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Jun 7, 2014 08:38 AM

Participle Placement in Recipes

Do you pay any attention to where participles are placed in recipes? For example, does "500g trimmed leeks" mean something different to you than "500g leeks, trimmed" (the participle here being "trimmed")? Or "2c sifted flour" vs "2c flour, sifted"? In general I try to match where the participle goes because "500g trimmed leeks" seems to imply that the recipe calls for 500g of usable leeks whereas "500g leeks, trimmed" seems to start with 500g and end up with, what, 400-450g after trimming?

Yeah, this is somewhat obsessive and possibly irrelevant. But I'm curious.

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  1. I think there's no way to know if you're doing it right unless you know the author's grasp of grammar. Good question though.

      1. Most definitely NOT irrelevant or obsessive; absolutely crucial to good recipe writing. Former cookbook editor here, and it's one of the things we're always querying.

        1 Reply
        1. "Do you pay any attention to where participles are placed in recipes?"
          no, makes no never mind to me what so ever.

          5 Replies
          1. re: iL Divo

            I'm REALLY surprised. The two examples above clearly point out to me why it's important.

            1. re: c oliver

              Some people just don't seem to care about details...

              1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                I'm a stickler for details and I attribute my successes to that.

          2. As I understand, if the participle is before the name ie 2c sifted flour, then I sift the flour then measure.