Originally Posted by Pandora
Yeah but cups come in all types of sizes how do I know what size cup to measure with and how do I know how much a quarter cup is... :S
I assume you are British or similar, rather than American. It' s a lot easier to convert American recipes from cups to ounces rather than cups to grammes (because, of course, America has had more sense than to go metric so their cups still measure in ounces).
You don't use just any old cup out of your china cupboard. Special measuring cups come in sets of cup, half cup, quarter cup and in some cases a third of a cup and to measure larger amounts of liquid you can buy Pyrex-type jugs marked off in cups, ounces and grammes. If buying standard measuring cups and spoons in Britain you'll find they don't hold exactly the same as American ones which can cause problems when baking but isn't as crucial with other sorts of dishes. You can, however, get hold of American measuring cups on Ebay (sorry, can't remember the company's name).
Actually, when you get down to it, American recipes using cups aren't that difficult. Remember not to pack flour but do pack soft brown sugar lightly. And if you're British remember that the American pint is 16 ounces not 20 ounces like our "Imperial" pint. "Sticks" of butter weigh 4 ounces.
I'm sure if I've got any of the above wrong I expect someone can correct me.
What really gets me is the flour issue - "all purpose flour" isn't quite our "strong" bread flour but isn't like our "plain" flour either and the situation is further complicated by our "self-raising" flour which doesn't seem to have an equivalent in the US and the vast (by British standards) amounts of raising agents that need to go into American cake mixes, presumably because of the amount of gluten in the flour.