Memory Tricks: Remembering How Many Cups in a Gallon

Now that the sting has worn off a bit, we can divulge the full story of how we bought the wrong amount of strawberries for our review of the Gluten-Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble. It was all because--on the spot, in the store, without Google Calculator to save us--we couldn't remember how many cups were in a quart!

Telling this story to a friend later, she laughed and said, "Don't you know about the gallon-eating-the-quarts trick?" At our blank look, she grabbed a pen and drew a diagram like the one above...So there's:

2 Cups in a Pint
2 Pints in a Quart
4 Quarts in a Gallon

And so two "C's" fit inside a "P," two "P's" fit inside a "Q," and four "Q's" fit inside a big, enormous "G."

It's like "the woman who swallowed a fly" for cups and quarts!

It still takes a few minutes of mental visualization, but with this diagram in mind, you can easily figure out that there are four cups in a quart, 16 cups in a gallon, and so on.

Fingers crossed--with luck we'll never find ourselves in this particular grocery store conundrum again!

Any other good memory tricks you use when cooking?

Related: Measuring: Dip and Sweep

(Originally posted June 10, 2008)

(Image by Emma Christensen for the Kitchn)

42 Comments