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Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange

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Kess:
One of the things I've found interesting about EHell is finding out little bits of information about America, such as your word for "grill" being "broil" and what you mean by "biscuits".  It has seemed, in several threads, that other people might be interested in this too.  So I thought I'd start a thread.  If anyone has any questions to put to people across the pond from you (in either direction!) put them here, and hopefully someone from the relevant country will answer.  Feel free to add more info to anyone else's answers, too, or give a different perspective.

A couple of my questions to start us off:

In the UK, class has very, very little to do with how much money one has.  We have millionaires who are working class and penniless peers.  I've heard that in America the opposite is true, which might have something to do with what else I've been told - that your ideas of class are less all-pervasive than in the UK, so the main thing to base assessment of someone's class on is how much money they have.

Your measurements in recipes are in cups - do you have a special sized measuring cup in the house or just use a random cup/mug of the right-ish size?  Do you use kitchen scales for anything?

Is it the norm for Americans to introduce themselves by name to everyone they meet or is it just tourists here? :)

M-theory:
Not touching the money/class issue with a seven-foot pole. ;)

Yes, we have what are called measuring cups. One cup is eight ounces, or about 237 mL.

I don't introduce myself by name. In fact, I'll talk to people for hours before we get around to names. I'm weird, however.

Slartibartfast:
A cup is a specific amount:

three teaspoons to a tablespoon
sixteen tablespoons to a cup
two cups to a pint
two pints to a quart
four quarts to a gallon

And you wonder why American kids don't stick with math  :P

squashedfrog:
Ahh Im glad this has been brought up, because I need to check something.  Are american pounds (lbs) a different weight to English  pounds (lbs)? because Im getting different answers on the web?

In England a pound in weight is 16oz and an oz is 25g so 400g? then there is 14 Ib in a Stone.   I know its odd, but something on the web said that US is different.  (it would certainly make The Biggest Loser US make more sense, which we are addicted to in the Frog houshold).

Also, what's "Shortening"?  I keep seeing it in recipes.  Is it like Lard?

M-theory:
Nope, 16 ounces is a pound here too.

Shortening is fat rendered from plant matter, like solid vegetable oil.