Do You Measure Up?
Measuring ingredients like peanut butter and lard can be tricky. Rub the inside of the measuring spoon or cup with a small amount of oil so that it's easier to scoop out of the cup or spoon. Just like with your dry ingredients, you should also level off these ingredients with the straight edge of a knife.
Non-Technical Terms in Measurement
Exact measuring is not always necessary in a recipe. If you are cooking a soup, stew, or stir-fry, it usually doesn't require exact measurements. Sometimes in cooking you will hear non-technical terms such as: dash, pinch and smidgen. Traditionally, these were known as very small amounts, although, exactly how much they equaled we didn't really know.
Since then, these non-technical terms have come to be more uniformly defined. A smidgen is 1/2 pinch or 1/32 teaspoon. Two smidgens equal one pinch.
We generally know a pinch as the amount you can get between your thumb and forefinger; however, now a pinch is 1/2 dash or 1/16 teaspoon. Two pinches equal one dash.
Originally, a dash was a term used when measuring liquids. Now the term has come to be used with both liquid and dry ingredients. A dash is 1/8 teaspoon. Eight dashes equal one teaspoon.
If these non-technical terms appeal to you, some companies do sell measuring spoons that measure a dash, a pinch and a smidgen.