How to Read a Recipe When You Cook

Do you like to cook? What kind of food do you cook?

Lima Beans (photo by Albert Cahalan, 2005).

Lima Beans (photo by Albert Cahalan, 2005).

Today, we’re going to look at recipes. A recipe is a set of instructions for making food. There are 3 parts to a recipe: the title, the ingredients, and the instructions or directions. Let’s look at an example.

Lima Bean Recipe (from “Cooking Across the South” [Oxmoor House, 1980] photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome, 2015)

 

Parts of a Recipe

You can see the title is “Fresh Lima Beans.”

There are 4 ingredients. There are 5 steps to the recipe: wash, cook, drain, add, heat.

At the end of the recipe you see “Yield: 6 to 8 servings.” Yield is how much food the recipe produces. (Yes, “yield’ also means “to give way” like yielding to another car on the road, but that’s a different definition!) Here, this recipe produces enough food for 6, 7, or 8 people.

Measurement Abbreviations 

In the United States, we use a different measurement system than in other countries. Most countries use the metric system. To convert metric to U.S. or vice versa without using math, you can use a website like this one. The metric system uses meters, kilometers, grams, and liters. The U.S. system uses yards, miles, ounces, and gallons. (There are more, too!)

In the kitchen, we usually use cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons.

Tablespoons and Teaspoons (photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Cup (photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

Cup (photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome)

A tablespoon (T. or Tbsp.) is 15 mL.

A teaspoon (t. or tsp.) is 5 mL.

1/2 a teaspoon is 2 mL.

1/4 teaspoon is 1 mL.

We usually abbreviate “cup” with a “c.”

Reading a Recipe

Recipes use the imperative tense: regular verbs with no changes. Each sentence usually starts with a verb.

Let’s practice! Look at the following recipe. In the comment section, please answer these questions:

Fried Chicken Recipe (from "Cooking Across the South," OxMoor Press, 1980) Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome, 2015

Fried Chicken Recipe (from “Cooking Across the South,” OxMoor Press, 1980) Photo by WT Instructor Jaimie Newsome, 2015

1) What is the title of the recipe?

2) How many ingredients are there?

3) How many steps are there?

4) How many people can eat the food?

 

 

2 thoughts on “How to Read a Recipe When You Cook

  1. 1 The name is Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
    2 There are 7 ingredients.
    3 There are 5 steps.
    4 8 people can eat the food.

  2. Here is my answer :
    1. Buttermilk Fried Chicken.
    2. 8 ingredients
    3. 7 steps
    4. 8 servings

    I hope the answer is correct 🙂

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