1. ## Seeking Enlightenment

I quite enjoy cookery, and especially seeking out new recipes. There's a lot of good stuff on the net <img src=/S/yum.gif border=0 alt=yum width=15 height=15>; but much of it is American. I long ago realised that the American pint is only 16 fluid ounces, and that a cup is 8 fluid ounces. I've sussed out "all purpose" flour and Graham flour; and I've found out that a rutabaga is a swede. However, one thing baffles me. <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>

How do you measure a cup or half a cup of butter or margarine <img src=/S/question.gif border=0 alt=question width=15 height=15> Do you have to melt it first <img src=/S/question.gif border=0 alt=question width=15 height=15> I asked one American lady, and she said it's not a problem, as the wrapper is marked: but our wrappers are marked in 25 gram units.

So please American friends, how many 25 grams to the cup, or conversely how many cups to the half kilo? <img src=/S/help.gif border=0 alt=help width=23 height=15>

Pat <img src=/S/chef.gif border=0 alt=chef width=19 height=22>

2. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

OK, I got this one, I actually just showed my brother how to do it just the other day. Take a large liquid measuring cup (one of those 4 cup jobs should do) and put a cup of water in it. Next, cut the bars or scoop the butter into the water until it rises to 2 cups, then you'll know you've got it. Drain the water and use the butter. It's a little wet but that shouldn't matter. You can do that with metric measuring utensils as well I would imagine. (I stink at conversions... they're usually found in the front or back of most cookbooks)
hope that helps!
have fun

3. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Measuring solids by volume is not only wildly inaccurate but also more inconvenient than simply putting them on a scale, and sometimes it is virtually impossible, but Americans seem devoted to this dumb practice, and it is not likely to go away. Instructions to measure, say, 2 cups of lettuce, are goofy enough, but I've even seen recipes calling for things like "one cup of uncooked spaghetti." Anyway, you can figure about 250 grams of butter to the cup, or 10 of those 25-gram units.

Fafner

4. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Perhaps this or that link will enlighten you a bit. You'll have to scroll for the butter.

Oana

5. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Thanks to all of you. <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> I have to agree that a cup of lettuce leaves does sound strange to a European ear. I wonder why the tradition of measuring by volume arose? Was it perhaps because in the pioneering days scales for weighing things were not easily available? And why are American pints and gallons smaller than Imperial?

Pat

6. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

<hr> And why are American pints and gallons smaller than Imperial?
<hr>
It's all in the name ...

7. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

I'm not sure which one came first- I suspect it may have been the imperial pint.

1 pint was 20 fluid ounces; the US pint is 16- so that one pint = one pound. That was probably a logical step, especially for a country which may have been trying to get rid of English roots.

On a similar but unrelated topic.

The US may have made that particular measurement more logical. But just about every other country in the world has at least made movements towards a much more rational metric system. Why does the US not do the same?

I've lived through a metric conversion here. And I've lived in the US. The conversion is painful at the start- but it's been very worth while.

We converted to decimal currency in 1966. That was more painful than the measurement conversion. But we coped and survived- and ibith conversions have been of a huge long term benefit.

8. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

<hr>...every other country in the world has at least made movements towards a much more rational metric system. Why does the US not do the same?<hr>
I bet if you posted this topic in Scuttlebutt, you would get a thread going perhaps! So long as it didn't turn political, it would be an interesting read. For my part, if we(USA) had been metric, my chemistry classes would have been a whole lot simpler! I stunk at trying to convert weights and such! <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>

9. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Somehow the words "American" and "smaller than" don't seem to go together <img src=/S/evilgrin.gif border=0 alt=evilgrin width=15 height=15> *

Pat

* Sorry folks. There's no smiley for tongue in cheek.

10. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

If memory serves me correctly, there was an effort to move to the metric system around 20 (?) years ago. Our system works for us. It is just as difficult to switch to metric if one is not accustomed to it. And I do not consider either method as "dumb."

I never have seen a recipe calling for a cup of lettuce!!! In my experience, usually the recipe will say one head or 1/2 head of lettuce. When measurements are difficult, I usually use the amount given as a guide and get as close as possible.

What drives me batty is trying to re-create a recipe of a cook who measures by feel and sight!

11. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

I've seen a recipe calling for half a cup of beetroot! Anyway, acting on Skitterbug's suggestion I've moved this topic to Skuttlebutt.

Pat

12. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

"Queen Anne Exchequer Standard Wine Gallon", "Imperial System Capacity Standards", "George III Standard Avoirdupois Cup Weights": don't they call to mind grandeur and Empire ?

But perhaps the American Marine was more tight-fisted than the British when it came to beer and rum rations for seamen .

Oana, <big><font color=red><font face="Comic Sans MS">:J</font face=comic></font color=red></big> (smiling with a non-graphic tongue in cheek)

13. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

<hr>I suspect it may have been the imperial pint. ... 1 pint was 20 fluid ounces ... <hr>
My mother will be shocked to hear this. When I began cooking as a child, she taught me that "A pint's a pound, the world around" to help remember measurements. Of couse, this won't be the first time that her pronouncements of universal absolutes has had to be revised. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

14. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Isn't anyone going to actually answer the question?
A pound of butter is four 1/2-cup sticks in the US.
That means that 1/2 cup is a little more than 113 grams, or 4 1/2 of your 25-gram marks.
Our sticks are also marked in tablespoons, at eight to the half-cup, or 14 grams. You could probably get away with a smidge over a half of a 25-gram mark.

15. ## Re: Seeking Enlightenment

Here's a little utility that will do the conversions for you.

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