“ Brand: Shef / Product Type: Cookware Set „
Rather then use a cook book, I make many recipes with the old a bit of tis and bit of that method. It works for simple foods like soups, stews and pastas, even a loaf of bread but some things like biscuits that retain their shape after baking or a gingerbread house are hard enough even with more exact measures. Where cooking by tastes won't work, I use online recipes. Many of the recipes I use are American, especially for things like biscuits or cookies. One of the few cookbooks I own to make KFC style chicken is American as well. I had a plastic measuring jug from Tesco for years, but this has become old and cracked. Rather than just buy a new jug, I chose these as they are brilliant for teaching fractions as well.
This set of four measuring cups has only the most basic measures : 1 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup. and 1/4 cup. This should be more than adequate for most recipes, as anything under 1/4 cup is usually given in tablespoons, but if you should need 1/8 cup it would be easy enough to guess half of the 1/4 cup. From a maths teaching perspective, I would have loved a few more cups with different fractions, but nearly every set I looked at had only the 4 sizes. I found one which did include a 1/8 cup, but it was much more expensive and made of plastic. I prefer the metal.
If I were to guess, I would have guessed that these were made of aluminium. The light colour and very light weight make me think of old aluminium milk pans I owned years ago. they are however stainless steel, and this was a plus for me when I was buying these. I no longer use aluminium cookware. I don't believe everything I read online, but I do believe aluminium poses some health risks and we get enough it in our diets already, I'd rather use less. I won't go into any health risks as these are all hotly debated and other forms of cookware pose other risks, but you can look it up yourself if you wish. My other problem with aluminium is that it dents or bends easily. Stainless steel can be smashed as well, but it is a lot more difficult. These appear to be very well made. The metal handle looks welded on, and this seems very sturdy. These all cam hooked together on a very simple key ring. They are now loose in a drawer. I would have preferred an easy to open an close attachment to hang them together, but it isn't a major issue. I keep asking my husband to put little hooks up as I feel this would be an ideal way to store these. I've had a large number of items sold as stainless steel rust. I know they are not meant to rust, but they often do. I've only had these cups for about 6 months, but so far there are no signs of rust, or any other sign of wear.
I find these very easy to use, and so do my children. Even my five year old can easily mix ingredients if I read a recipe out to him, and my nine year old can make basic recipes without any adult assistance with these. There is a slight lip built into the cup making it easy to pour without spilling - but of course children usually do manage to spill anyway. They love "spilling" flour up into the air to watch it come down as snow, and in general when cooking - the messier the better. But even I can usually pour from these without spilling, and the children can if they really want to. I think this makes cooking much easier for children than weights and measures, but there was another reason I wanted measuring cups for my sons. My oldest has done fractions over and over, and he kept forgetting some aspects. Cooking with measuring cups allows a child to really see and touch the difference between fractions and with a bit of creativity, you can easily make a recipe into a maths equation. For instance I might present my son with a recipe and ask him to double, triple or even quadruple it or cut in half, down to a third or even quarter. This is the only thing that has ever seemed to make multiplying and dividing fractions make sense to him - and we haven't had a problem with them since. With my youngest son - I might ask him to measure out a cup of some ingredient, but purposely lose the 1 cup measure. Instead, he needs to measure out the required amount using smaller measures. I'm not really teaching him fractions yet, at least not by the book, but he has a pretty good grasp of them of them from cooking and dividing up foods.
These sell for £5.49 from Amazon and are eligible for free super saver delivery on orders over £10. I feel this was a very reasonable price and I am very happy with these wee cups, and the children like them as well. I only wish I had bought them sooner. I think my oldest would have found fractions easier if we had been using these from the beginning and they'd make a grand baby toy for stacking and banging as well.