Measure or guess?

@shelagh77 (3643)
July 4, 2007 7:37am CST
I have just been doing some cooking and come under fire from my in laws as I don't use kitchen scales for recipes I know well. My Mother always used to say that the scales were an extra piece of washing up, lol, and I second that. If the recipe is new to me I measure everything, but then on a second batch I may tinker with it anyways, cutting down on sugar or fat and maybe adding a spice, and I haven't managed to poison anybody yet, not even the pesky food critics! So do you faithfully measure every last grain of salt or are you like me, a practiced chucker inner of all the ingredients?
7 people like this
20 responses
@rainbow (6763)
4 Jul 07
Mum was a chucker inner, but I've never managed it, I can add things to make someting a little different or swap sugar for honey guestimating how much less I can get away with but if it comes to flour etc I have to weigh probably cos I don't do enough cooking. Simple things like crispies I never bother to measure.
2 people like this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Ah well, you do plenty of other things without having cooking added to the list and your family love their food so you can't be doing much wrong. I have no problems with other people using scales etc, just being told what to do in MY kitchen lol.
1 person likes this
@rainbow (6763)
6 Jul 07
Isn't that the hight of rudeness, tellign someone what to do in their own kitchen! I'd be chasing them out with kitchen tools if they even dared, hee-hee. Shame I usually get kitchen tools attacking me really.
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@shelagh77 (3643)
16 Apr 08
Yup, I think so too, but I mostly ignore people and just do my own thing. There is never anything left over so they must force themselves to eat it :-) I think they just have to interfere, life time habit. They are just as bad when we go shopping, there is nearly war - "what do you need that for, what are you going to use that for" etc etc blah blah blah. I know what you mean about kitchen tools attacking you. Mine do that too, wonder if we got them from the same factory? Isn't that the hight of rudeness, tellign someone what to do in their own kitchen! I'd be chasing them out with kitchen tools if they even dared, hee-hee. Shame I usually get kitchen tools attacking me really.
@Sherry12 (2475)
• United States
4 Jul 07
I don't measure things when cooking. I feel like I've done it so much, I can pretty much guess how much is needed. Anyway like you, I don't always add as much sugar to the ingredients. And, I make a lot of substitutions. It always seems to turn out fine.
2 people like this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Yes, it does, doesn't it? I don't like chilli myself but my partner loves it and I tend to add just a pinch to his portion of food and he thinks it is wonderful. I think it is about one twentieth of a teaspoon, so who would bother with that lololol.
@lucky_witch (2711)
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
Well just like you if Im new in the food that I'll be cooking...or I am following instructions on cook books or whatever then I prefer to use measuring tools... but If im already used in cooking and I am confident thayt I know what I will be doing then there is no need to use measuring tools...since youre right they are just an added pieces of washing utensils. I guess if you are teh one cooking... your inlaws has nothing to worry about. they should get mad if they are tyhe one cooking and you ask them not to use any measuring tools they are used of using. I dont see the problem with your way as long as your adobo still taste like adobo then there is nothing to worry about. I guess you should explain youre side to your inlaws and tell them how expert cook you are. Keep on smiling!!!
2 people like this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
I am going to get a screen between myself and them, is the only way lol. Mostly my food is OK and everyone eats it and usually asks for a second helping so I must be doing something right. I love my partner's cooking but I swear he uses very single item in the kitchen!
@HighReed1 (1126)
• United States
4 Jul 07
The only time I EVER used a kitchen scale was when we were on a diet. I don't use it now at all. I measure for new recipes. I don't measure for my mother's stuffing recipe. I put the ingredients in until it smells right, then taste-test it until it's right. When we make beans, nothing ever gets measured. It is 'a squeeze' of this or 'a handful' of that. I guess your in-laws would go nuts if I was cooking! LOL
2 people like this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Yup they would lol. Shame you can't come round and cook with me then we could drive them double bats in the belfry and I would enjoy eveery second!
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
4 Jul 07
yup I just chuck it in there a pinch her and a pinch there or a shke or 2 of the spices if they dont like the taste they tell me then I change something next time lol
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Now, how did I know I could count on you to be the same as I am lol. I bet you are a great cook though.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
6 Jul 07
lol ya guess I guess and not sure if I am good or not if they eat it they like it if they dont they dont like it and if they do that to often they do thier own cooking lol. Acutually my youngest son is better than me he really makes ideas. The 2 kids I had with this last hubby learned how to cook when they were real young for I told them I didnt want them to depend on any one else to cook for them specially my son. For if his wife couldnt cook he would know how and he would never go hungry ,I think it is sad if a man dont know how to cook my hubby didnt and when he had to go to a job I couldnt go with him on he had a time of it and know he didnt eat all that good but I tought him how to boil eggs and he could fry them too also showed him how to fix a steak in the microwave so he got on a little bit better when I wasnt along!
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
16 Apr 08
Well, they all seem to thrive pretty well so you must be doing something right :-) I know what you mean about men not being able to cook, I think all children should be taught basic survival skills and cooking is one of them. I think it is very sad that a lot of children never get to cook with their parents or grandparents and don't know the simple joys of shelling peas (one for the bowl, one for the mouth, lol) etc.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
4 Jul 07
Nope I guess and I actually use as much as I think I should use lol not what it tells me I also at times add extra Spices that I think should go in there the way I look at it I cook to taste not what the Book says lol
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
You are a rebel in very aspect so that does not surprise me. Your meals are delicious too, so you have a very fine instinct :-)
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
10 Jul 07
Hahahaha you know me to well
@marlyse (1056)
• Switzerland
4 Jul 07
i never use a kitchen scale. i do it all without measuring. when i was in school and we had to use the scale, all tasted yuck, but now its all ok. i safe work, money and we have all a feeling like ahhhhhhhhh mmmmmmm good. hehehehehe i believe i am the best cook (j/k).
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Ah, long time no see my friend I am pleased to hear from you :-) Yes, at school you have to do as you are told, maybe that is why I get so cross when being told what to do now. You and I are wonderful cooks!
1 person likes this
@marlyse (1056)
• Switzerland
5 Jul 07
;-) oh yes we are lol
• United States
5 Jul 07
I am the same way as you, a pinch of this, a pinch of that. My mother is the one who taught me how to measure things, by not using measuring cups or spoons! I measure by looking, and smelling and tastin, and I have not poisoned anyone with my cooking either. Besides, it gives variety to your cooking, because usually I can't duplicate the taste! No one has ever complained about my cooking, so I guess I am doing ok.
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
I don't think many things taste the same every time because the chemistry within our tastebuds can alter from time to time as well. Enjoying food is a wonderful adventure and I think tinkering with the ingredients and producing wholesome and delicious food should be fun, not something fit for the chemistry laboratory. I have up to a dozen people turn up here for a meal so I must be doing something right along the way lol.
• United States
5 Jul 07
You are the one doing the cooking so that gives you free reign to do whatever you please. If you know the recipe, you shouldn't bother with measuring if you don't want to. If you want to experiment, do that, too. Bottom line: Do what makes you happy. As long as they'll eat it and you don't kill anyone, who cares how precise the measurements are?
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Yup, that is true, and in spite of all the temptation and provocation I have never yet managed to poison anyone. I used to cater for darts teams and although I was the best player the men alway shoved all the catering onto me in the hope that I would get fed up and leave. THAT was the worst temptation to poison the lot of them I ever had so far, and I didn't measure then either lol.
@CmanCel (22)
• United States
4 Jul 07
well like you I just love to mix things together and guess how much everything needs to be...I like to measure by my taste buds and not a scale...it makes cooking seem like work rather than fun..i mean the first time around yes i measure but afterwards i just go all out and see what my palette is feeling for the night...sometimes little salt and less pepper or little more onions and less garlic its all up to you...the rigidness has got to go cuz what happens if you accidentally pour a little more pepper than measured? you chuck whatever you are cooking out? Nope you improvise =D
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Oh yes I love that word - improvisation! one of my favourites. I am pretty careful with spices, I put them into my hand then into the recipe rather than shake shake as we all know that the gremlins deliberately loosen the tops just ready for that eventuality lol.
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
4 Jul 07
I am like you. If it's new I do it according to directions. If it's something I have made many times I might wing it.....and sometimes it turns out better then the origional recipe.
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
I think the reason that it turns out better than the original recipe is that we instinctively fine tune the ingredients to suit our tastebuds lol.
@diannebcrs (1549)
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
i'm more comfortable with measuring everything up when i cook, at least i know it's foolproof. you see, i tried just estimating the amount of liquids i needed to place for simple pancakes and i ended up cooking a really lousy recipe, it was so bland that after that incident i decided to use the tools in the kitchen. lol!
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Ooops! however, when you have made lots of pancakes you will probably find that you are more successful at guessing, because if the batter is too thin you will know to add a little more flour until it is just right for you. I lurve pancakes!
@raydene (9874)
• United States
4 Jul 07
I always just throw stuff together.I seldom measure anything.It's just too much trouble and things turn out fine this way so why bother with the extra utencils.. I have seen highly paid chefs that cook without any measuring items.
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Yes I believe most chefs work without measures because they do so much cooking and indeed create their own signature dishes so nobody can say that the ingredients are wrong lol. I had an idea you would be a chucker inner just like me :-)
@a_ce_e (1427)
• Philippines
4 Jul 07
I use to measure grains and every ingridients during my high school days but nowadays i seldom use it. To measure every ingredients for one recipe is a waste of time for me, and messy coz there are lots of utensils i have to wash afterwards. I seldom use scales that is only when i encounter new recipe which caught my interest and i am not familiar with. I measure it then once i get familiarized i just estimate it.
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Yup, the washing up is a big factor in learning how to guesstimate, isn't it lol.
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
4 Jul 07
I am just like you. If it is new I measure but other than that I just go with it. I HATE doing dishes and less is so much more for me. LOL The only draw back is dishes I make up on my own. When I have guests over who want the recipe I have no idea how much of anything to use. I make an awesome lentil soup but couldn't tell you how much of what goes in or anything. The best thing is to just come and watch me do it. LOL That is how my Oma did it too. She showed me how to make perogies and other family meals so I can make them myself without a measuring spoon in sight. In fact it was 5 years on my own before i bought my first measuring set and they rarely ever get used.
1 person likes this
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
My niece and nephew used my measuring spoons more than I ever did - for making mud pies lol. I just make sure that all meat and fish is very well cooked, even though the experts would say it was over cooked, and everything seems to go just fine.
@sjleon (5)
• Philippines
5 Jul 07
There are times when measuring everthing is the way to go. But if you know the recipes by heart and approximately know how much you need, then making an approximate estimate naturally follows. I sometimes vary the amounts to experiment a little. The results sometimes surprise me. Heck... you have to think out of the box sometimes. You can always try again if it didn't turn our right the first time. Right? :)
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jul 07
I measure everything. I can't help it. I have to. I have obsessive compulsive disorder, so sometimes I measure twice!! LOL. I've always wanted to be a "chucker-inner" but I just can't do it. My grandma was a chucker-inner and she was the best cook I knew. She would say, "bake a chocolate cake." I would say, "How grandma. How much of this, how much of that?" She could throw it all together and make the best chocolate cake you've ever had in your life. I needed a recipe!! There are a few dishes I make all the time, and know by heart, but I still have to measure and read the recipe. I am a sad, sad cook. :o)
@shelagh77 (3643)
5 Jul 07
Oh dear, it must get very tiring if you have to do things twice too often. You are not a sad cook, you do what works for you and it makes delicious food, so you do exactly the right thing :-)
@Nardz13 (5059)
• New Zealand
5 Jul 07
Hi there. Im not going to lie, there are times when I guess my measurements and hope my dish tastes good lol. But usually I measure what I can, and I often use a measuring cup, spoon or jug...
@stella1989 (2274)
• India
5 Jul 07
See this thing comes from experience..!! When you are cooking from very long time then your just need to read the recepe just once not more than that, but when your new to kitchen you will have to read that recipe step by step..!! Its really true my mom ever try any recipe she just read it once and wow she cooks so well..!! But when it comes to me It takes me a lot of time to cook..!! he he ..! And in case of measuring again it takes the experience..!! cause you know how will the sugar tastes in what amount..!! And same oinch even I use my own guessing thing..!! he he ..! :)
@mykmari_08 (2466)
• Philippines
5 Jul 07
If I am cooking a recipe for the first time and/or following a recipe from a cookbook, I definitely would use this 'kitchen scale' you were saying, in order to follow the recipe in every bit. But in cooking our daily dishes, I usually just make a guess on how much or how many cups of flour or liters of water to add in the dish. And, it all depends on my taste buds if the food is right or adds a little more salt or sugar here and there. I believe a lot of women and mothers do the same. But I haven't experienced what you said about your in-laws. My in-laws won't oblige me to use scales, for sure.