On my desk right now is a big cookbook-Americanizing job. This particular title was one of the UK’s fastest-selling books of all time (whatever “fastest-selling” means), and the US publisher is probably expecting to do similar numbers here. No pressure.

The main part of my assignment is to convert from metric to US measures—milliliters to cups or fluid ounces, grams to ounces and pounds, centimeters to inches, and in many cases weights to volume. (What’s the volume of 100 grams of frozen peas? I can tell you!) As always, one of the challenges of Americanizing is knowing how accurate is accurate enough, and how accurate is too accurate. When you’re making a soup, for example, the amount of broth doesn’t need to be expressed to the nearest tablespoon—that kind of finicky measurement would be incredibly annoying to a home cook. When you’re making a delicate cake, on the other hand, an extra tablespoon of milk or flour can make a huge difference.

For this book, the publisher wants me to deal with spellings and usage in such a way that the original British flavour of the text is preserved but the oddities won’t be jarring or confusing to the majority of US readers. It took a while to suss out what that meant (yes to “bring to the boil,” no to “yoghurt”), but it’s going more quickly now.