I'm an Idiot!

Big gusty sigh.

I've always known that I am not the sharpest tool in the box. But this latest discovery has me feeling...extremely aggravated.

I've just discovered that one U.S. measuring cup is not the same as one Japanese measuring cup. Do you realize what this means?

It means I've been baking with my little Japanese measuring cup for an entire year under the mistaken assumption that one cup equals 200ml. Why? Because the stupid thing says quite clearly on its side in happy, cherry red: "200ml - 1 cup." So what did I do? I looked and I believed. I trusted my measuring cup! Well, there goes my innocence, my naive heart, my faith in measuring cups.

For anyone who didn't know (probably nobody but me): one U.S. cup equals 240ml.

I suppose this explains why I've had so many baking disasters since I came to Japan. All this time I thought it was...me. But since we now all know exactly what sort of doofus I am, it should be assumed that I would have found a parallel path with which to mess up. I mean, I've always known that "one cup" in America and Australia were different, but I just nuttily assumed Japan and America shared some sort of measuring cup fraternity. But then, why in the name of god does there need to be so many different versions of something that sounds as singular and assured as "One Cup?" Okay, best not to go there because then we'd have to ask why we couldn't all just pick either the left or the right side of the road to drive on, so that waffle-brains like me wouldn't drive on the wrong side and have car accidents...

Not that I've actually driven on the wrong side of the road--fine, I have driven on the wrong side of the road because when you move about all the time, it can get really confusing. BUT, I've never had an accident from driving on the wrong side of the road. However, that's really not the point I'm trying to make.

I actually don't have a point. I simply wrote this post to unload some self-scorn and to warn others so that they don't make the same mistake.

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Come on, don't be too hard on yourself. Did my comment on Hsin-li's page spawn this? I actually didn't realize it either until about a year ago. But luckily, my Japanese measuring cup has two sides: one side is marked by cup, the other side marked by ml. I have always looked at the ml side (being a pharmacist and all, everything is about precision). Then one day after pouring in 240ml, I looked at the other side, and found out it was over the 1 cup mark.

At least now you know it wasn't you all this time. It's the damned Japanese measuring cup that threw you off. 

- Lynn

1/18/2005 09:07:00 AM  

I think this is wonderful news! It means that from now on, your baking will be much easier and less doomed. :-) I agree with Lynn--don't be too hard on yourself. There is so much to learn in every new culture. There is no time limit by which you are supposed to have learned everything! 

- Jessica

1/18/2005 06:30:00 PM  

This could really be a good thing. Your baking is going to become phenomenal :)  

- stef

1/19/2005 05:47:00 AM  

Oh, no, what have I done? Now everyone seems to think my baking is going to magically undergo a positive transformation. I assure you all that I will find other ways to screw things up. I promise!

And, yes, I really owe my new-found knowledge to Lynn, let it be known.


- Rachel

1/19/2005 05:00:00 PM  

Yes, and a tablespoon is a different measurement between Australia and the UK (and US too?). In Australia it's 20 ml, but in the UK and elsewhere it's 15ml! Why on earth that has happened stumps me. 

- Niki

1/28/2005 12:46:00 PM  

Isn't it silly? Sometimes, it takes me ages to get started on a recipe because of all the convertions I have to make.  

- Rachel

1/28/2005 07:37:00 PM  

At least you didn't make the mistake my friend made, cooking with an American cookbook in England. Forgetting that there is a difference between Celsius and Farenheit, he hiked up the temperature of the oven while making ribs and ended up making a rack of carbon. 

- Jamie

2/08/2005 12:06:00 AM  

Oh my god, Jaime, that sounds just like something I would have done. I love it when I learn there are others like me out there in the world. Makes me feel less alone. 

- Rachel

2/10/2005 12:43:00 AM  

Well there you go, THANKS....

I've been here 15 freaking years, and no I did not know that one Japanese  cup is 40 ml short of a US cup........... this explains why my bread machine makes such crappy bread, as I'm using US bread mixes and following the instructions on the box

"1 1/4 cup of warm water..."

here I was putting 1 1/4 JAPANESE cups of water in, which is 250 ml, when I should have been putting in 300 ml....

Again, thanks a lot, you have solved a mystery for me!


from Stu

5/04/2005 04:10:00 AM  

Hi Stu, I'm so glad this post has been helpful to you. Hopefully your breads will start turning out better after this. Fifteen years--that must have been awfully frustrating! Do let me know how it works out for you.  

from Rachel

5/05/2005 01:08:00 AM  

I told my lovely (Japanese) wife about this, and she could not believe it, so I showed her this page, and then did a conversion (online) and she too was shocked. Might have been why some of her baked items did not turn out, as she was using a Canadian cookbook my mother gave her.......TOO FUNNY!

So, do you know if teaspoons and tablespoons are different as well???


from Stu

5/07/2005 02:31:00 AM  

Stu, your poor wife. I'm sorry she had to be disillusioned this way. You know...I could be wrong, but I've heared Canadian and American measurements are sometimes slightly different as well. Might want to check that out.

I think the teaspoon and tablespoon in Japan and America are the same though... 

from Rachel

5/09/2005 01:50:00 PM  

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