Measuring spoons-here is an example of sentimental, whimsical and engineered for accuracy.  The little lemon spoons were purchased with no thought of their function-they reminded me of Capri, where I had the best lemonade ever made.  The aluminum ones at the top show their age-they were part of the first kitchen I ever set up-there have been a few kitchens since, but these always made the cut when packing to move.  The ones at the bottom are the "go-to" spoons when I'm serious about ingredients being measured perfectly.

Measuring spoons-here is an example of sentimental, whimsical and engineered for accuracy. The little lemon spoons were purchased with no thought of their function-they reminded me of Capri, where I had the best lemonade ever made. The aluminum ones at the top show their age-they were part of the first kitchen I ever set up-there have been a few kitchens since, but these always made the cut when packing to move. The ones at the bottom are the “go-to” spoons when I’m serious about ingredients being measured perfectly.

 There was a magical time in the culinary world when cooks shared recipes like this:  a smidgen of this,  a fair amount of that, try a handful and if that isn’t enough, add a little more.  In fact, in the not too distant past, I asked my mother for her famous (at least in our clan) cornbread dressing.  Her reply?  “Honey, I would have to send you my blue roastinpan…that’s the only way I know what I’m doing!”

That all changed when a cookbook was published by one Fannie Farmer in 1896-The Boston Cooking School Cookbook.  It was Miss Farmer who deemed the “smidgen of this, and a pinch of that” an unacceptable way to produce good food.  In fact, she went so far as to say the following:

“Correct measurements are absolutely necessary to insure the best results. Good judgment, with experience, has taught some to measure by sight; but the majority need definite guides.”

Thus, the beginning of all sorts of measuring tools.

My mother and iSissy2 both have learned to cook by “measuring by sight” and both are remarkably good cooks.  Isissy3 and I, however, are the masters of finding good recipes and following them to the letter.  And we, too, have turned out some pretty tasty concoctions.

What is your style?  Is there a family recipe, that despite your best efforts, you haven’t mastered?  Have you ever taken a recipe and “tweaked” it by adding your own inspired ingredients?