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Old 07-17-2007, 11:51 PM   #31
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How many times have we seen a question asking what "2 cups of flour, sifted" means?
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:37 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Which is exactly why she tries to teach people how to wing it. She will tell you that the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of oil, or twice around the pan.
I have to agree with GB here as this is an excellent point. To RR's credit, she did give a precise measurement which was 1/3 Cup. Parenthetically, she equated that to two handfuls.

This allows the novice to learn how to wing it without precise measurements, and it also gives insights to RR’s style of cooking. Since RR said upfront that 1/3 cup was used, it is easy to deconstruct what she means by a “handful”. In learning what she means by a “handful” you not only learn to wing it on your own, but also learn to cook more of her recipes in a casual manner.

The only downside I see to this approach is if it were a completely new cook that didn’t have a measuring cup and had no idea what 1/3 cup was. For a completely green novice that didn’t own, has never owned, was not using a measuring cup, and had never used a measuring cup, I see a problem.....but really, if they aren’t using a measuring cup and never plan on using one, they have more problems ahead of them than simply understanding what RR means by a handful.

And even when measurements are precise, they are often “wrong”. I can’t count the number of times when working with breaded items that need to be browned in oil. The recipe would specifically say 3 Tbsp of oil, and that is no where near enough to get through the whole batch. Not to mention salt and pepper measurements. I’ve made whole pots of stew that the recipe asks for 1/8 tsp of salt......maybe that is enough for some people, but that is no where near enough salt for my 2 quarts of stew (and none of the other ingredients brought any sodium to the stew either).
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:44 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
How many times have we seen a question asking what "2 cups of flour, sifted" means?

Exactly my point! An imprecise instruction, abbreviated for the sake of saving space. "Measure two cups of flour then sift it."
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:49 AM   #34
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I disagree. I think it is very precise. It is not an abbreviation. The comma is used to show when the sifting should take place. The flip side of this is one we get just as many questions about. 2 cups of sifted flour.
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:50 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Caine
As far as Martha baby, she has been known to purposely leave an ingredient or two out of her posted recipes so you can't duplicate it.
She has also been known to copy recipes verbatim from published books to her own without benefit of any kind of acknowledgement...
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Old 07-18-2007, 10:52 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I disagree. I think it is very precise. It is not an abbreviation. The comma is used to show when the sifting should take place. The flip side of this is one we get just as many questions about. 2 cups of sifted flour.
and "2 cups of sifted flour" is not the same as "2 cups of flour, sifted." Confusing to a novice baker.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:08 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I disagree. I think it is very precise. It is not an abbreviation. The comma is used to show when the sifting should take place. The flip side of this is one we get just as many questions about. 2 cups of sifted flour.

Your previous post pointed out that this is a common question on DC. If the direction were precise, there would be no questions. The instruction is open to interpretation and therefore confusing. Only because we are more experienced, do we know the recipe convention that makes the distinction between 2 C sifted flour and 2 C of flour, sifted. From our vantage point, it's obvious but a novice is uncertain to start and this makes it worse.
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Old 07-18-2007, 11:12 AM   #38
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OK I think I see what you are saying and I will agree with it.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:04 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking
Hey - thanks for that link Kitchenelf - recipe saved & looks absolutely delicious.

Like I said before, while I'm not a fan of Ms. Ray's show/personality, I've enjoyed many of her recipes & have one of her cookbooks. In fact, since I'm a "cheese whore" at heart, I personally didn't mind the extra cheese in my original complaint. I just felt it was misleading to new cooks. If she had said "a half handfull", that I wouldn't have had a problem with - lol!!!! I just found it hard to equate a full handfull of cheese with 1/3 cup.
IMO, if you want precision, use 1/3 cup. If you don't care then use the 2 handsful. Seems to me that she gave you the option to go either way... and 1/3 cup IS precise. 2 handfuls can't be precise (I mean, what if Kareem is a cook?), but it's more in keeping with how I cook, so I don't have any issue with it. About the only time I worry about precision is in baking.

And have you ever seen RR? She is tiny, and her hands are very small. IMO for her, 2 handsful WOULD be about 1/3 cup.
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:15 PM   #40
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And even when measurements are precise, they are often “wrong”. I can’t count the number of times when working with breaded items that need to be browned in oil. The recipe would specifically say 3 Tbsp of oil, and that is no where near enough to get through the whole batch. Not to mention salt and pepper measurements. I’ve made whole pots of stew that the recipe asks for 1/8 tsp of salt......maybe that is enough for some people, but that is no where near enough salt for my 2 quarts of stew (and none of the other ingredients brought any sodium to the stew either).
I have found from experience that a great many recipes seem to be scared of over flavoring. I'd say that 90% of the dishes I make regularly have notations in the margins to double this or that herb or spice. Are they really afraid that people will be put off if a dish has FLAVOR?
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