Captain's Table

Mark Austen

2019.04.13 - The Problem With The Fast 800 Recipes

Whilst the product of the recipes is very good, tasty and filling, the recipes themselves are troublesome. You see, the recipes mix measurement units and this is a complaint I have about the majority of recipes. Take this one:

50g soft dates 
2 unripe bananas 
75g coconut oil
100g rolled oats 
100g ground almonds 
50g dried cranberries 
30g pecan nuts

This one is not too bad, all in metric, but now look at this one in the same book:

2 tbsp coconut or virgin rapeseed oil 
1 large onion 1 tbsp curry powder 2cm root ginger 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 100g dried green lentils 400ml tin coconut milk juice of 2 limes 1 red or green pepper
This one mixes spoon measures with metric measures.
200g boneless
2 tbsp soy sauce
1cm root ginger
2 tsp cornflour
½ tsp Chinese 5-spice
2 tbsp coconut or virgin rapeseed oil 
250g packet of prepared Chinese stir-fry vegetables 
50g cashew nuts

This one also mixes spoon measures and metric.

I believe that recipes should stick to one system or another, not both. I prefer to use spoon and cup measures over using the scales for three reasons. Firstly, using the scales, especially for small measures, is fiddly and awkward. Secondly, we then have to take the scales with us when we go camping as well as the spoon and cup measures and forget about using the scales on Naiad, it just is not going to happen. Thirdly, some of the recipes I have are for 4 servings but I only want to make 2 servings. With spoon and cups I just move down a half size, although that can get tricky when you get to 1/4 teaspoon. With the scales I have to calculate what the half portion weighs and then weight that out.

Slowly but surely I am converting all my oft-used recipes to spoon and cup measures, but frankly, I wish people would use both metric (or imperial) and spoon and cup measures in the same recipe if they are publishing it in a book or on the Internet.

Oh well.