But because we have no idea how those notations translate into sound, we can’t play their music.
A similar situation exists with recipes. If you have your great-grandmother’s recipe for trifle, and it uses measures such as gills, scruples, pinches, or dashes, how can you tell how much of your ingredients to measure into the bowl?
Help is on the way! Just take a look at these equivalent measurements for some of your favorite measuring devices, and soon you’ll be able to make great-grandmother’s trifle just as well as she did. Here are just a few of the measures she would have used:
1 gill (jill) = cup or 4 ounces or 8 tablespoons
2 gills = 1 cup or 8 ounces
1 tumbler = 1 or 2 cups or 1/2 or 1 pint, depending on the size of the tumbler
25 drops = 1 scant teaspoon
1 salt spoon = 1/4 teaspoon
1 drachm (dram) = 1/8 ounce or 1 teaspoon (liquid measure) or 60 grains (dry measure)
1 scruple = 20 grains or 1/24 ounce or 1/4 generous heaping teaspoon
3 scruples = 1 drachm
1 small pinch = 1/8 teaspoon
1 large pinch = 1/4 teaspoon
1 dash = 1/8 teaspoon
Lump of butter = 1 tablespoon or ounce
Butter the size of walnut = 1 tablespoon
Butter the size of egg = 2 tablespoons or 1/8 ounce
1 teaspoon butter = 1/6 ounce
1 egg in a period recipe = 1 modern medium egg
1 raw egg (no shell) = 3 tablespoons
12 small eggs (no shell) = 1 pound
4 cups white flour = 1 pound
1 ounce flour = 3 heaping tablespoons
3 cups whole wheat flour = 1 pound
4 cups broken loaf sugar = 1 pound
2 cups granulated sugar = 1 pound
2 1/4 cups brown sugar = 1 pound
2 cups milk = 1 pound
My daughter and grandchildren were baking a favorite old recipe today, but they used our modern measures.
Here’s dessert, a Dutch apple pie we quickly devoured.
Chocolate Drops Eighteenth Century Style: To Make Confectionary Drops
Take double refined sugar, pound and sift it through a hair sieve, not too fine; then sift it through a silk sieve to take out all the fine dust which would destroy the beauty of the drop. Put the sugar into a clean pan, and moisten it with any favourite aromatic. Colour it with a small quantity of liquid carmine, or any other colour, ground fine. Take a small pan with a lip, fill it three parts with paste, place it on a small stove, the half hole being the size of the pan, and stir the sugar with a little ivory or bone handle, until it becomes liquid. When it almost boils, take it from the fire and continue to stir it: if it be too moist, take a little of the powdered sugar, and add a spoonful to the paste, and stir it till it is of such a consistence as to run without too much extension. Have a tin plate, very clean and smooth; take the little pan in the left hand, and hold in the right a bit of iron, copper, or silver wire, four inches long, to take off the drop from the lip of the pan, and let it fall regularly on the tin plate; two hours afterwards, take off the drops with the blade of a knife.
Sounds exactly like chocolate chips, doesn’t it? Yum!
Do you have an old family recipe? Would you share it with us?
Louise M. Gouge writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historicals. She is an English and humanities instructor at Valencia College in Kissimmee, Florida. Please visit her Web site at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com . Her July 2013 release, A Lady of Quality, is still available at Amazon.com.
Catherine Du Coeur is determined to uncover the truth about wealthy Lord Winston, who falsely accused her father of treason. But the closer she gets to the handsome young nobleman, the more she wonders how such a benevolent gentleman could have conspired to commit such evil. Baron Lord Winston has had little success in finding an accomplished aristocratic bride who is suited to his diplomatic aspirations. But when he meets Miss Du Coeur, a countess’s lowly companion, he finds that family connections are far less important than matters of the heart.