Do you have a conversion chart handy for emergencies? Me either, until now!
When I was making nectarine cobbler this weekend during Snowzilla, I realized I didn’t have enough. Of course! With 24 inches of snow, and most stores still closed, I couldn’t go and get more. And the nectarines were too ripe to wait a few more days. So I had to adjust. I had to half the recipe. Cutting one cup of flour in half was a piece of cake. But I had no clue how to cut in half 1/3 cup of brown sugar. So I had to go on a hunt for the answer.
With so many things to remember in the kitchen, so many little tidbits and nuances, sometimes even I get overwhelmed.
- How many tablespoons are in a cup?
- What temperature is medium for a steak?
- I don’t have cornstarch, what should I do?
- What spices go good with chicken?
- And heaven forbid, do you know how long to cook asparagus in the microwave?
I mean, who really has time to look that kind of stuff up on the computer? You Google the question “What dishes should have saffron?”, and you get 13,000,000 hits! On the first page, there are six links for recipes from cooking websites and four websites that explain what saffron is. Fifth one on the list tells me what classic dishes use saffron, which is what I would have been looking for.
Or you need to find the right cookbook that has the answer you need. Maybe you searched three of them before you found it. Some, but not all cookbooks have a conversion chart, but not necessarily the kind of conversions that you want. And of course it’s in the cookbook that weighs two pounds and needs a crane to put on your kitchen island, not the little 25 page leaflet you picked up at a used book store.
Do you really want to do that every time you have a question? And will you honestly remember that there are 5 1/3 tablespoons for 1/3 cup, or will you have to search that every time like I do?
If you are like me, you have too many things going on in your head to remember the simple stuff. I absolutely LOVE tools to help me in the kitchen. And a reference guide is key for me.
There are many variations of a conversion chart out there.
Type in “conversion chart” in Pinterest, and you get all kinds of options. Here is one I found and I am referencing the original source. This can be printed out, or just saved on your computer. http://blog.friendseat.com/kitchen-cheat-sheet-infographic/
Or you can do a Google search for the same “conversion chart”. It gives lots of links for changing inches to metrics (may or may not be what you are looking for when cooking), but here’s a couple of sites that will come in handy.
- startcooking.com has some interesting articles in it. I didn’t really see an easy way to print it out, but then again, I’m not a great computer genius. Maybe you can figure it out and let me know. http://startcooking.com/measurement-and-conversion-charts
- And of course, my favorite website is thekitchn.com. http://www.thekitchn.com/season-this-with-that-a-quick-reference-guide-to-common-spices-for-common-dishes-184289
Or maybe you want something more tangible because you want something to put in your hands. They have one or more styles of a conversion chart in most brick and mortar places that sell kitchen supplies.
- The Container Store has “Kitchen Helper”. It is 6 different charts, conversions, substitutions, meat temperatures, etc.
- amazon.com has several different styles, many of them magnetic so you can stick them on the fridge.
- Walmart sells a stickie one from roommates.com
- Some of the more common stores I looked online and couldn’t find anything, but I know any place that sells kitchen supplies there is a good chance of finding one, because I’ve seen them there.
So there you have it! Find one now, and you will spend less time panicking when you are missing something.
Don’t Leave Me Hanging! What Are The Answers!
FYI, here’s the answers to the questions above that I found in my new conversion chart:
- 16 tablespoons are in a cup
- 160 degrees is medium
- Use twice as much flour instead of cornstarch
- Herbs for chicken are sage, marjoram, thyme, rosemary and coriander
- Asparagus cook 7-12 minutes, the tips shorter time than the stalk
- And to solve my problem? 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons is one half of 1/3 cup