Teaspoons and Tablespoons
As can be seen from the comments on my last two blog posts, tablespoon volume measurements are used for various things. I had never thought of using a tablespoon measurement for something hard, as I wouldn't be able to pour the substance reliably.
I have small spoons for stirring coffee (and eating ice cream).
I have spoons for taking medicine.
I have spoons for eating soup.
I have spoons for eating desserts.
I have spoons for serving vegetables.
I have wooden spoons for stirring things in pots.
I have no idea whether any of these conform to "teaspoon" or "tablespoon" measurements, but I guess that none of them do.
Some recipes require tea- or table-spoons of a substance, some require heaped tea- or table-spoons. If a recipe calls for a liquid in spoon measurements, I guess that some specific volume of spoon needs to be filled to surface-tension point, but alternatively it could be asking to be filled to a point level with the rim. The difference in volume won't be much, but if we are dealing with one teaspoon of something, the volume difference might be significant.
However, what about heaped measurements? If a recipe calls for a heaped spoonful, what angle of heap is required? Should the substance be gently domed over the spoon, at some pre-determined angle, or should the spoon be rammed into the substance as far as it will go and the amount of substance that can be crammed onto the spoon is the correct amount?
If we cake hot chocolate as an example ... the angle of friction is very high, With care, I can easily get inches of chocolate onto a small spoon. However, if we take granulated sugar, I can hardly get more height on top of the spoon than the spoon's depth. Which of these is heaped, or are they both heaped?