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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Measure (01/10/13)

TITLE: New Guide For Recipes
By Donna Carrico


A ‘smidgen’ of this, a ‘dab’ of that. It is no wonder that I have a problem with using my grandma’s recipes. A ‘pinch’ of salt or something, I understand. But, just what is a ‘scant’? I think it means ‘not quite full’. I love to cook and love old recipes. Both of my Grandma’s were good cooks.

When I got my new bread-maker, I was amazed at how simple it was to use. I soon found out that I needed to be precise when it came to measuring the ingredients. If you use a little too much flour, it came out too dry. If you used a little too much liquid, it came out sticky. Too much yeast would really get you in trouble. It came with some recipes, but I wanted more. Therefore, I bought about three more books. They are drawing dust in my recipe book holder, like the rest of them.

I guess I just like to do my own thing. I like to invent new recipes. Sometimes I use Ranch salad dressing in a stew type, one pot meal to add a little ‘zip’. Now there is a new term for measuring flavor, ‘zip’! I suppose it is close to zesty, but only the taster will be able to describe it.

My husband says I am a great cook, but I wonder how he can tell because it seems like he 'douses' everything with hot sauce. He usually does not complain about any new dish I cook. He always ‘slathers’ mayo on all his sandwiches. Now, that is a real word, ‘slather’. My spell checker did not even go wild when I typed that word.

I think I need to write a new guide to put in the cookbooks that explains my Grandma’s terms on their recipes. It will explain what ‘rounded up’ and a ‘dusting’ means, along with many other terms of measurements that are foreign to the cooks of today.

I have passed on a few recipes to my own daughter and grand-daughter. I had to be careful when I copied them to tell them all my little tricks. I had to re-measure all my own little terms I use when I cook. I had to be precise. I had to explain what exactly what it means to ‘shake a little seasoning’ into the pot. I had to say, “Use the large holes, not the small ones.” Or, when I say get a bowl, I have to say, “get a huge bowl.”

I find myself not wanting to be disciplined when I cook. When I make meat loaf, I get out my huge Tupperware bowl. I put some water (how much?) in the bottom. I add a ‘squirt’ of steak sauce, and a bigger ‘squirt’ of soy sauce. Then I add an even bigger ‘squirt’ of ketchup. I add to that a lot of ‘shakes’ of fajita seasoning, chopped onions (how small of sections?), and about 4 eggs. I always make enough for two meat-loaves, so that I can freeze one. Then I add whatever strikes my fancy for filler. Sometimes I use crackers, sometimes oats, or oat bran. I usually keep all my leftover crusts of bread in the freezer for this purpose. You know, all of those little pieces at the end of the loaf that you just don’t want to waste, but don’t want to eat because they are a little dried out. Then after that is mixed good, I add the ground chuck. I roll that whole mixture around my big bowl and turn it into two loafs. My husband says I make the best meat loaf.

Is it any wonder that when my family tries to read my recipes, that they will not understand how to measure anything?

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This article has been read 235 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Barbara Lynn Culler01/17/13
I'd like to come to your home for a meal-sounds delicious!
John Huckstep01/20/13
Now I want some meat loaf--Sounds dlicious. Might need that recipe. Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/21/13
This was a fun read. I found myself smiling throughout it. I can totally relate to the MC. My kids get frustrated with me when they want a recipe and ask how much? My answer is enough. That makes perfect sense to me but my kids don't always get it. Hmm I wonder why. I like your subtle sense of humor and think you did a great job with this story.
C D Swanson 01/22/13
A delightful and entertaining read. It made me smile. God bless~