Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Happened to the Measuring Cup?

English: A measuring cup purchased in the Unit...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The day before Thanksgiving I broke my favorite liquid measuring cup. It was a simple 1-cup Pyrex measuring cup with red lettering. It was the perfect size. It had a compact little handle so that it fit into the dishwasher nicely. It had both ¼ cup and 1/3 cup measures. It measured accurately. What more could you want in a measuring cup?

This was a measuring cup I had owned for as long as I can remember. It was likely passed down from my mother or grandmother. And, even though I had flirted with other measuring cups over the years (I did have others to use to finish my pre-Thanksgiving prep), none of them made me happy.

I have a glass measuring cup that measures nicely, but the markings are raised glass rather than printed; this means that I need to do squats to see how much I’ve measured. (I’ve nothing against squats, I just don’t need to do them when I’m baking.) It even has three pour spouts, in case I need to pour sideways. (Really, who does that? I tried it once just to see how it felt and I made a big mess.) But the worst past is that due to those three spouts, it takes up more than its fair share of space in the dishwasher.

I also have one of those plastic angled measuring cups, and I’d love to know who thought that was a good idea. Nothing looks right when measured at an angle. Right now the only thing I use that particular measuring cup for is to hold my measuring spoons (and it does only a fair job at that).

When my favorite little measuring cup broke (sigh) I turned to amazon to look for a replacement and discovered that they don’t make it anymore – at least not in its past form. The new Pyrex measuring cup (which I bought at the grocery store) appears to be sturdy, but it’s not the same. I can read the markings – that’s a plus. It measures accurately – that’s a must. But it’s 50% larger than my old one. It’s a fat little measuring cup that could actually hold a whole ½ cup more liquid, yet the markings stop at 1 cup. (What’s up with that? Were we all spilling too much?) That design flaw, combined with an excessively large handle, means that it doesn’t fit nicely in the dishwasher.

I did some research, and discovered that I am not the only one disappointed with the new liquid measuring cups. Cook’s Illustrated lays out a number of issues based on their road tests.

Dear Santa,
If you are listening, please ask the elves to make me an old-fashioned measuring cup for Christmas. I promise to leave you some allergen-free cookies in return.

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