full. If we wish to designate less than that amount, we give the fractional part, as one half, or two thirds, which means that part of a full cup.

3 tsp. = 1 tbsp.
2 tbsp. = 1 fl oz.
4 tbsp. = 1/4 c.
8 tbsp. = 1 gill.
2 gill. = 1 c.
1 c. = 1/4 qt.
1 c. = 8 fl oz.
2 c. = 1 pt.
4 c. = 1 qt.
2 pt. = 1 qt.
4 qt. = 1 gall.
8 qt. = 1 pk.
4 tbsp. = 1 wineglass.
9 large eggs = 1 lb.
4 c. flour = 1 lb.
2 c. solid butter = 1 lb.
2 c. gran. sugar = 1 lb.
2 c. milk or water = 1 lb.
2 c. solid meat = 1 lb.
1 tbsp. liquid = 1/2 oz.
4 tbsp. flour = 1 oz.
2 tbsp. sugar = 1 oz.
1 gal. = 4 qt.
1 lb. = 16 oz.
Cube of butter 1 1/4 inch = 1 oz.
1 stick butter = 1/4 lb.

Measuring — From the COOKS.COM Culinary Archive.


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