Butter the Size of an Egg

I’m sure a lot of folks looking at the name of this site are wondering, what is so significant about “butter the size of an egg?” On the other hand, if you’ve read a 19th century cookbook, it’s a near certainty that you have seen this phrase.

Antique cook books are full of vague, weirdly arbitrary, and downright unique measurements. It’s common to see: butter the size of an egg; butter the size of a walnut; coffee cup; tea cup; wine glass; brandy glass; salt spoon; etc. It’s also very common to see modifiers, “a small cup”, “a scant tablespoon” etc.

This leads up to the other day. I have been intending to do this site for many months, but just could not come up with a name that I was happy with. While perusing one of my cook books, I came across yet another odd measurement, “butter the size of a butternut.” While doing a face-palm and grumbling about having no idea what a Butternut looks like, I decided on the name. It just seems appropriate to illustrate the oddities of trying to follow these recipes with a measurement that seems so odd to us now.

Oh, and butter the size of an egg? It’s approximately 1/4 cup (2oz)

Potato Pudding (1)

Miss T.S. Shute. 1878. The American Housewife Cookbook. George T. Lewis and Menzies Company.

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