Measuring Weird Amounts

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2012 • all rights reserved

A quick trick for measuring weird amounts in a recipe -- particularly helpful if you're making 1/2 or even 1/3 a batch of something.

Taking your family favorite recipes on the boat often means cutting recipes in half or sometimes making just one-third of the original batch so that it will fit in the pans you have . . . or suit the number of people aboard.

And that often means that one or more ingredients will have some weird amount.

The other day, I wanted to make a half batch of a recipe that called for 1-2/3 cups of oil.  The traditional way of figuring out the amount would be to say that the original recipe called for 5/3 cup, so a half batch would need 5/6 cup.

But none of my measuring cups show sixths of cups.  They do show thirds, though.

So if I go back a step, half of the original 5/3 of a cup would be 2-1/2 thirds.  That’s halfway between 2/3 and 3/3, or 1 cup.  Ah-ha!  I can eyeball that with the help of a see-through measuring cup.

Another ingredient originally called for 3/4 cup, so I needed 3/8 cup.  Now, I know — or you can use my conversion chart to find — that 1/8 cup is 2 tablespoons.  So I could measure out 6 tablespoons.  But I also know that 3/8 is halfway between 1/4 and 1/2 . . . so I can use my see-through measuring cup again and eyeball it to be halfway between the two.

Making a completely different recipe, I needed 2 tablespoons oil and 3/8 cup of milk.  Let’s see, 2 tablespoons is 1/8 cup, and 1/8 cup plus 3/8 cup equals 1/2 cup.  I can measure the 2 tablespoons oil into the measuring cup, then fill it with milk to the 1/2 cup mark.

With this last way — adding two measures together — the things that you are measuring have to be similar.  That is, liquids with liquids, “powders” (such as flour or sugar) with other powdery items, and so on.  You can’t mix wet and dry ingredients and have the measurements come out right.

For eggs, be sure to read Half an Egg?

Have I totally confused things?  Hope not!

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Comments

  1. Thank you for the half egg link… This has stumped me MANY times!

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