Conversion Aversion: Dealing With The Insanity That Is the English System of Measurement

 

The other day, I saw this handy conversion chart on The Kitchen:tumblr_n5w9ukYfmz1qzzlrvo1_1280

I loved the idea, but decided that it was a little complicated to read when I wanted to convert more than a single unit. Since I’ve been working on nailing down recipes – and not just mixing a little of this and a little of that and getting frustrated when I end up with exactly what I want and no idea how to duplicate it – for salves, deodorant, and chapstick, I thought I might go ahead and make charts for myself.

The volume chart includes “English” (because as far as I can tell, Americans are the only ones stupid enough to measure in cups and pints) and metric measurements, as well as drops if you’re using something pungent like an essential oil. It also includes common items that approximate each unit of measurement since not all of us know what a quart looks like.

volume conversions

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Luckily, mass is not quite as complicated. Most of us are familiar with what an ounce and pound feel like, if not a gram.

When measuring for body products, mass is really the best way to ensure that you’re mixing proper ratios. A tablespoon of beeswax, for example, weighs half as much as a tablespoon of olive oil if you pack it lightly, but up to the same weight as olive oil if you pack it tightly or melt it. Cooking by mass doesn’t hurt either, but most American ingredients tend to be measured by volume.

Measuring by mass also reduces your clean up at the end. Rather than using a separate measuring cup or spoon or different ingredients, you can tare a scale to the cup you’re using to mix and throw everything in.

mass conversions

 

Tofu For Everyone (Even People Who Hate Tofu)

Tofu is a polarizing food. Between people who are anti-soy and people who are convinced that tofu’s only good for hippies, it’s not exactly the most popular kid on the playground.

The first good tofu I had was made by my then-girlfriend’s dad. Thank heavens for social conventions. If I hadn’t been so polite, I would’ve never known how good tofu could taste. Since then I’ve been on a mission to make tofu as good as his and in the past three years, I’ve developed a fail-proof method.

Before we get started, let’s talk about a few quick tips. Although there are different types of tofu, I start out with a firm or extra firm block. Also, tofu is more protein-dense than most meats, so it shouldn’t be substituted 1:1 if you’re turning a recipe meatless.

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