As y'all already know, I make a lot of things from scratch, or almost-scratch. Like - my husband LOVES having Kahlua in his coffee in the evening. He does this three or so times a week. Kahlua is a pricy bitch, so I make my own.
And when we moved I lost my usual recipe.
No problem, go online and find another (the original was pulled from being online, because it was shared from a book without the author's permission, and the author or publisher said "Oh, HELL no!")
Since I've made stuff several times, it wasn't hard finding a recipe that I could tell had about the right proportions of coffee to sugar. But in looking over the recipe, I could tell that the person who POSTED it (to Wikihow, which my protection software identified as a 'malicious' site) clearly had never made it.
The first clue was that s/he said it would make about a quart of Kahlua-substitute. Well, yes, the recipe called for 4 cups of liquid. But the 4 1/2 cups of solids added, which dissolved into the liquids, DO TAKE UP SPACE. Not one cup of space per cup of sugar/instant coffee, but enough space that the recipe made 6 cups, not 'about a quart'.
The second clue was that, since the mix was 50% higher in volume that was presented, the proof (alcohol content) of the finished product was going to be WAY too low given the relative volume of alcohol the recipe called form.
To get around these problems, I used nice high-proof Everclear instead of most of the rum that was called for, and used brown sugar instead of white sugar to replace some of the flavor the rum would have brought to the recipe. I could wing it, because I have experience and mad math skillz.
This isn't only a problem in online recipes, BTW.
And, for you Pagans/witches/wiccans out there - it's not only a problem in cooking.
But more on THAT in a future post!