Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Help, my recipe calls for a pinch, smidgen or dash.

Cooking is a part of my life. I enjoy creating and exploring my food world. I love sharing my cooking skills with other people. People often ask me what to do when a recipe calls for a pinch of something.

My answer: Put your thumb and forefinger together and pick up what fits between them.  A pinch of something is just that, a pinch.  I have people get all upset with me over that answer. Some people really can't measure that way. They keep saying things like, "your pinch may be bigger than mine!" It is overwhelming to them. The thought of measuring like this is disgusting for some, and for others it is not accurate enough they just want to know exactly how much. For these types people I would suggest finding a chart like thisOr this one.  Or if you prefer they make measuring spoons that are designed for those who stress over such things. I have included a link to Amazon where you can buy a set.

I just recently downloaded a book for my kindle it has old time recipes. They are really interesting to read. A dash, smidgen, dollop, and tad, were common measurements of the time. I love how they measured butter by comparing it to commonly known objects such as an egg, or walnut.  In my own family we have one of Grandma's recipes that we have passed down. It calls for butter the size of an egg. Each one of my three sisters (and now their daughters) have called me at some point or another and asked, "How much is butter the size of an egg"?  They really get excited  when I tell them to get out an egg and then cut off a piece of butter about that same size.

So in case you wanted to know and want to measure like Grandma did, a hint is about half a drop, a smidgen would be about half a pinch or a very small pinch at the edge of your fingers. A dash would look something like one good shake from the salt shaker, or a couple of shakes from the tabasco sauce or a very large pinch of a dry ingredient. A tad would be a bit more than a dash, maybe a couple shakes of the salt shaker or a couple of very large pinches.  A dollop would be a heaping spoonful. 

Cooking is fun, it is meant to include all the senses. So go ahead, be like a chef, you often see them on TV using their fingers to sprinkle the salt. They cook with their senses. They often measure oil in glugs. They don't worry about how much a pinch is. They let their instincts guide them. When you are cooking add a pinch then taste it; who knows you might need to add two pinches to make it just right.

Please note that the Amazon link above is an affiliate link. This just means that I referred you to Amazon. They will say thank you by sending me a small portion of the sale if you decide to buy from them. You can read the full disclosure by clicking the privacy policy tab at the top of the page.  

This link is shared as part of real food wednesdays


  1. Oh, I love your descriptions. I like to read old recipes and also create new ones. Only recently I have begun to write new recipes down. I agree, cooking is fun!

  2. Cooking is fun! Thanks for sharing this info at the Healthy Tuesday hop. :)

  3. G'day! Nothing like Grandma used to do in a lot of recipes these days!
    Cheers! Joanne
    Thanks for sharing at the Foodie Friends Friday No Rules Party!

  4. I love old recipes and cookbooks too. Thanks so much for linking up with the Let's Get Real Party this week.