Based on all the great feedback and discussion on last week’s post about recipe copy-editing, I’m asking about writing recipes with non-standard ingredient sizes.
Case in point: How big is a lamb sausage?
One of the USA of Pizza’s recipes called for “1 lamb sausage link” (not merguez). I purchased the link at a butcher. It weighed 5 1/2 ounces.
The copy editor asked if it should be 6 ounces.
Okay, I thought. Maybe 6 ounces is a standard size. But I didn’t know for sure, so I researched it. I Googled “lamb sausage” and clicked on images. I found an image of packaged lamb sausages but couldn’t see the weight. A further search of the manufacturer’s website showed that each sausage weighed 2 ounces.
Undeterred, I continued by searching for recipes calling for lamb sausage. I found this one specifying a 10-ounce sausage. This one didn’t specify a size at all. Several others called for loose sausage meat, so those were no use. In the end, I figured the copy editor must know something I didn’t, so I went with 6 ounces. I couldn’t really go with a range of 2 to 6 ounces.
Even so, I felt unsatisfied, like I had failed to find the real answer. What do you do when there is no standard size for an ingredient?