Posts Tagged ‘scooping and leveling flour’

odd measures

August 17th, 2009

Gadget alert! For all the recipes that call for 2/3 cup of this dry ingredient and 3/4 cup of that—say, like the banana chocolate chip oatmeal muffins or sour cream–maple muffins Carter and I recently made—it’s especially handy to  have “odd-size” measuring cups.

Odd-size measuring cups are another one of those gadgets that wish I’d bought a lot sooner! I have an All Clad set, which also includes odd-size measuring spoons (2 teaspoon, 1 1/2 tablespoon, and 2 tablespoon), from Williams Sonoma, but just look for a basic set that includes 1 1/2 cup, 3/4 cup, and 2/3 cup to take the guesswork out of measuring dry ingredients in these frequently asked-for quantities. My guess is, pretty soon, they won’t be the odd ones out.

It’s just so much easier for Carter to scoop and level flour 3/4 cup flour with a 3/4 cup measuring cup. Ditto having a 2/3 cup measuring cup to show him how to tightly pack and measure 2/3 cup of brown sugar for the banana muffins. Plus he’s learning about fractions without even knowing it!

getting the scoop

August 14th, 2009

scooping flourWhen I was growing up, I never worried about—or even knew about—the niceties of scooping and leveling flour: using a spoon or scoop to put flour into a measuring cup, then scraping the back edge of a knife over the cup’s top edge to remove any excess flour. It wasn’t until I was an adult reading baking books in earnest that found out how important this technique can be to accurately measuring flour. (Of course, serious bakers go a step further and weigh the flour.) But enough about technique. What’s more important is that scooping and leveling is fun for kids to do. Plus it’s another one of those kitchen activities that helps develop a slew of skills: fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spacial awareness, to name a few of the usual candidates.

Carter has been scooping flour with a small metal kitchen scoop and leveling it with the back of a table knife since he was 3. In fact, that’s what we’re doing in the picture in this blog’s header, although these days I usually get brushed aside with an “I can do it myself, Mommy,” which, in the end, is the point.