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A small knob of experience

I've noticed that American recipes tend to be very precise about measurements, whereas recipes from other cultures are more "analog". They use phrases like "a small knob of butter" and "a small piece of ginger root, peeled and sliced".

The assumption is that you've either cooked something like this before, or you've watched someone cook, and you know about how big a small piece of ginger root would be. As opposed to the large pieces you use for other purposes.

It's cozy, and has a certain reassuring imprecision that "1.5 tablespoons butter" wouldn't have, but it doesn't translate well.

Also, and so that you may benefit from my experience, steaming is not a good way to prepare still-frozen fish fillets. Unless you are very patient. And not hungry.



Mar. 27th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
My father is a world class master baker.

Neat! Very neat! (My father is (by profession) a mathematician, but aside from him teaching me easier ways to do algebra and geometry than I was being taught in school, it's never had a lot of real-world benefit.)

But the science is in the proportions. A good baker might be able to mix by eye, but if you were to actually measure, he always uses the same ratio of ingredients.

I believe it!