1 EAGLETON NOTES: Spoons, Vegetables and a Question

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Thursday, 5 April 2018

Spoons, Vegetables and a Question

I was recently interviewed for the Scottish Health Survey. It's an interview that lasts for an estimated hour. It took two hours in my case - and you may understand why when you've read this post.

Image result for tablespoonFor one of the questions I was shown a true to size picture of a tablespoon. Some of my readers will not be familiar with a tablespoon. For all practical purposes a tablespoon looks like this but, of course, this gives you no idea of the size. Measuring mine the bowl of the spoon is 8cm x 5cm. In strict measuring terms it is equal to 15ml.

Armed with that information I know that you can all now envisage exactly what a tablespoon of, say, flour or rice looks like. Or perhaps not!

One of the questions in the Survey was "Measured in tablespoons how many spoons of vegetables do you ear per day?"

Eh? I responded that a lot of my vegetables were eaten in the form of home-made vegetable soup.  Soup, however, is classed as a  drink and does not count. I mentioned that the people who set the question had obviously never seen my soup. As for the rest of the vegetables I eat daily I could not even make a guess at how many tablespoons are involved. What, for example, does a tablespoon of cauliflower or asparagus (of which I eat a lot) look like?

A rather conservative (and, in my view, totally meaningless) guess was made.

That is the one question that has stuck in my mind but there were quite a few other which elicited much discussion.

How many spoons of vegetables do you eat each day?

41 comments:

  1. I query what you describe as tablespoons for ours measure 45mm x 60mm and our teaspoons are 25mm x 35mm ?

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    1. Thank you Heron. I had a brain fart which I have now remedied. The measurements of my spoons are 8cm x 5cm. The tablespoons I use for cooking are, of course, properly measured ones.

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  2. O thanks be for that !
    For I was starting to believe that perhaps my dear old mother had misinformed me about the spoons.
    Well at least you have cheered up the night and I shall retire to bed with a smile .

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  3. I can't fit a table spoon size 8x5 into my mouth. I know, because I have some inherited from my grandmother... I sometimes use them as serving spoons... My own table spoons are 6x4. I just measured them. I can hardly fit those into my mouth either, though - and when I use them, it's for soup! As for (fresh) vegetables, I normally use a fork... And it really makes no sense to me to measure most of them in table spoons. A spoon of avocado, possibly. But fresh tomatoes? lettuce? cucumber? carrots? paprika? And how does a spoonful of lettuce compare to, say, a spoonful of kidney beans?? Intriguing!

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    1. Monica I think the only use for a table spoon is for serving. It makes absolutely no sense to me Monica.

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    2. By the way, Monica, I enjoyed your picture of a spoon with 'salad' in it. Looked at that way I must eat many, many spoons of vegetables in a day.

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  4. Soup does count given it isn't just liquid. Liquid soup is called broth. Call the surveyors for me, please and let them know. :)

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    1. Maywyn I can assure you that the interviewer and I had a very robust discussion on that, and on other, topics in the survey.

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  5. Can only give you an estimate in cups...at least 5 cups, maybe more !!

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    1. Helsie I suggested cups would be more appropriate but apparently the people who drew up the survey trialled all sorts of ways and tablespoons were the most understood measure. That may be so but measuring vegetables in tablespoons is just silly (in my humble opinion).

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  6. I have a tablespoon that would be smaller than yours. It's all shiny and matches the cutlery set. My mum has some huge old ones, I think they are stainless but they have a blackish tinge. Anyways, they are how a tablespoon should be. I must get one when she doesn't want them any more.
    The Australian dietary guidelines suggest we should eat five serves of vegies per day and I miss the target a lot of days but if every serve was just a tablespoon I would make it!

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    1. Kylie I have no idea what a portion of five-a-day looks like and I ignore it anyway. I'm sure I eat at least my five portions most days because I eat a lot of beans and pulses as well as fresh vegetables and lots of good wholesome vegetable soup.

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  7. Those sort of questions always rattle me too. I don't know how many tablespoons of vegetables I eat per day I just know "not enough" my husband does the cooking and I do the cleaning up. He is not fussed on vegetables and prefers rice or pasta. Now and then I nag for veggies.

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    1. Diane, I eat a lot of vegetables although I rarely eat 'meat and two veg' dishes though because I, too, prefer rice and pasta to potatoes.

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  8. You "ear" vegetables? Does that mean you put a floret of broccoli against your ear and sing? Personally, I prefer to eat vegetables instead of listening to them.

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    1. I can see, YP, that I'm going to have to send you all my posts to proof-read before I publish them.

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  9. "Each day" is a problem right away. We eat different foods every day. sometime we eat a lot of vegetables. sometimes they're cooked and sometimes they're. It all makes a difference. I hope you told these people to make more meaningful questions.

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    1. Red I agree with you wholeheartedly and, yes, I did make my views know.

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  10. Your soups sound like my 'Compost Soup'. I also call them 'Nourishing Soup'. How many tablespoons-full? As many as I don't spill.

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    1. Cro, I like yyour 'nourishing' soup definition. I'll go with that. I suppose I cold work out the number of tablespoons give that I eat about 450ml of soup each time I have a bowl.

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  11. It had to be April the first.
    Diversity officers and now spooners. What will they think of to waste money next.

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    1. Adrian, to be fair to them the overall idea was, I thought, pretty good but the mechanics of it left a lot to be desired (in my humble opinion).

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  12. Oh dear, that seems like a rather silly question - who eats vegetables with spoons, I wonder? Even when I have mashed spuds I eat them with a fork.
    My table spoons are, like all the cutlery I use daily, from my late grandmother. They are silver and rather large and could do with being polished with a proper silver cloth. Only that my butler is on holiday right now...

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    1. Meike, I'm sure no one eats vegetables, except in soup form, with a spoon. As for silver cutlery my brother has most of the every-day silver family cutlery. My butler refused steadfastly to clean it!

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  13. That does seem an odd measure for vegetables. We talk in suggested servings per day, not tablespoons.

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    1. Lynda, I suppose the problem with using servings is defining what a serving is. I am quite clear about my servings but I have friends who eat twice what I eat in a meal and certainly eat more potatoes (which I don't eat very often at all). Their idea of a serving might be quite different,

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  14. I know what a tablespoon is like, we call them that here too, as for veges, I love them always have done and try to eat them every day.

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    1. Amy I am very fond of many vegetables too. I will happily eat a cauliflower (with plenty of cheese sauce of course) but I wouldn't hazard a guess as to how many tablespoons a cauliflower would occupy.

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  15. My God! What a weird question! I would have no idea. I've never considered measuring the amount of vegetables I eat a day by the tablespoon!!

    Today I had two large bowls full of very thick vegetable soup; and I can assure you it was nothing like a drink!

    It makes one wonder who thinks up these questions! lol

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    1. Lee, I'm sure there will be a committee deliberating over them in great detail. And like most things produced by a committee.........(need I elaborate?).

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    2. No...no need to elaborate, Graham! lol

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  16. As Julie Andrews might say, "Just a spoonful of asparagus helps the medicine go down...."

    All I know is that three teaspoons equal one tablespoon. Well, that isn't ALL I know, but I'm keeping some of it in reserve in case it is needed later.

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    1. Robert, I'm sure Julie Andrews is echoing a sentiment with which I would heartily agree: asparagus is a food of the gods.

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  17. It's a bit like the five a day thing. How big is a helping of....well....anything. Your soup sounds great, Graham!

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    1. Frances, I can claim to make excellent soup. But then I also claim to be very modest. As for helpings....don't get me started...again.

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  18. BUT.....is it a heaped tablespoon....or a level tablespoon? That is the million dollar tablespoon question!!!!

    And, pray tell.... what happens if you've accidentally tossed all your tablespoons out with the garbage...do dessertspoons and/or teaspoons class as suitable substitutes?

    'Tis a quandary....something to ponder on awhile!

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    1. Lee they did actually give you the option of using a different spoon size and I assume they did the conversions. I'm sure though that whichever spoon is used the answer would be a lemon.

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  19. Almost every aspect of this has been wonderfully discussed, I should think.
    All I will say is that my Mother's Strong Stainless Steel Stirring Spoon had one Side Sertainly Strangely Shaped (due to being worn down).

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    1. Kate you made me wonder who consumed the stainless steel wearings.

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  20. The tablespoon that I use for veg. that I like is massively bigger than the little one that does for veg. that I don't like.

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    1. I think that I followed that, Potty. I like big spoons but not for putting in my mouth.

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