Cute measuring spoons
I couldn’t resist them. And set about buying matching this that and the other for Ilaria who seemed to have managed for ages with really weird measuring spoons (elongated ‘spoons’ – do you know the ones I mean?) that I could never find when I cooked at hers.
She liked them, too, especially the colours.
It was only when I went to make a dressing for a salad I was writing up as a recipe that I noticed something annoying. In New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and Canada one tablespoon measures 15ml. In the US one tablespoons measures very nearly 15 ml (14.8ml / 0.50 fl oz). But in Australia one tablespoon measures 20ml. Does it matter? Often, it doesn’t, but sometimes it does. I was making a dressing with 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, that’s 60ml of oil and 2 tablespoons of vinegar at 30ml. Using the Australian spoon, I was measuring 80ml of oil – that’s more than 1 extra tablespoon of oil – and 40ml of vinegar. The result would not have been catastrophic, but as a recipe writer I aim to get things as accurate as possible. Where it would make a difference is with spices, salt, baking powder, baking soda, dried yeast, vanilla extract and the like.
So how do Australians get on? Books, magazines and good websites point out the difference in spoon measures, and some have a Weights & Measures category or page, as does Shared Kitchen. In fact, our Weights & Measures section is extensive, and has been quoted/used/filched by many other publications. Never mind, that must mean it is good!
Weights & Measures
Here you’ll find abbreviations used on the Shared Kitchen site, a conversion chart for dry weight grams to ounces and vice versa, and liquid measurements of millilitres to fluid ounces, with the differences between English and American measures. And spoon measures, and cup measures are included of course. Have you ever gone to make a recipe then find everything needs to be weighed and you don’t have scales? That’s where this useful chart for cup measures of dry ingredients (sugars, flours, nuts etc,) comes in handy. There is other helpful information such as the weight of a stick of butter, and special notes on using fresh and dried yeast, and the weight of eggs. Measurements and cake tin sizes follow and the category finishes with oven temperatures. Weights & Measures
Worth a browse for sure!
Back to the spoons!
If you can afford it, buy metal measuring spoons – they are about 6 times the cost of plastic, but they will last a lifetime. They will not break, melt or get out of shape. That’ll teach me … getting sucked in by appearance!