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Level or Heaping
Dirk is wondering about how to fill a "measuring spoon". It ought to be
levelled off. An old credit card works well.
As for spoons that vary - get out of the Dollar Store. A "teaspoon" or a
"tablespoon" are standard measurments, at least in baking - there isn't (or
shouldn't be) any variation from one spoon set to the next. If there IS,
throw the offending set away and buy a set that is accurate.
Cuisipro makes a nice set in stainless steel in sizes from 1/8 tsp. (0.625
ml), 1/4 tsp. (1.25 ml), 1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml), 1 tsp. (5 ml.) and 1 tblsp. (15
ml.). They ought to be available from any half decent kitchenware store or
you can get them online from Cooking.com for $9.95.
You might also find a set labelled "dash, smidgen, pinch". A "dash" is the
same as 1/8 tsp. (0.625 ml), a a "pinch" is 1/16 tsp. (0.312 ml) and a
"smidgen" is 1/32 tsp. (0.156 ml). The set I use are from Restoration
One tip, if this is how you are going to measure out your chemicals, is to
make sure that you also have a small mortar and pestle to grind up any
chemicals which aren't already in finely granulated form (KNO3 is commonly
sold as "prills", little white balls that look like tapioca). You will be
more accurate in your measurment if you grind up the prills into a powder
before you try to fill your measuring spoon. Calcium Nitrate (at least the
Decahydrate form) is also sold as "prills" and Epsom Salts crystals are
sometimes rather large - they will all benefit from being ground into a
powder before being measured.
Of course, for some I expect that even this will be too close to "rocket
science" to be useful....... :-)