My mother was a great cook and passed down many of her favorite recipes to me. But some call for a "pinch" of this and a "dash" of that. What did she mean by a "pinch" and a "dash?" I'd love to make one of Mom's recipes and have it taste just like hers did. —S.M., Green Bay, Wisconsin
Traditionally, a pinch is thought to be the amount of a dry ingredient that can be held between your thumb and forefinger. A dash is a very small amount of seasoning added with a quick downward stroke of the hand. If your mother truly meant a pinch or a dash of an ingredient, she used somewhere between 1/16 and a scant 1/8 teaspoon. It sounds like you might have to experiment with amounts to get the same delicious results she did.