Thursday, 12 April 2012

Measuring cups






I try hard not to buy kitchen gadgets, I really do. They are mostly a waste of space and money - a one-way ticket to disappointment and self-loathing.

But for every Jamie Oliver Flavour Shaker, (impractical), rice cooker (pointless) and juicer (amazing but hell to clean), there is the Dr Brown bottle brush (life-saving), openy-closey bright yellow lemon squeezer (I love you), Japanese mandolin (mmmm) and Cuisinart steamer basket (couldn't live without it).

The trouble is: how do you know? How do you know a set of poach pods isn't going to revolutionise your life? How do you know that you don't need, now, this particular silicon spatula?

I mostly try to resist, until my fingers, literally with a life of their own, reach for the chopping board that folds in on itself, or the banana hanger, or the toaster bag. Then I get them home and hide them from my husband, who partly despairs at my gadget-madness but also partly loves it, as he can say "Do we have something that will slice this apple into neat segments and section off the core?" And I will say "Why yes, and it also has soft rubber grips so you don't hurt your hands!!!"

Anyway today I caved in, having not bought anything for months and months (mostly because I've GOT IT ALL), because I saw these measuring cups in Waitrose, which I really think might change my life. My set of little metal measuring spoons rule the roost in my kitchen and there's no reason why these babies shouldn't occupy a similar topspot in the kitchen pecking order.

They measure not only in ml but also in cups - that maddening American instruction - so you can be all transatlantic about your cooking. They are also reassuringly practical and utilitarian - this craze for neon silicon cannot end soon enough, as far as I'm concerned. I seem to remember Nigella saying how much she loves her set of measuring cups, which she bought in America. (I may have made that up.)

But now a set can be yours for £9.50, from your nearest Waitrose with a kitchen utensil section. Now I just need something to cook.

15 comments:

  1. Teensy problem is that those are metric cups - 250ml. So excellent for following Australian Women's Weekly recipes but not so good for American recipes with their smaller cup measures.

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  2. I have something very similar. They're totally brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant... until you can't find them because your daughter has nicked them from the dishwasher and is using them as saucepans for a toy kitchen, complete with a thin film of smeared on plasticine and wax crayon.

    Hide them on your very highest shelf.

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  3. I got mine off eBay when I was at uni & was going through a massive Magnolia Bakery fangirl cake baking phase. And got really fat as a consequence. Even though that phase is well & truly over, my measuring cups are so so handy & much loved. I would suggest either using them for some fancy Magnolia baking or something super healthy from here if you want to be good instead: http://ohsheglows.com/

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  4. No these are 240ml not 250ml, so they are okay for American recipes.

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    1. Sorry - so they are. They look exactly like mine and my screen at work isn't a good enough resolution to see that they say pretty clearly 240!

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  5. I have three sets of cups/spoons- American, Australian and English. And I use them all, no complicated conversions required. I think the only difference between an Australian and the English sets are the tablespoons. Ours (Australia) are 20ml, English are 15ml. I have to stop myself buying more, particularly when I find them in prettier colours and styles. They are my one true weakness. Besides stand mixers, cookie cutters, whisks... I may have a problem.

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  6. I'll have to check these out. My mom sent me some measuring cups when I first moved here but having the metric measurements would be nice too.

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  7. I love my measuring cups - not for weight (not accurate) but for volume.
    Rice (1/3 cup per person), risotto (1/2 cup per person), pasta, anything that needs ratio. They are well used at no 41.

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  8. Off to Waitrose I go! It's my home away from home anyway. I can't believe I havent spotted these measuring cups!

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  9. When trying to work out if I need something I think about my mum's kitchen and also use Amazon reviews. Have to say I adore my silicon spatular so much that I now have two and I'm planning on replacing all my utensils with silicon equivalents as they expire.

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  10. My family all mocked my pineapple slicer..... til they saw it in action, and now they all have one! Love a gadget!

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  11. Am I the only one who has several incomplete sets of measuring cups? I don't know where they go, victims of mischievious kitchen fairies? You've inspired me to throw them out and get a new COMPLETE set!

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  12. This is cup-based. And apart from all that plaiting nonsense it looks easy-ish (the no-knead bit appeals in any case) I am going to attempt tomorrow I think.

    http://steamykitchen.com/250-challah.html

    I also got given a book for Christmas called the Cookiepedia which is entirely cup based recipes and is rather lovely. I recommend Snickerdoodles although mainly because I like the name.

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  13. But American recipes also use cups for inconvenient things. '1/2 cup melted butter' has me stumped. I am not prepared to squash butter into the measuring cup before melting, so I end up melting loads more butter than I need and then using the cup on the now-liquid-but-mostly-superfluous butter. A US friend tells me they buy butter in sticks of 1 cup each. Grams just seem so much easier!

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  14. After reading your post I felt my kitchen to be lacking in paraphernalia so have just ordered a mandolin, toaster bags, and American measuring cups.

    Sigh.

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