Heirloom Weights & Measures Conversions

Any page that was located on the homecooking.about.com site now automatically forwards the viewer to the homepage of spruceeats.com. The navigation system there is somewhat tricky to follow and, sadly, some of the pages did not make the cut to the new server. Here is an excerpt from one of the most useful pages relegated to the virtual shredder:

About.com | Food | Home Cooking | Cooking 101

Heirloom Weights & Measures Conversion Chart

Need help figuring out weights and measures in Grandma’s heirloom recipes? This chart will help you understand those oft-times cryptic measurements and instructions.

1 wineglass 1/4 cup
1 jigger 1.5 fluid ounces
1 gill 1/2 cup
1 teacup a scant 3/4 cup
1 coffeecup a scant cup
1 tumbler 1 cup
1 pint 2 cups
1 quart 4 cups
1 peck 2 gallons – dry
1 pinch or dash what can be picked up between thumb and first two fingers; less than 1/8 teaspoon
1/2 pinch what can be picked up between thumb and one finger
1 saltspoon 1/4 teaspoon
1 kitchen spoon 1 teaspoon
1 dessert spoon 2 teaspoons or 1 soupspoon
1 spoonful 1 Tablespoon more or less
1 saucer 1 heaping cup (about)
Very slow oven below 300 degrees F.
Slow oven 300 degrees F.
Moderately slow oven 325 degrees F.
Moderate oven 350 degrees F.
Moderately hot oven 375 degrees F.
Quick oven 375 – 400 degrees F.
Hot oven 400-425 degrees F.
Very hot oven 450-475 degrees F.
Extremely hot oven 500 degrees F. or more
Common Weights
1 penny weight 1/20 ounce
1 drachm 1/8 ounce
60 drops thick fluid 1 teaspoon
1 ounce 4-1/2 Tablespoons allspice, cinnamon, curry , paprika or dry mustard
or 4 Tablespoons cloves or prepared mustard
or 3-1/2 Tablespoons nutmeg or pepper
or 3 Tablespoons sage, cream of tartar or cornstarch
or 2 Tablespoons salt or any liquid
1 pound 2 cups liquid
or 4 cups flour
or 8 medium eggs with shells
or 10 eggs without shells
or 2 cups granulated sugar
or 2-1/3 cups packed brown sugar
or 3-3/4 cups unsifted confectioner’s sugar
or 4-1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
or 4 cups grated cabbage, cranberries, coffee or chopped celery
or 3 cups corn meal
or 2 cups uncooked rice
or 2-3/4 cups raisins or dried currants
Butter the size of an egg 1/4 cup or 2 ounces
Butter the size of a walnut 1 Tablespoon
Butter the size of a hazelnut 1 teaspoon

Peggy Trowbridge Filippone Home Cooking Guide

originally posted at http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/bloldconvert.htm

More Inexact Measures

As for how much is in “a knob of butter”, the impression I have is that it is the same as a “good shot”, a “dollop”, a “lump”, “some”, and/or “enough”…. The internet equivalent for “a knob of butter” varies between a couple of teaspoons to a couple of tablespoons. I would be inclined to stick with “a good shot”. :-)

Similar answers are for a “sploosh of cream”. This is much more that a “drop” or “dribble”, a little more than a “splash”, and about the same as a “slosh”.

All of which reminds me of Mum’s instructions to me when I was about ten and helping her in the kitchen:

she: Now put in the salt.
me: How much salt??
she: Some.
me: How much is some?
she: Oh I don’t know: enough. Just put it into the palm of your hand.
me: This much??
she: A little more….
me: This much???
she: No that’s too much. Just put in some of that.
me: How much of it?
she: Oh I don’t know: enough.

etc. etc. etc.