In myriad recipes that use nuts/seeds, amounts are listed as: 3 cups of cashews soaked, or 1 cup of soaked walnuts, or 2 1/2 cups of soaked sunflower seeds.
So, does this mean that you take 3 cups of dry cashews and soak them or once they are soaked, measure 3 cups? Where one places the word "soaked" does change the meaning but there is no way to be sure what an author has in mind when listing ingredients. It may not alter the taste that much because the nuts/seeds absorb the flavors of the rest of the recipe ingredients, but it sure makes a difference in the consistency, from a successful dish to one that can be a complete failure. Any ideas, suggesstions, experiences? Thanks.
Grammatically speaking, one cup soaked nuts - would mean soaked and then measured. One cup nuts, soaked - would mean a cup of dry nuts that are then soaked. The distinction comes with placement of the word soaked . . . adjective vs. verb. Sorry if that's TMI . . . English teacher here. (^_^)
Practically speaking, if recipe preparations / directions are written with very specific instructions, when soaking and measuring takes place can easily be made clear. Maybe if we said "Soaked, then measured" or "Measured, then soaked" in the ingredient list . . . well . . . getting everyone to use the same format would be a daunting task.
If those who submit recipes will look through their Tracks on a regular basis and check the messages left regarding their recipes, this will "self-correct." When someone asks if the measurement means before or after soaking, that should signal the creator to clarify within the recipe. Most of the time it seems they just answer the question with a reply, and don't go back to clarify the recipe itself.
Having said all that, this really doesn't solve the problem, does it? Asking before using the recipe works, IF the creator checks and responds. If not, I think we have to rely on prior experience and trial and error. At the trial and error stage, I usually reduce recipes to half or less.