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AIBU to not understand cups?

(144 Posts)
Thisnamechanger Wed 25-Apr-18 12:41:00

This is probably the most minor, pedantic, first world problem AIBU I've ever posted but can anyone explain the American recipe measurements to me?

I do get that they have standard measuring cups (have seen them in shops but never bought them) and I totally understand that for things like milk, flour, rice etc. but how the feck does it work with things like spinach?? Surely the cup would be full with about 5 spinach leaves because they don't sit flat? Is it chopped? Shredded? Or is it cooked spinach? If so how on earth do you know how much raw spinach will produce a cup of cooked spinach?

Surely I can't be the only person that struggles with this or am I missing something really really obvious?

Can you tell I'm using myfitnesspal and I'm hangry sad

SchrodingersCatepillar Wed 25-Apr-18 12:44:59

The cup system is dumb, makes it really hard to scale up and down recipes for different sized baking tins etc.

MyotherUsernameisaPun Wed 25-Apr-18 12:45:04

Unless you're baking I wouldn't worry about it too much - for something like spinach it shouldn't matter if it's a bit off. I usually pack it down a bit but don't totally cram it. Maybe also worth remembering that the total calorific value of a cup of spinach is about 11 calories so it's hard to overindulge grin

MyotherUsernameisaPun Wed 25-Apr-18 12:45:56

Also, I don't know about spinach specifically but for lots of things you can google the weight equivalent of a cupful and that's much easier to deal with!

mimibunz Wed 25-Apr-18 12:48:00

The cub system isn’t dumb if you’re American!

Thisnamechanger Wed 25-Apr-18 12:50:34

In fact my fitness pal is stupid. Here are my serving size options for logging the spinach in my meal:

Spinnach
1 x serving of:
1.5 cups
1 cups
1 container (7.5 cups)
1 fluid oz
12 fluid oz
1 millilitre

a millilitre of spinach??

SchrodingersCatepillar Wed 25-Apr-18 12:53:44

Mimibunz It’s an inheritently dumb system no matter where you’re from. What if you’re an American and want to make an Australia. recipe? They use cups of a slightly different volume.

OCSockOrphanage Wed 25-Apr-18 12:58:10

It wouldn't matter, Schodinger, as long as you didn't mix US/Australian measures, because the proportions/ratios would be the same. You might get bigger or smaller portions.

notacooldad Wed 25-Apr-18 13:03:02

I love using the cup system.( and spoons)
It's a lot less faff in general than weighing out grams or oz.
I use them all the time in baking and have an Australian set and an American set depending which cook books I'm using.
I wouldn't be doing cups of spinach though!

19lottie82 Wed 25-Apr-18 13:04:58

It’s not dumb. It’s a lot simpler and time saving than weighing ingredients out in grams with scales.

theymademejoin Wed 25-Apr-18 13:09:06

Hate them! And don't get me started on tablespoons of butter! That is really stupid.

It adds to the washing-up, which annoys me. I have cups but avoid using them if at all possible. I just google the weight and write it on the recipe. I do the same for liquid measures except I usually weigh it the first time I make it.

The weighing scales that you just plonk your bowl on are brilliant. Doesn't add any washing up.

theymademejoin Wed 25-Apr-18 13:10:20

@19lottie82 - it's not time saving when you factor in the extra washing up.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 25-Apr-18 13:18:14

No you’re not the only one! You have to work out what the recipe writer is going on about before you can weigh the ingredients. Painful.

DannyLaRuesBestFrock Wed 25-Apr-18 13:20:01

It’s not dumb. It’s a lot simpler and time saving than weighing ingredients out in grams with scales.

So, dumbed down weighing then?

ToadOfSadness Wed 25-Apr-18 13:20:53

I gave in and bought some cups because all the recipes I wanted to try were in cups. It is a pain in the backside when you have used one for something messy (oil, yogurt, syrup)and then need to use it for something dry because you forgot to measure everything out into yet more bowls so that you could measure the sloppy stuff last.

I am also afraid of breaking the tails off my cups, I have cat ones.

CoffeeOrSleep Wed 25-Apr-18 13:21:22

actually it's a genius system if you realise what it was designed for - for woman living in isolated locations where accessing scales might prove tricky. For woman who had travelled to get to their home location, so a small measuring cup would take up a lot less space and weight to pack than a set of scales. A measuring cup is cheap to make and buy.

Theres a reason that in places like Australia and USA that measuring cup method of recipes proved so very popular.

With MFP - you just need to do roughly, get your eye in at what "1 cup" volume looks like, and it'll be easy enough to judge when adding foods on the go. Much easier than trying to measure out, I've no idea what 100g of spinach looks like on a plate. I do know what roughly 1 cup looks like.

CoffeeOrSleep Wed 25-Apr-18 13:23:05

(And yes, the system was developed in the 1890s, so it was aimed at woman cooking, before I get shouted at for saying it was developed to help woman when men cook too)

BrashCandicoot Wed 25-Apr-18 13:23:15

I hear you, OP. Weighing things is so much easier and more accurate too.

19lottie82 Wed 25-Apr-18 13:24:02

dumbed down weighing then

Exactly! A lot easier smile

notacooldad Wed 25-Apr-18 13:24:57

If you don't like them fair enough but there's no need for all the dumb comments.
It's a system that works. Take it or leave it but it's not a stupid one.

BustopherJones Wed 25-Apr-18 13:25:01

Not everyone had scales, it’s not so much dumbed down as a creative way around this. Yes it has evolved to have an official size, but originally it would have been whatever cup you had - it’s just about ratio.

ToadOfSadness Wed 25-Apr-18 13:25:21

Women, not woman.

butTIRFlies Wed 25-Apr-18 13:25:21

A stupid system for stupid people.

BustopherJones Wed 25-Apr-18 13:26:07

Cross post coffee. Ugh, now I want a coffee...

notacooldad Wed 25-Apr-18 13:28:45

A stupid system for stupid people. What an ignorant, foolish statement.

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