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I love to read recipes, but not in the conventional way. To me, a recipe is merely a suggestion. I read the list of ingredients; I peruse the preparation method and then begin creating. Because I’m both confident and adventurous in the kitchen I rarely look at the quantities specified for ingredients. But when creating recipes for a magazine, measurements have to be exact. And because some people prefer imperial while some prefer metric, I needed a crash course in conversions!

My good friend Alison Draper introduced me to Lee Valley Tools’ kitchen calculator. It converts any units in one system to the equivalent in the other; it converts oven temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit or vice versa; and it converts grams to cups or tablespoons to fluid ounces, etc. Easy to use, it also does double duty as a standard calculator. Available for $16.95 at Lee Valley stores or through its mail order catalogue. For more information go to

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