Recipes don’t always come in the number of servings that fit our desires. While software is making that easier today, what do we do with our family favorites? What about multiplying your favorite recipe for gatherings, the holidays, or to take to a function?
This week I was making cookies for Christmas. Cookies are pretty easy to multiply because you are still making them the same way: drop cookies are still drop cookies, pressed cookies are still pressed. They still get baked for the same amount of time. You just are making more of them. Other recipes may be different, and that is for another day. For example, going from an 8 x 8 square baking dish to a 9 x 13 or larger in cakes, casseroles or the like requires changing the time and maybe even the temperature. It may even require tweaking the recipe ingredients for that difference.
Today we are going to just look at multiplying the measurements. I have a master form that I’ve used for years and years. It’s really basic. I keep these masters in a binder divided by type. In there are recipes such as meatballs, meatloaf, lasagna, carrot cake, anything I make in bulk. For the cookies, you could re-write the entire recipe on the multiplier form, or you could just print the ingredients part, apply some post-it type glue and stick it to the back of your original recipe, or in the cookbook where you found the original recipe.
Yesterday I posted a recipe for Sloppy Joes. It serves 8. Even for a single person or a 2-person household, that amount isn’t unreasonable. One meal when you make it, another a day or two later (or lunches) and a couple meals frozen. Sloppy Joes is one of those things I would make in bulk and freeze. It is also something I’d take to a potluck or serve at a kids party. So I pull out my trusty form. It looks like this:
Now I add the original recipe.
I decide I want it multiplied by 2 for 16 servings and by 5 for 40 servings for a party or potluck. Now, being a former accountant, I did this in Excel and had it do the conversions for me. Had I done it by hand I would have made changes in the conversions too. 10 TB brown sugar becomes 1/2 cup plus 2 TB; 10 tsp chili powder becomes 3 TB plus a tsp. Knowing that 3 TB plus a tsp equals nearly 1/4 cup, and my spice jars holds 1/4 cup when full to the top, I know that I need a full spice jar of chili powder. I buy it in bulk at a natural food store, so I’d be making a trip over there for it because I usually don’t have that much on hand.
Since this was a recipe that I pulled from the Internet AND immediately changed, I’m going to put the instructions on the bottom of this form and print it for my binder. Most of them in my binder are all handwritten. You don’t need to do it on the computer.
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