Because let's be honest, since about 1979, the scale has never given me the number I wanted. The scale is the most dreaded part of any doctor's visit. The scale is a cruel master, not just instantly responding to a single binge-y night, but famous for refusing to respond at all to an entire week of monklike deprivation and Herculean exercise. The scale is changeable, move it two inches in any direction and the numbers can jump around like toddlers after trick or treating.
I'm gonna say it. I HATE the effing scale. Or I did. Until now.
As a cook, I love testing new recipes, trying new things. I especially love cookbooks, and cookbooks from other places are like mini vacations. But I don't like Math, and trying to convert a recipe from metric is a mind-numbing exercise well beyond my interest.
But with the interwebs full of fun food blogs from parts abroad, and cookbooks dangling delicious sounding recipes full of grams of this and liters of that, it was time to get my stuff together.
It started simply. We missed a pal's 60th birthday. And she and her husband were coming up to the Farm for a weekend, and I wanted to make her a small birthday cake to celebrate. I was informed that her favorite cake is yellow cake or white cake with vanilla frosting. A cake I did not have in my repetoire, being more of a chocolate/banana/nut cake kind of gal. But technology would help me! I found a recipe online for a cake. It sounded delicious, a simple vanilla scented yellow cake. And lucky for me, the recipe contained both standard and metric measurements.
Except it didn't work.
The cake turned out sort of dry and leaden. Not inedible, and our guest actually claimed to love it, but I was deeply disappointed. I looked back at the recipe and realized something important. In converting the metric to standard, the amounts had gotten a little imprecise. And I recognized that there is no way to mess up measuring things by weight, but that depending on everything from the type of container to the way you scoop it, flour measured by volume can be as much as DOUBLE the weight you need, which I believe is what happened to me.
Then something wonderful happened. Escali, makers of not only precise, but funky and fun kitchen scales, sent me a package.
For starters, it is really easy to use, the glass makes it easy to keep clean, and the color and clean lines mean that if I leave it on the counter it becomes decor and not clutter.
Less than 2 minutes out of the box and I was confident in my usage, which is a pretty good curve for a new piece of equipment. And the most important part, within a couple of weeks I had pretty seamlessly integrated it into my cooking. Especially when I started to play with the other item in my package...
While slighly less snazzy on the looks, this nutritional scale is a dieters and diabetics dream. Because it comes with a book of every food you can imagine, giving special codes for each. Put your food, even pre-cooked foods like lasagna or cookies, on the scale, punch in the code, and it will give you the nutritional value....calories, carbs, sodium, sugars...as someone who is both trying to lose weight AND needs to be very careful to manage carb intake, this thing is a godsend.
Between the two, I can now bake with confidence, try out some of the recipes in my metric cookbooks, and stop hearing Michael Ruhlman in my head chiding me for waiting so long. (If you have not bought his book Ratio yet, do it now. It will change your cooking forever.) Plus I can be a smart girl and make sure I am staying on track with my carbs.
Which of course, makes the bathroom scale, that fickle bitch, somewhat more pliant.
And since you know how we love to share, Escali sent me one of the fabulous orange scales to give to one of you!
So, comment below by Thursday May 17, 11:59 pm CST, telling the class either a metric recipe you are dying to make (feel free to post the recipe so we can all have fun) or how you think an adorable tangerine orange kitchen scale will change your cooking, and the old random number generator will pick one of you as the winner!
Yours in Good Taste,