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Measurements

I came across a receipe calling for a "bunch" of chives. How much is this? How much is a bunch of chard? Parsley? etc? I grow my own. Does anyone know?

Thanks!

Donna

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  1. I think that's one of those things like "season to taste". That is, a bunch will be however much you want.

    1. They mean the typical bunch sold in a produce section of the grocery store, which of course varies widely. Sometimes recipes call for a specific measure of the chopped herb, which I like better.

      Sorry...not very helpful, was I?

      Put in how much you want to. EDIT: That sounds snarky - didn't mean it that way! Seriously, put in the amount you'd like to eat in the dish...

      1 Reply
      1. re: sandylc

        I agree, just to taste. A bunch of parsley these days is like a bouquet of flowers. I wouldn't want that much in any dish.

      2. A bunch of chard is whatever the supermarket quantity is.

        A bunch of chives is what I cut from the garden - about the thickness of my little finger.

        1. First goofy thought was to say "bunch" of chive must mean A LOT!?! I like chives (all onion relatives for that matter), so would probably go havy with them.

          1. Depends on the number of servings and how chivey or chardy you want the dish to be.

            1. I won't consider making any published recipe that's poorly-written. Poorly-written includes lack of volume and/or weight measurements. Without those, the writer might just as well have directed adding ingredients "to taste". The writer should not assume that all readers are capable of cooking on the fly in that way.

              2 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                I'm not sure that a blanket statement is quite fair. I think it depends on who the recipe writer expects to be using the recipe. There are some recipes I've seen that don't really hew to exactitudes, but allow for the individual cook's interpretation. That approach, of course, assumes that said individual cook is capable of interpreting to his/her likings and preferences. (We could probably start a whole other thread on this, if there aren't some already!)

                1. re: greygarious

                  then my grandmother's recipe box would be utterly worthless to you.

                  People (not author-people, just people) write a lot of recipes that don't look like much at first glance.

                2. Well, I'm going to go by "eye," since I don't know how much is in a "bunch." Are they talking about the chives in the small plastic boxes that hang in the produce section? Is that 1/2 cup? More? I'll start with a small amount and go from there. In all honesty, recipe writers should be clearer about little things like this. I understand a "bunch" of chard is what the grocery sells, but, as I stated above, I grow my own. Is it one pound? 8 oz? Today, however, I'm more concerned with the chive amount - as I'm not cooking chard - just wanted to know for the future.

                  Thanks for your theories!

                  Donna

                  1. Most recipes using produce have problems like this. How much is '1 onion', or a sweet potato? A recipe could specify 5 oz of diced onion, but I don't think I've every weighed one.

                    A way around this is to stick with recipes that use ingredients that can be easily measured, or are sold in fixed quantities.

                    But then people complain when the can and package sizes change. They can no longer make tuna salad because cans are now 5oz (instead of 7), or coffee because bags are now 12 oz instead of 16.

                    Fortunately most recipes using produce do not require exact quantities. That's especially true with mildly flavored herbs like chives and parsley. Judge for yourself. Do you like the appearance and/or taste of chives? Use more. Don't like them? omit it entirely.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: paulj

                      One way is to state, "one cup of diced onion, from one large onion" - some will even state the size of the dice. This is convenient for someone who wants to be more specific, but does not own a scale.