New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you measure up?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
No, this isn't some sexually related spam. :eek:

When cooking, do you put in *exactly* 1 tablespoon, or just toss in a healthy pinch? If a recipe calls for 1 cup of broth, will it be forever ruined if you put in 1 cup and 1 ounce?

I was getting some bacon from the meat counter at the store down the street, and told Clive I wanted about a pound of the regular, unpeppered stuff. He threw a very generous handful on the scale, it was something like 1.XX pounds. Perfect, I said. We chatted while he wrapped it and he told me about this one woman who came in a couple of days ago and wanted a pound of bacon. Not 0.97, not 1.02, but 1.00 pounds of bacon. He had to cut one strip in half, then trim it a couple of times before she was happy.

Wow. Are there really people on this planet like that?????

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #2 of 24
Yeah, there are those of us that like things "precise", but to that (eggs-ACTly 01.0000 pounds) exteme cold be considered an illness.
Unless the woman only had the amount of money that would pay for precisely one pound...
Or didn't have the scales to extract the exact pound...
I've found that cooking "food" is more of an art, where a little over or under on some of the seasonings from a recipe can be gotten by with (ala "season to taste"), where baking is always a science experiment for me.
Speaking of which, I better get some cookie batter into the centrifuge tomorrow... :D
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Gosh, a quick response to my own post. Luckily there *are* people out there like that.

Not the whining customer who wanted 1.0000 pounds of bacon, but people like Clive who patiently filled her order instead of leaping over the counter and slitting her throat. I need to zip over there soon and drop off some holiday treats.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Reply
post #4 of 24
There are alot of people like that, I am not exactly on with everything. Lets just think she is an engineer and needs exact specs in her everyday life.
post #5 of 24
I think some of it has to being unsure and not knowing that a littel over or a little under might not make a different.

Even in baking some stuff can be over or under. It jsut depends on what it is and what is function is in the product.

If she only had enough money for 1 lbs wouldnt she be ok with just a little under.

Good for Clive in being a good pateint human being.

I think it happens more often the we realize but just not at the deli counter.
post #6 of 24
lol:)Nope sorry, baking IS an exact science...and some of the ingredients are actually considered...."CHEMICALS" albeit ..natural...Baking soda, bakign powder..

Even the most organic elements in baking like YEAST...MUST be added in precise amounts to get the desired effects!

I could NEVER understand the Bread Chef when he made us take the ambient temperatures before we started to make our breads..now...being part owner of a pizza shop and wanting to make my own dough...I totally appreciate it..( and totally understand it..)

I hope to get good enough to be able to make my dough "organically"..by almost instinct like Granny used to make her breads!!:bounce:
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
post #7 of 24
Ris,

Jsut to defend my statement alittle.

There are some items that can be alittle over and a little under, but there arent many.

but there are some things such as liek apples in an apple pie where if you have maybe a little extra or a little less it might not matter as much.

What I like to consider key elements to a product like yeast for bread, gleatin for bavarians or such and bakign soda etc... need to be spot on to be right.

Breads and such are such a science more then most things IMO
post #8 of 24
ok, ok...you got me there as I love making mile high fruit pies...but you still have to watch your quantities...because then it's just cooked fruit with a little dough on the side! lol

( it's like how I take my coffee...sweet milk with a little coffee on the side!)..lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
post #9 of 24
Well there is a point to everything. at some point it is too much or too little.

Ever make a bavarian with too much gelatin. hahaha always funny when I see it. its like a bouncy ball dessert.


I take my coffee, Sugar - no milk and no coffee

I liek to call it a sugar shot. I love taking a shot of a packet of sugar. my favorite is sugar in the raw.
post #10 of 24
Ouch GRK, you must keep your dentist very happy!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
post #11 of 24
When i want to relax, i bake. It is, as has already been stated, an exact science If i want 4 times the recipe, i times by 4 and i know that mostly i will get the result i'm looking for.
I love to cook, but if i'm making 4 times the recipe of meatballs, I know that it doesnt need 4 times the chilli powder, cumin, salt etc and i have to think about grading the recipe.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #12 of 24
Hi there,

Bughut, when you bake and want to increase your recipe you do exactly that..but you really should be working with formulas and bakers percentages for a more accurate result.

I love the Science of baking since I'm just a great big geek that loved science!

***************

Oh my, I didn't mean to sound pompous! sorry!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
post #13 of 24
quick and to the point, i measure tablespoons in my hand. and sometimes i use 1/3 cup measurerers (not a word, i know) as if they were 1/2 cup measurers (mounded). but i like to tweek recipes to my standards -what i think would be better.

i don't believe there is room for that in baking, however.

and as far as the deli story goes, my deli guy always tries to undersell me. i tell him i want a 1/4 pound of salame gentile or parma prosciutto, he slices for a while and then says 'dude, that's enough. if you run out come back and get it fresh sliced -it'll salt out'. he's right.

the bacon thing was funny, though. that person was obviously trying a new recipe and wasn't comfortable in their abilities to extrapolate.
post #14 of 24
I never measure when I'm cooking unless it is a recipe that I am unsure about. Baking however, you better measure carefully or it is all over with!
post #15 of 24
Baking is not like that.you must measure everything or it will not be consistant.unless your talking about at the checkout counter.
post #16 of 24
Just stand at any deli counter @ the supermarket. To see people want an exact 1/4 lb of lunchmeat is very unnerving. Certainly not a job I could do. LOLOL

Mike
post #17 of 24
No Problem, you didnt, just Knowledgable.
I tend not to bake in massive ammounts, But i can see what you mean. Mostly my formula is hold your breath when you take it out of the oven and hope for the best. Not very scientific i know,but if it's not good enough to serve, its usually good for truffles or crumbs etc or the family eat it
Your cakes are magic by the way. I'v done some myself, i'd show them, but dont know how
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #18 of 24
There is a thread in the GALLERY or you can pm or email NICO, he can explain...would love to see your cakes!

I save every bit of crumb also and make assorted "CAKE BALLS!" lol...I don't really take pictures of those but I give the customer a box ful when they pick up their cake, they love the little "EXTRA". I charge enough for my cakes and I feel that they've paid for this.

I throw the chunks into a mixer with just enough buttercream and extract to make a mass that holds together, then I use a 1 ounce scoop and form them, throw them in the freezer and dip into various chocolates. I put them into little cups, when I want to be creative I freeze them in various shaped silicone molds and stick a lollypops stick into them and then dip.

I like to keep the tops of these flat so I can add a little naughty chocolate piece or put them on a pretty platter and pass them around like canape

I mean if they are not PITA ( Pains in the back end!) then there is the PITA surcharge of 20% lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
post #19 of 24
Patients is a virtue as the saying goes. There are many people like that who count every penny in their pockets and know down the the cent, how much they're carrying. Then theres the average Joe who knows down to the dollar, and those who have no idea if the sky is blue on a winters night. I know in baking, precision is a must not just for consistency but also to have a proper end product since little mistakes can compound to a huge error...seen it, done it.

People were I work always asks me how is it I can stand skinning a pineapple, when I do the cork screw look to take out those eyes so theres less waste. If I got the time, I'll do it since I don't waste like 20% of the pineapple just to take the skin off and core it later.
post #20 of 24
I agree risque, In New Orleans they call it Lagniappe (a little extra,Something more than you expected) Like you, I have a selection of giveaway goodies that cost next to nothing to produce, yet the client is happy with the extra thought and they are more likely to remember you the next time they need catering/a cake.
I must admit I do not have a tight rein on stock control. Lax would be the best wayto describe it. Still, I make a sweet profit and its win-win so far.
I absolutley know for sure, that my clients appreciate the extra content/effort with the service we offer.

I'm with you headless chicken. I actually enjoy dealing with pineapples myself. not re. costing, but just cos i enjoy the work. ( time permitting) Mind you, I dont have problem peeling56lb bags of spuds by hand either. Dont know what that says about me.
On that subject, If i'm using them for a filling ie. Samosas I cook them in their skins and they come off bonny while they're hot, they're drier and tastier, and much less waste.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
Reply
post #21 of 24
I had to bake a lemon meringue pie for school. Seeing as how I enjoy an abnormal amount of lemon in my pie, I added more lemon juice to the homemade custard. You know.... like half a cup. I learned my lesson. Always measure when baking. :lol:
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
It's a wonderful thing to be spoiled in the way of food.
Reply
post #22 of 24
Weights and measures. How fun!!!!!

When I was a line cook, we used to perform grab tests at some of the place I worked at. Infact it was a part of the shift meeting to do this. It's kinda like having a bartender perform pour tests. (done that too).

As far as shopping, home cooking, and just about everthing else other than baking oes, a little over, a little under is not an issue. Budgets aren't THAT tight. Baking though, whether it's at home or in the finest of establishments, has to be exact and for every reason those por's have mentioned already.
In the professional setting and to break things down into more understandable terms..... These weights and measures are critical to many operations. Cost %'s, recipes and guest satisfaction are heavily affected by heavy and light hands. It's also amazing how much food can be lost in a single shift with over portioning.

Hypathetically let's say you take over a struggeling business. Business isn't so good so each % of food cost doesn't extend out to a whole lot of $$$$ say 1pt = 200.00. By not measuring several things can happen. Too much throws off the product, creates inconsistancies and can do more harm for business than good. IE too oily, too saucy, etc not to mention the lost revenue.

On the other hand by not measuring things and short the recipes you don't get the exact product extention or numner of portions, things can be too dry, too little meat, etc. Both of these things done in conjunction or as a remedy for the other can kill the profits and the operation. When setting up a menu and recipe book there's a good deal of effort in cosing things out. Believe me I've done it over a dozen times. I hate to see all those efforts wasted because someone takes a less than respectable approach to the work done.

I apologize if I sound like a hardliner for portion control but without it there's no control of anything. It's great to get that "Bakers dozen" or a bit extra of anything, but I believe that should be left up to the owners, managers and Chefs that are responsible and have a clear understanding of the consequences. Professionally speaking of course;)
post #23 of 24
At home, I rarely measure unless I'm baking. I have been trying to perfect a bbq recipe for when we eventually branch out into cooking for others. We have two large parties under our belts now and wish to do more down the road. I have been making my sauce for over 15 years but never measured. The sauce is not consistent enough to serve in a business situation. Therefore, when I make it, I have been measuring everything and correcting the recipe. I still haven't gotten it like it should be but I'm also making a much larger quantity than usual for just home use. I can definitely see the point OldSchool was making above me. In business, you must be precise and consistent.
post #24 of 24
Last night I was watching the Food Network special on Cooking Schools, and one thing that struck in my mind was a quote from the host..."Cooking is an art, but/and (not clear on that part) Baking is a science!"
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Late Night Cafe (off-topic)