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Old 04-07-2015, 07:24 PM   #71
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With the exception of baking, most of the T&T recipes from our members I see posted here that involve citrus juice, onions, bell peppers, garlic, etc., use guidelines such as "3 cloves of garlic, minced....half a bell pepper, chopped....half a small onion, chopped....juice of one lemon...", etc.

IMHO, the recipes in cookbooks and online are meant to be starting points and guidelines. New cooks will try the recipes and if so inclined, they'll adapt them when they try them again. More experienced cooks will know what ingredients to adapt before they make them.

I see Zagut's analogy here.


Edited....slow typing here....saw Zagut's reply after I hit submit...lol
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Old 04-07-2015, 08:07 PM   #72
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...IMHO, the recipes in cookbooks and online are meant to be starting points and guidelines. New cooks will try the recipes and if so inclined, they'll adapt them when they try them again. More experienced cooks will know what ingredients to adapt before they make them...
I think most recipes are not meant as starting points at all. I think the average non-foodie follows a recipe exactly and is very hesitant to change it for fear of making a mess of things. The same recipe can be a starting point to you or me. The author of a recipe or cookbook doesn't control who buy his book or downloads his recipe. They have to ensure as much as possible that the newest cook can make the recipe successfully.

My comments on the imprecise nature of of some measures are due to my OCDness. In most recipes, though "a small onion" can vary in size, it's probably not an issue in a recipe.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:29 PM   #73
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I think most recipes are not meant as starting points at all. I think the average non-foodie follows a recipe exactly and is very hesitant to change it for fear of making a mess of things. The same recipe can be a starting point to you or me. The author of a recipe or cookbook doesn't control who buy his book or downloads his recipe. They have to ensure as much as possible that the newest cook can make the recipe successfully.

My comments on the imprecise nature of of some measures are due to my OCDness. In most recipes, though "a small onion" can vary in size, it's probably not an issue in a recipe.
I hear ya there...my little grandson was here today...excuse me for a moment while I put the coasters and coffee table books back where they are supposed to be.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:21 AM   #74
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My comments on the imprecise nature of of some measures are due to my OCDness. In most recipes, though "a small onion" can vary in size, it's probably not an issue in a recipe.
Just like eggs are graded for size, so are fruits and most veggies. Unfortunately, unless you are involved with ordering food for the food industry from a wholesaler, the average consumer is not exposed to those grades, unlike with eggs.

The size for fruits is based on how many fit in the box. The boxes are sized to hold a certain weight. Veggies are the same. For example, if you want to buy a box of cauliflower (sorry, I don't have the weight per cauliflower or the # re: size), 24 fit in a box. Those 24 heads of cauliflower will be almost all the same size. The off-size ones are sold in another sized box. 20 Avocadoes fit in a box, 20 Anjou pears fit in the same sized box, 18 Afaulto mangos fit in a "crate." How do I know this? I buy produce by the box every week for approximately 100 servings and I buy these at the local produce market. I need the produce to be as uniform in size as possible.


When you buy from a farmer's market or at the farmgate, you are not going to be subjected to grading. My rule of thumb for onions, for example, is that a "small" onion is about the size of a golf ball, medium fits in my palm with my fingers curled halfway up, large is the size of a baseball (and feels like that in my hand!). I use this "standard" of measure when grading tomatoes, potatoes, beets, and other such things from the garden.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:35 AM   #75
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Just like eggs are graded for size, so are fruits and most veggies.

...My rule of thumb for onions, for example, is that a "small" onion is about the size of a golf ball, medium fits in my palm with my fingers curled halfway up, large is the size of a baseball (and feels like that in my hand!). I use this "standard" of measure when grading tomatoes, potatoes, beets, and other such things from the garden.

Egg size is standardized. There are specifications for large, extra large, etc. egg sizes. So when a recipe calls for large eggs, you can go to the market and buy large eggs. It says so right there on the carton. No confusion.

Your "standard" for veggies is fine for you but not useful in a written recipe. I can hold a baseball sized onion in my hand and have my fingers curl half way up so that would be a medium onion for me.

The only precise way for recipes would be to measure veggies by weight.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:05 AM   #76
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Since I don buy eggs, Andy, I do have to weigh them. My girls are not consistent when they lay eggs. The width of my hand is the perfect size to measure (across) for a 5 oz. portion of meat or fish. The sizes given, golf ball, medium is about the size of a tennis ball, large is the size of a baseball. Doesn't matter the size of a person's hand, if one can adjust to how a golf ball, tennis ball, or baseball fits in one's hand.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:48 AM   #77
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Lot's of Danish recipes say stuff like: 200 grams of onions, peeled weight, or 1000 grams of potatoes, peeled weight.
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Old 04-08-2015, 02:38 PM   #78
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Since I don buy eggs, Andy, I do have to weigh them. My girls are not consistent when they lay eggs. The width of my hand is the perfect size to measure (across) for a 5 oz. portion of meat or fish. The sizes given, golf ball, medium is about the size of a tennis ball, large is the size of a baseball. Doesn't matter the size of a person's hand, if one can adjust to how a golf ball, tennis ball, or baseball fits in one's hand.
For me, the whole point of this discussion is the need for standardized and accurate ingredient quantities. What fits into your or my hand is immaterial to that discussion. I also find comparisons to things like different balls is handy but not universal. No one in Europe, for example, would be familiar with the size of a baseball.
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Old 04-08-2015, 03:57 PM   #79
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For me, the whole point of this discussion is the need for standardized and accurate ingredient quantities. What fits into your or my hand is immaterial to that discussion. I also find comparisons to things like different balls is handy but not universal. No one in Europe, for example, would be familiar with the size of a baseball.
Standardization is nice, but things don't grow that way. When in the supermarket, a person needs an easy way to measure something--whether it is by using the scale (if there is one) or something easy, one's hand. We used to measure fabric by stretching out an arm and bringing the fabric up to our noses to determine if there were enough yards left on a bolt. That "measurement" was approximately one yard. I still do that.


I think the European Confederation of Baseball players, its fans, the youngsters aspiring to be ball players and their parents would take offence to that assumption. The federation has been around since the late '60s/early '70s.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:05 PM   #80
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I wouldn't have a clue about baseball or how big the ball is its not a UK interest . We play rounders and footy .



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