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Old-Time Measures

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Here is a list of old-time measures equivalencies.

60 pounds apples = 1 bushel
52 pounds beans = 1 bushel
24 pounds beets = 1 bushel
56 pounds carrots = 1 bushel
55 pounds flour = 1 bushel
54 pounds onions = 1 bushel
45 pounds parsnips = 1 bushel
50 pounds potatoes = 1 bushel
60 pounds string beans = 1 bushel
60 pounds sweet potatoes = 1 bushel
48 pounds tomatoes = 1 bushel
196 pounds turnips = 1 barrel
1 gill = 1/2 cup
1 pottle = 2 quarts
1 coomb = 4 bushels
1 wey = 40 bushels
1 last = 80 bushels
1 firkin = 9 gallons
1 anker = 10 gallons
1 runlet = 18 gallons
1 tierce = 42 gallons
1 hogshead = 63 gallons
1 puncheon = 84 gallons
1 butt = 126 gallons

Comments

My grandmothers recipe for

By W Noel on December 1

My grandmothers recipe for Ice Box Fudge calls for
" 1 cake Dot (or Dat) Chocolate. Does anyone know what
the current measurement would be. My mother would use
Bakers unsweetened chocolate but I don't remember the
amount.

Thanks

Is this recipe handwritten?

By Almanac Staff on December 2

Is this recipe handwritten? We wonder if it might be "1 cake dark chocolate." And we assume that means 1 square of dark chocolate, such as those found in a box of Bakers chocolate.

When adding a knob of butter

By Consuelo K Macedo

When adding a knob of butter to the mashed potatoes, that would be two tablespoons.

In Irish cookery, to add a

By Consuelo K Macedo

In Irish cookery, to add a knob of butter to the potatoes, that would be two tablespoons.

My recipe calls for 1 1/2

By Nate Perkins

My recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of soften butter. Using the guide on the side of each stick of butter, it says 1/4, 1/3 the 1/2 for a whole stick of butter. Does this mean I am to use 3 sticks of butter?

Yes, you will be using 3

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you will be using 3 whole sticks of butter.

Hi! Just saw your question.

By Camilla Kerley

Hi! Just saw your question. I've come across recipes that call for a "saucer" of an ingredient, which I've read several places is a heaping cup. Not sure if that's what you're referring to but I thought I'd add it here in case it helps you or anybody else trying to decode older recipes.

I have a number of recipes

By Melanie M.

I have a number of recipes from crete that call for a 'bowl' of something - flour, liquids, etc... and I've no idea how big a 'bowl' they mean! Any insight? I've tried googling/binging the matter but this one's stumped me.

We scoured our sources and

By Almanac Staff

We scoured our sources and came up empty-handed, Melanie. Can you compare the recipes to others that are similar and figure it out that way? Or perhaps try a Greek cooking forum.

I found a recipe that

By janel

I found a recipe that directed me to add 2 thoughts of cajyan pepper....what is a thought.....maybe a dash?

Hi Janel, We have never heard

By Almanac Staff

Hi Janel,
We have never heard of a "thought" measurement. Very interesting! You are probably correct, dashes or pinches make sense.

What is a fist full. I have a

By Mcebbie

What is a fist full. I have a recipe that calls for a fist full of flour. What is the equivalent?

Older recipes, such as before

By Almanac Staff

Older recipes, such as before the late 1800s, often used imprecise measurements. (Fannie Farmer helped to standardize U.S. cooking measurements in the late 1800s.) Many times, a cook would learn a recipe by watching someone else, rather than by reading a cookbook. Experienced cooks knew intuitively how much to add, or found that precise measurements weren't needed in many cases. A pinch, a dash, a fistful or handful, etc., might be common in these recipes. Sometimes cooks today will also use these terms when exact amounts aren't required and it is up to the cook's discretion.

Our best estimate for a fistful of flour is between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup, depending on the size of your hand.

Hope this helps!

Wow, I guess I better be

By Redmink

Wow, I guess I better be careful on trading bushels as it's not an even swap!

You know I've come across some of these terms here and there, never looked 'em up but always wondered what they were.

Interesting ... thanks!

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