Thursday, April 7, 2011

All Measured Up

I remember in grade school first being introduced to the metric system. I thought to myself... why do we have to learn two different ways to measure things? So for tests and quizzes I could rattle off whatever the teacher wanted to know about liter, meter, gram, and so on and then how many milli-somethings, centi-somethings, and kilo-somethings were in each one.

... but as you very well know "use it, or loose it" applies to just about anything. (maybe except riding a bike... does anyone forget that?)
So when I first moved to Germany, I had to dust off the corners of my memory where I had stored, what at the time seemed like "useless information". But even as much as I hate to admit it, the metric system really is the way to go. Everything is divisible by 10, no cheat charts needed to tell you how many cups are in a pint, how many ounces in a pound, no need to work with fractions, or rattle off silly measurements like 7/16th of an inch! (crazy as is may seem, I've even seen 32nds of an inch too!)

With all that said, that is why I love bake using German recipes... it's so easy! Zitoronkuchen (lemon cake), a recipe from my mother-in-law, has become one of my favorites... it's even become my "birthday cake"! I just have to pull out my kitchen scale and a bowl... 200 g of this, 200 g of that, 200 g of something else, mix and your done! No dry measuring cups, no wet measuring cups, no converting this or that... just the way baking should be.

But despite the fact that I have "converted" to the metric system in almost everything that I do now... I still use inches to sew! I guess some silly habits are sometimes too hard to break.

5 comments:

  1. I have only barely dallied in metric baking over here.

    On the other hand, sewing has proven easier for me in metric...go figure! I think it has to do with the fact that I make up a lot of my own 'patterns' and the adding and subtracting is easier in metric.

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  2. Oh, that is not fair. 200 grams of this and that. We need the real recipe. Please share!

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  3. Hi Allison!

    Was ist denn das für ein wunderschöner Teller, auf dem Du den Kuchen präsentierst?

    Liebe Grüße,
    Sina

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  4. Kelleyn - super easy:
    200 g butter, 200 g sugar, 200 g flour, 4 eggs, 1 teaspoon baking powder, lemon zest. Soften butter and mix sugar, eggs, baking powder, and lemon zest. Add flour. Bake 170-180 C for 30 minuntes. Pull out and poke holes with a fork. In another bowl 200 g powdered sugar and juice from three squeezed lemons. After cake had cooled then spread icing over cake... so EASY!

    Sina - the plate is from Villeroy & Boch - the pattern in called "Alcapulco". I have the vintage teacups & teapot to match and I love them! They started a reprint of the pattern and my mother-in-law gave it to me for Christmas... perfect for cakes, don't you think?

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  5. hi allison!
    heehee...i'm a true believer in the metric system - but when it comes to sewing, i only use inch! i was so relieved when i found this out...i hated to measure seam allowances in cm...makes everything way more complicated.
    but with baking and everything else, the good old (new!) metric systems is really so much easier.

    julia

    p.s. had to smile when i read your comment on my blog...i love the differences in the languages ~ makes the world a more colorful place!

    p.p.s. what a shame that i came sooo late to the 'flutterby' and 'nest' party. the fabrics are nearly as hard to find as 'neptune' :)

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