In Slate last week, Sara Dickerman wrote a piece entitled "Weighing In" that explored the virtues of kitchen scales -- things many of us already know: they're more accurate, neater (not fussing with cups and cups of flour), and a little simpler once you get the hang of them. I own an Escali scale at home and in my commercial kitchen that I just adore. It's become invaluable for measuring out large quantities of butter, flour and eggs for pie dough and cookies. At home I often use it for more finicky dessert recipes when I know that accuracy will be absolutely critical (macarons, for instance). I couldn't live without it.
But what I love about Sara's piece is her closing discussion on when it's kind of nice not to use a kitchen scale. When you make a decision to honor the everyday cooking you do for a casual dinner by keeping it in the cupboard. Sara notes, "The recipes that got me cooking in the first place were written with cup measurements, and so I have a certain, perhaps sentimental, fondness for the old system." Do you ever find yourself making decisions either way based on the recipe, the tradition, or the occasion?
(Image: Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)