Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lose the Stigma

In the 80's my mother bought a food scale. It was to perfectly portion her meals so she knew she was eating an appropriate amount of food (not too little not too much... but it more erred on the side of too little.) She is a german woman and would never be built like a pixie, but I remember the scale being hidden when guests arrived. Suddenly, it was a weakness or negative to have a scale in the house. Like normal skinny people can control what they eat but larger and normal size people have to be told by a number.

I always swore I would never have a scale in my kitchen. No matter what, I would not rely on a machine to tell me how much to eat. Well....

Americans forget how easy it is to cook with a scale! I own no less than 8 measuring cups, 3 sets of measuring spoons and countless scored bowls etc showing me how much of everything I need for a recipe. Recipes are written with 3 cups of this and 2 tBsp of that. And one of my recent favorite websites (which has been taken down sadly) referenced this problem. Ever confused a tsp and tbsp? Happens all the time. Ever sifted 4 cups of flour only to find your mixture is too liquid? That's because the American measuring system is seriously flawed. According to said website that no longer exists - a cup of flour in a humid climate may very well measure more than in a dry one... simply because the water is taking up some more space. But weighing your ingredients gives you a very consistent amount every time.

So, I bought a scale. One recommended by above website. It seems to work well. It's been challenging to not reach for a spoon or cup to measure, but like finding a comfortable chord progression on a guitar, it seems too easy to be true. Suddenly, compulsion drives my reaching for a cup, but ease makes things quicker to just add to the bowl. 412 grams of this, 56grams of that. voila. Recipe.

What does this have to do with anything about sugar free or gluten free cooking? Glad you asked. You see, the sugar substitute I use is very thirsty. If the moisture is not evened out, good luck, you'll be eating crumbs with a spoon and a quart of milk. I can measure with a cup but it's not always going to be accurate. And I'm going to do my best to be posting recipes here which have been converted to weight.

Get rid of the stigma of a kitchen scale. It doesn't dictate how much you're supposed to eat (listen to your stomach for that one) and start enjoying the ease of whipping up a batch of GFSF brownies with mascarpone frosting (dh's favorite.)

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