Our tiny kitchen in our Citadine apartment has very limited cooking utensils. We have a frying pan, one medium and one small pot, one spatula, one large plastic spoon, and a colander. With only two stove tops and a microwave, you can imagine we are not able to cook as elaborately as we would like.
Something that is also missing are measuring cups and spoons. These are items that we have grown accustomed to using every day in the states. Since we don't have these items in our kitchen, we have found a few things that are good substitutes. For example, we had a dessert that came in a small, glass dish, that we figured out was the equivalent of 1/2 cup.
Yesterday, Chris and I went into a kitchen store to buy some measuring cups and spoons. Chris was a little unsure of the French to ask the store clerk what we were looking for. The clerk actually knew some English, so we explained that we needed measuring cups and measuring spoons. He looked at us quizzically as we attempted to explain what we meant. He took us to one part of the store that didn't have anything close to what we were needing. We continued going back and forth, both in French and English, telling him what we wanted. He went and asked a sales woman, and she looked at us like we were crazy. Eventually, we just came to the conclusion that they do not have these things and we should leave the store. We walked out wondering how do the French cook without these things??
Once we were back at the Citadine, we asked the girl at the front desk, in English, if the French used measuring cups and spoons. She also looked at us with a puzzled look. After muddling through an explanation with her, she told us that the French use a large measuring cup, but they didn't use measuring spoons.
I suppose the French are just so good at cooking, they just throw things together. We Americans are a bit more on the anal side and have to have things exact when following a recipe. Guess Chris and I will just have to be more flexible with cooking.