Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Kitchen Collection [10]

Every kitchen, I would wager, has a way to measure volume. The most common way to do it, I suspect, is the measuring cup, graduated with volume measures.

Some are emblazoned with the American system of cups and ounces, others in the more universal metric system, and some come with both measuring systems. I'm sure there are cooks with none of these tools, who have rather a good sense of volume and a good eye. I'm not one of them.

The cups are made of glass, plastic, or metal. In fact, we have all three materials in our collection of measuring cups.

The ones used most often chez nous are of the glass variety. We have several of the standard Pyrex measures ranging in size from one cup up to four (a quart). We also have a couple other glass cups that we've picked up in second-hand shops because we liked the way they look. One of them, a favorite, recently broke.

We have three sets of handled measures, too. These are the familiar individual nested cups (1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 1 cup), two sets made of stainless steel and another set made of plastic. We also have other graduated measures that do double duty as gravy separators, food processors, and hand-mixer bowls.

One interesting thing about having moved to France is that most dry measures here (flour, sugar, polenta, nuts, etc.) are weight-based rather than volume-based. So, instead of 2 cups of flour, your recipe may call for 500 grams of flour. For that you need a kitchen scale. Or several...


  1. I have one of those glass ones and also a metallic one.

  2. For baking, weighing is more accurate, as the density of air in flour varies. If a recipe gives the amount of something in weight, I weigh!

  3. Kim, oh yes, I have been weighing ingredients for many years. We've had French cookbooks in the house for more than twenty years, so we've needed kitchen scales, in grams and kilos, for a long time.


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