Believing that most housekeepers prefer measuring to weighing, the recipes in this book are given almost wholly by measure. The measures are almost invariably even; for example, one cup means one level cup; one teaspoon-ful means one level teaspoonful; one scant cup means one tablespoonful less than a cup; one generous cup means one tablespoonful more than a cup. Eggs vary so much in size that it is practically impossible to be exact in a recipe which calls for a certain number of eggs, consequently the following recipes generally give eggs by measure, instead of by number.
In order to eliminate luck from cookery, the worker must be exact in her measurements, as well as careful in the preparation and baking of any dish. Materials differ in strength and quality, and for this reason a little judgment is needed in making any dish; but the fact that these formulae have all been thoroughly tested, and many of them have been used by large classes in the schoolroom, leads to the belief that even the amateur will find them reliable. One cup, as used in the formulae, means one-half pint; but it does not follow that, in order to be exact in her measurements, each woman must possess a graduated measuring cup. It is easier to use, and costs little; but knowing that, in these recipes, sixteen table-spoonfuls equal one cup, it is an easy matter to put sixteen tablespoonfuls of water into a glass (be sure that the spoons are just full, - neither under full nor running over), and hunt among your dishes until you find a glass or cup which will be just filled level full by this process. Then keep that one always for measuring purposes. Remember that success depends upon accuracy of measurement. At home, the one cup, with a teaspoon and tablespoon, is all that is necessary; but in school work, by some methods of teaching, one needs to divide a recipe into tablespoonfuls. The following table is given to aid in this work:
Measuring Dry Materials
Four teaspoonfuls equal one tablespoonful.
Sixteen tablespoonfuls of liquid equal one cup.
Twelve tablespoonfuls of dry material equal one cup.
Four cups equal one quart.
The juice of one lemon means one-fourth of a cup.
One pint of butter (packed) equals one pound.
One quart of flour (packed) equals one pound.
One pint of granulated sugar equals one pound.
One pint of chopped meat (packed) equals one pound.
One pint and two-thirds of a cup of powdered sugar equals one pound. One pint and two-thirds of a cup of brown sugar equals one pound.
One pint and two-thirds of a cup of oatmeal equals one pound. One quart and three-fourths of a cup of rolled oats equals one pound.
For school work, it is absolutely necessary to have the graduated cups. It is wise, also, to have a number of timbale molds, which can be had for a little; and as they can be gotten in a size that holds just one-fourth of a cup, they aid much in securing accurate measurement by those in class who cannot measure by the eye, for anyone can smooth a substance off with a knife, and have it always measure the same.
In class work, it is well (for beginners) to use the small-sized timbale molds. Make your recipes so that even measures can be used; then for one-fourth of a cup the students can smooth the material in the little cups off even with the top of the measure by using a kitchen knife; for half a cup they can take two of the measures; for three-fourths, three, etc. Have them empty the contents each time into their half-pint measure. After three months' work (twenty-four lessons), take the small cups away, and let those who succeed with the half-pint cup continue using it; let the others go back to the use of small cups again, and they will be somewhat chagrined, and use their powers of observation to such purpose that they will soon succeed in developing some judgment in the matter of measuring.