any one can cook??? annabel langbein

tania58, Mar 7, 6:52am
ok I just got this book with my flybuys and I'm an average cook, but what is annoying about this book is most things are in grams ... how much is 500g of mixed fresh vegetables?
I may be mistaken but Annabel seems to market this book for beginners, but if you don't have scales who knows what 500g is in cups?
yes I asked google and it comes up with flour and baking ingredients which is quite different to vegetable quantity.

I just guessed what looked enough. She assumes that people just know things in "any one can cook". Not very impressed

winnie231, Mar 7, 7:00am
tania58 - a set of scales is worth investing in ... even if you are a beginner. Have a look in the warehouse or even here on TM - shouldn't cost alot.

paix1, Mar 7, 7:05am
One of the (many) reasons tania58 I never buy anything Annabel Langbein writes! ! But I agree with winnie - set of scales SO worthwhile!

245sam, Mar 7, 7:44am
tania58, it's so much easier to weigh 500g vegetables than to try and pack them into cups AND vegetables differ so much in density - as an example 1 cup chopped carrots would weigh more than 1 cup cauliflower pieces.
Cooking, especially baking, is far more accurate if ingredients are weighed rather than measured in grams so Annabel is actually being very practical when she quotes in grams rather cup measures.
I agree absolutely with winnie231's advice when she says... . .


elliehen, Mar 7, 9:13am
I agree about the need for scales and accuracy in recipes. I have old NZ cookbooks with measurements such as 'butter the size of a walnut', 'sugar the weight of one egg', 1 teacup, 1 breakfast cup etc. A beginner will have a better chance of success with scales.

245sam, Mar 7, 12:23pm
oops, a correction to #4... . .

"Cooking, especially baking, is far more accurate if ingredients are weighed rather than measured in CUPS so Annabel is actually being very practical when she quotes in grams rather cup measures. ":-))

tania58, Mar 7, 6:26pm
ok thanks. this makes sense. Looks like I'll be getting some scales! You have to keep flipping back to a master recipe as well - maybe I just don't like her style?
Anyway I made the chicken teriyaki noodles and turned out great so that's the main thing :)

vinee, Mar 7, 9:20pm
It's funny how differently people cook isn't it? !

I don't own a set of scales myself - never needed them.
Butter is the only thing that I measure in gms and it's marked on the wrapper.
Fancy weighing veges! Just chuck in what looks right, you may like one vege more than another anyway.

I'm a very slap happy cook and everything turns out perfectly.
Quite against the grain for TM cooks, I know.

elliehen, Mar 8, 4:02am
vinee, I think you can only do that once you have experience - and that's something beginners lack! It's a bit like mixing paints - in the beginning you need a recipe, otherwise you'll usually end up with a colour like mud. And I think, when you're a beginner, proportion is important even with veges so that one flavour doesn't dominate.

stevee6, Mar 8, 4:15am
Scales are a good idea for a beginner cook and also for those that enjoy trying new recipes, simply because if you follow the recipe properly the first time, you then know what you want to adapt to make it more to your taste.

vinee, Mar 8, 5:39am
I see what you mean.
It's good for new cooks to know, though, that they don't have to be that precise. The planet wont implode if they put too many carrots in!

Annabel should use more 'visual' measurements.
One can imagine a cup of something. But what the hell does 500g look like!

duckmoon, Mar 8, 6:41am
If you have purchased your frozen veges in a bag, see how much was in the bag when full... If it is a 1kg bag, then guess how much is half...

If a 2kg bag, then guess a 1/4.

duckmoon, Mar 8, 6:45am
Vinee, the problem with "what looks right" for a beginner cook is - they don't alwasy know how it is supposed to look.

I was at my mothers house (4 hours drive from home) - it came up in conversation that she wanted a cake, but found that her cakes didn't seem to work any more (she is the most amazing cook and I was surprised). I said that I would bake her the cake.

Anyway, we were out, I used the internet cake, and down loaded the receipe I use. They did't have the option to print, so I quickly wrote out the ingredient list.

Went home - make the cake in the food processor, knew it didn't look right - realised I hadn't written down the measurement for milk. And I couldn't remember how much milk was in the recipe (even though I make the cake once a fortnight).

But because I make the recipe, I know what it LOOKS like before going in the oven - so was able to add milk "until itlooked right" - something a beginner would be able to do.

lythande1, Mar 8, 11:13pm
500 grams is 1 pkt butter. Guess it by size. With food like veges etc unless you're doing something like a souffle perhaps, it doesn't have to be as accurate as in baking.

elliehen, Oct 13, 4:52pm
I take your point, but still prefer to have universally accepted measurements in every recipe and then to play around with them later. Some older recipes have ingredients like 'a tin of evaporated milk' or a 'cake of chocolate' and even those change in size with time. Some US recipes for baking have 'a stick of oleo' (4oz/125 gms margarine)!

For me it's a bit like spelling - fun to play around with it in texting, but better to keep to standard spelling for most communication if you want to be properly understood ;)

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