It doesn’t matter if they’re plastic, metal, round or rectangular. I need lots of measuring spoons when I cook and bake. And a few years ago, I bought my first set that included a 1/2 tablespoon measure.
Huh, I thought. I haven’t seen this before. The spoons have been pretty standard until recently: 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon, and sometimes 1/8 teaspoon. Then I got a second set that included 1/2 tablespoon measure. Something’s going on!
Up until now, I’ve changed recipes that call for that measurement, because we had no physical measure. Most recipe writers call for 1 1/2 teaspoons, which comes to 1/2 tablespoon. So I wondered whether there’s a revolt underway, at least from spoon manufacturers.
Should we start using this new measurement in recipes?
For an answer, I turned to copy editor Suzanne Fass, who has written for my blog in the past. She was of two minds. If a reader has a 1/2 tablespoon measure, it’s fine if the recipe calls for it. “But how prevalent is that measurement in sets?” asks Suzanne. “How long has it been available?”
“New cooks who have only just outfitted their kitchens might have one, but cooks who have been at it longer, with older equipment, may not. If that size is just gradually joining spoon sets and is not yet found everywhere, I’d guess that not very many readers will have it.
“”I fear that far too many folks don’t know that it equals 1 1/2 teaspoons,” she added. “You don’t want to force most readers to do math. And they’ll hate you for it, or get it wrong, or both.
“I guess my bottom line is: Don’t write 1/2 tablespoon.”
What about you? Do you have this newer measure? Have you been stating 1/2 tablespoon in your recipe ingredients list? Will you now? Let’s get it straightened out.
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(Photo by Kara Eads on Unsplash)