We are metric, there I said it, in Australia we’re ahead of the pack in more ways than one, we drive on the Right (Correct) 😉 side of the road, things are in celcius, metres, centimetres, kilometres, grams & kilos and they have been since 1966 – there was a song about it too. Even though we now have a generation of people myself included who have only ever been taught the metric system yet people still refer to things in feet & inches, pounds & ounces.
This usually only happens when refering to someones height or the weight of a baby, but that said it still seems strange – no so strange when translating recipes from your Grandmother or even your mother. We’ve come across a few recipes that are from a time where the oven would have either been wood or coal fired or a slowcombustion which is a bit like an arga I think, I think I do also remember my Grandma’s slow combustion stove, but I can’t be sure… it was a long time ago.
In Morocco our “Oven” is antiquated at best and it’s a wonder things turn out as well as they do, I have practice though on our oven which has no temperature gauge which is a good way to learn how to cook and how to tell when things are done. They were talking about this on Masterchef the other night and how you tell when things are cooked, the Chefs at school used to say it’s cooked when it’s cooked without giving a time frame and it used to frustrate me no end.
But it’s true… it’s cooked when it’s cooked… you can tell by the smell of a cake, the feel of a streak, the look and feel of a roast & the colour on biscuits (cookies). Remember bread sounds hollow when it’s cooked and you tap the bottom.
If you put your thumb & forefinger together and feel the meat on your thumb that feeling or resistance is the same as when you push the meat of a steak for Bleu, Thumb & middle finger is rare, thumb & ring is medium & thumb & little finger is well done – as a rule of thumb 😀
So here is a bit of a list – from a cookbook we’ve had for over 50 years… all you need to remember is brown sugar is usually packed and the recipe would indicate whether it’s lightly or tightly packed.
Oh and here in Australia 1 cup equals 250 Mls, it takes 4 cups to make a litre (1000mls) a teaspoon is 5 mls, a tablespoon is 20mls.
A good tip I heard once was to place a sheet of baking paper in your oven and leave it there for a while, you will be able to see where the hot spots in your oven are. I hope this helps with your baking.