The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

British and American units of measurement

measuring jug.jpgLast Sunday I drifted into TKMax. The shop is heaving with great stocking fillers. Scented drawer liners, a loofah, Amaretti, shortbread and Liquid French soap for my mum. Toffee for Danny.

The kitchen department is always worth checking out. I’ve bought great kitchen knives for under a pound. We needed a new saucepan so I went upstairs to see what they had.

I spotted a small clutch of measuring cups that were American cups. I was tempted, I wanted them. The little nest was so cute. Then I remembered that we had found this great site for conversions.

On this site you can convert weight, volume, butter, length and temperature. It also has a short ingredient list of cups to grams. Driving home from Cambridge this evening I mulled about converting ingredients that are not on the list. What happens if you want to convert something heavy to grams?

I shared my concerns with Danny and we ventured onto the site and discovered that the American fluid ozs and pints are different from British ones, I found a site that gives you the maths and a few useful tables.

Tomorrow Jalopy and I will be rumbling down to TKMax in the faint hope that they still have the American measuring cups. Maths was never my strong point.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Kate,

    When I returned to TKMax I searched for the measuring cups and eventually found them hanging in a different place. I am absolutely delighted with them!

  2. Every time my husband goes to the US for work he asks “is there anything I can bring back?” answer ” a set of measuring cups”. Every cooking friend who discovers I have some asks for a set too!

  3. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Celia,

    I’ve now got the set of cups too! Thanks to TKMax.

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the tip. Conversions can be such a nightmare.

    Hi Mildred,

    I buy most of my clothes from TKMax and always go there if we need kitchen equipment.

    Hi Sarah,

    When we went metric in the UK all the prices in the shops seemed to shoot up. I still miss those old coins they seemed so much more substancial.

  4. Thanks for the link to the conversion site, I will try more of your recipes now.

    Mike wrote: “I just wish the US would catch up to the rest of the world.” When I was in 5th grade our schools started to teach us the metric system…I think that only lasted for a year or two. At the time we were told that in a few years everyone would be using the metric system…well 30 years later we don’t…I think it was too hard for everyone to change their ways…and now that I have been cooking, sewing, etc all these years I see how hard it would be to change.

  5. I love those ‘cup’ sets, and TK Maxx is very useful for a lot of kitchen/cooking things, at bargain prices!

  6. Mike (planbe)

    You can always try Google for unit conversions, and very handy it is, too! Instead of a normal search, you just enter something like “quarts/lb in g/l” or whatever. They even do currency conversions at reasonably-current exchange rates, so I can even figure out petrol (gas) prices… “USD/USgal in ZAR/l”. Will certainly handle “anything heavy” to g. I just wish the US would catch up to the rest of the world. 😉

  7. I always buy recipe books when we’re abroad and lots of them use US cups and fl ozs. So a couple of years ago I bought a cheap set of little US cup measures (like a russian doll set of mini saucepans). They are so useful – one of the best kitchen accessory/gadgets I have. Much better than complex mathematical ratios!!!

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