Pop quiz of the day:
Background to the problem
You’re living in Jordan. You like to bake and are used to using unsalted sticks of butter like the one below. Notice anything different about the stick of butter? The size? The width? The package?
Say you want to make chocolate chip cookies for your STARVING and sweet-deprived husband. You need 10 tablespoons (or 1/2 cup of butter, plus 2 tablespoons). Normally, you’d use one stick of butter (equalling 8 tablespoons) and cut two additional tablespoons from another stick, right? You buy what look like ordinary sticks of unsalted butter at the grocery store, but…there’s always a but here….you open up the packaging and are puzzled. There ARE NO TICK MARKS on the packaging to indicate the measurement of butter. What do you do?
a. You get out a tablespoon and manually measure the butter (all 10 of them, what a waste of time and end up making a BIG mess–remember, you don’t have a dishwasher, either).
b. You make an estimate, knowing full well that you may have wasted PRECIOUS ingredients that are hard to come by here (chocolate chips) and are insanely expensive (pure vanilla extract–kept in the safe next to the salami).
c. You attempt to get resourceful and create your own measuring device.
d. You cry and get upset that your husband made you come here to the land of butter without measurement.
e. You _______________ (fill in the blank with your own response).
I’m sure there’s some logical explanation for how people here measure butter here, but I’m fresh out of ideas…
Here’s my first attempt at creating my own measuring guide. It worked for the single-wide sticks, but threw me off on the BIG-DADDY, double-wide sticks.
The next conundrum: how to measure a double-wide stick of butter.
Luckily for me, my sister had forwarned me prior to moving (and based on her experiences cooking in Italy) that I’d need a scale for measuring ingredients. I bought the scale a while ago, threw it under a cabinet, never to be seen, until the butter threw me for a loop! As I was unpacking the scale I discovered, to my utter delight, a conversion booklet for all sorts of things. I flipped to the page titled “fats” and hit pay dirt. OMG! Hallelujah! Now I’m able to accurately measure my butter (along with other “fats” using the scale).
Problem solved, for me at least, so I suppose the real pop-quiz here is: How do Jordanian’s convert their sticks of butter into tablespoons?