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MARY’S MEANDERINGS: Jan. 22-Is a dash more than a pinch?

Some cooks use exact cooking measurements…some don’t.

When it comes to cooking, it’s good to improvise here and there, when you don’t “have on hand” every ingredient the recipe calls for. But, when it comes to cooking and baking some dishes, sticking to the numbers keep your recipes from falling flat. Nothing helps more than a good set of measuring spoons, but since measuring spoons aren’t made that small, just remember…a dash is 1/16 of a teaspoon and a pinch is 1/8 of a teaspoon.

Judging by the recipe Mama submitted in the Jenny Lind Community Cook Book, dated 1950, for “Angel Food Cake”, it seems to me she wasn’t “much on” using exact measurements in her cooking, substituting an ice tea glass for measuring (in this recipe) for a measuring cup…which she probably didn’t have. I doubt she owned a set of measuring spoons. Mama was a dash and pinch cook, and what a cook she was!

My mother-in-law, Nora Gamble, whose recipe is published in the same cook book, quoted…”16 Maraschino cherries cut in 1/8’s was needed to make a delicious Maraschino Cherry Party Cake.” My mother-in-law was more of an “exact” measuring cook.

Sooner or later you might run across a recipe that you are “just dying” to try when “Lo and Behold” you realize you don’t have everything needed. Be creative. Don’t waste time looking for measuring spoons. Just keep in mind, a pinch is more than a dash. In fact, a pinch equals two dashes. And by the way…form one cook to another, it might just help you to know that one teaspoon equals eight pinches.


1 ice tea glass of white of eggs

1 ice tea glass of pastry flour

1-1/4 ice tea glasses of sugar

1 level teaspoon of cream of tartar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavor

1/2 teaspoon lemon or almond

Sift flour and sugar each 5 times. Bake 1 hour in slow oven at 300 degrees F.

Mrs. Flora Evans