Household Weights and Measures - 1, 2, 3, 4
from The New Household Discoveries An Encyclopedia of Recipes and
Processes edited by Sidney Morse - 1917
PRINCIPLES OF MEASUREMENTóTABLE OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURESóTIME REQUIRED FOR
COOKINGóCOOK'S COMPLETE TIME TABLE.
The uniform accuracy of results obtained by professional cooks,
bakers, and caterers is due, in great degree, to the fact that the
measurement of ingredients called for by their recipes is accurately
determined by weight, and the temperature of their ovens is definitely
ascertained by means of the thermometer. Thus the conditions surrounding
the food cooked are made identical, and uniformity in the product
necessarily follows. Any cook can obtain similar results by like means,
and a good pair of scales in the kitchen may be regarded as one of the
marks of a good housekeeper. There are numerous occasions when the use
of scales is necessary, and there is no question but that measurement by
weight could be advantageously made use of far oftener than is usually
done at present.
As long as the housewife is content to measure rather than to weigh she
will have to expect her products to be lacking in uniformity for no two
people measure exactly alike and probably no one person measures twice
in the same way. But if measurements are to be persistently used, it is
necessary that the housewife shall take as many precautions as possible
toward attaining a reasonable degree of accuracy in her work.
All dry ingredients, such as flour, meal, confectioner's and powdered
sugar, should be sifted before measuring. Mustard, baking powder, cream
of tartar, soda, salt, and spices should be stirred to lighten and free
them from lumps. To dip a measuring cup into flour or other dry material
in order to fill it and then to shake the cup to level its contents,
condenses or packs the flour and causes the cup to contain more than the
recipe calls for. The material should be added tablespoonful by
tablespoonful, taking care not to shake the cup until the cup is well
filled. The contents should then be leveled by means of a case knife.
All ingredients, measured by the tablespoonful or teaspoonful, are
measured level unless otherwise stated. To measure a spoonful, fill the
spoon and level it with the back of a case knife. For a half spoonful,
first measure a spoonful, then divide it in halves, lengthwise, with a
thin knife blade. To measure a quarter spoonful, first measure a half
spoonful and divide it crosswise, a little nearer the back than the
point of the spoon, to allow for its curvature. This is equivalent to
one saltspoonful. Butter, lard, and other solid fats are measured by
packing them solidly into the spoon or cup and leveling with a knife.
Butter should be measured before melting, unless melted butter is stated
in the recipe, in which case it should be measured after melting.
A cup which holds half a pint, is the common standard of domestic
measure. This cup has straight sides divided into fourths and thirds. It
may be obtained at any good 5- and 10-cent store or mailorder
The following are tables of measurements, all measurements being level.
(page 49 in the book)