How to uncode cooking measurement abbreviations

Set of measuring cups, measuring spoons, measuring glasses and silicone whisk use in cooking lay on marble tabletop

The utilization of language to communicate information has been used for centuries. From the documentation of history, to the passing down of ancient recipes, people have utilized written language to keep their story and knowledge going long past their time on earth. One of the most interesting things is that so many recipes are actually derivations of these historical recipes where old units of measure are modernized and utilize more well known units of measure like tablespoons and cups. To get a recipe from written directions to a physical product can be a difficult task however below are 4 different ways to allow you to decode a recipe and create a culinary masterpiece.

Cheat Sheet

Recipes can look as though they are hieroglyphics to someone who is starting their culinary journey for the first time. Much like the explorers that discovered the egyptian ruins with walls covered in this foreign language, you need to have your own rosetta stone that translates these unfamiliar terminologies to something that you are able to understand. There are many cooking and baking cheat sheets available online to tell you conversions, the meaning of abbreviations and more. It is advisable to make your own so you are more likely to retain the information faster and not rely on a cheat sheet that may get lost or messy from baking and cooking. 

Voice assistants

Voice assistants 30 years ago were things of science fiction. The clap on, clap off switch was the closest thing that even resembled a voice assistant. Nobody could have predicted that you would have access to a worldwide database of knowledge and information by simply talking to a computer. One of the best use cases for a voice assistant is while cooking. A voice assistant is a great hands free way of getting information quickly when you need it most. A good example of when to use one is to convert between units of measure. For example if you lose your ½ cup measuring cup you can ask the voice assistant to convert half a cup to tablespoon and it will give you the answer in seconds to allow you to keep cooking without having to type the question on your computer with your dirty fingers. 

Measurement devices

The single best way to decode a recipe is to get tools that take the work out of decoding. Buying measurement devices that have all the possible abbreviations labeled on the measuring device makes decoding as simple as matching the letters of the abbreviation to the abbreviations found in the recipe. An example of this would be buying a tablespoon that has all the possible tablespoon abbreviation. In this example the tablespoon would have “T. , Tb., Tbsp., Tbsp., Tablespoon” all written on the spoon. 

Practice

The best way to become a guru at decoding recipes is through practice. Continually exposing yourself to different recipes and different ways to describe a way of doing something will make you a pro. With so many ways to describe units of measure, so many different abbreviations, and so many styles of recipe writing the only way to truly get good at decoding these is to expose yourself to as many different forms as you can. 

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. It may be a struggle when you first begin your cooking journey but ultimately it is a worthwhile thing to practice. The tips described above will help you significantly on your journey but the most important thing is to not get discouraged and give up. Cheat sheets, voice assistants, buying the right equipment, and continual practice are the ways in which you can make cooking from a recipe more manageable allowing you to have fun and enjoy the experience of cooking. 

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