Author Topic: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange  (Read 267924 times)

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hobish

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #60 on: November 18, 2010, 02:52:28 PM »
We sometimes measure in 'cups' in the UK too, its not as common these days bit all my mum's school cookbooks from the 70s have the ingredients in cups.

A UK cup is 250ml.
In South Africa we have premade cup measuring sets that come in volumes of 1cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup.

Like this: http://www.google.co.za/images?q=measuring%20cup%20set&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=Flamingvixen-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wi&biw=1200&bih=431

I had no idea that cup measures were going out of style in the UK.

They're common in the US, too. I have 2 sets and i don't even cook often. My mom always had a set for wet measure and a set for dry and i inherited the habit.
There are also measuring pitchers that usually have cup measurements on one side and liters on the other.
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hobish

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2010, 03:08:55 PM »
I didn’t know eating meat rare was a US thing. I have not noticed any trend toward it being more common or acceptable to eat it more cooked. Making a good steak well done is still considered a waste of good steak in my experience.

I’m another one who loves iced tea. It’s my favorite soft drink by a long shot.

I don’t know anyone who has a tea pot that plugs into the wall; but nearly everyone I know has a coffee pot that does. I have a stove top tea kettle that is not for show; I use it quite a lot for making both hot and iced tea (or I did until Monday when Gish accidentally turned it on empty and burned it). I have been known, however to make tea in the microwave – fill a cup with water, plunk a tea bag in it, microwave for about 2 minutes.

Are microwaves common in other places? What are they used for? My grandparents used theirs exclusively for coffee and tea, my parents could cook darn near anything in one, and Gish never uses one … I am somewhere in between.

…to clarify, I don’t think microwaved tea is all that common. I know my friends who really like tea are slightly aghast at the idea.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 03:23:02 PM by hobish »
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Hushabye

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2010, 03:19:18 PM »

My mum says Americans dont eat alot of lamb. And its expensive. Is this true?


I didn't see this question answered in this thread (my apologies if I'm wrong).

There's an historical reason Americans don't eat much lamb.  Sheep and cattle have different grazing patterns which makes ranching them together difficult.  During the 1800s, some pretty brutal "range wars" took place on the frontier between sheep ranchers and cattle ranchers, and in most cases the cattle ranchers prevailed.

It's too bad, because I adore lamb, but it is expensive.

Thanks for explaining that, BatCity.  I knew that lamb is hard to get over here, I just didn't know why (aside from the fact that I almost exclusively see cattle farms, of course).

marcel

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2010, 03:31:03 PM »
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 03:35:45 PM by marcel »
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Nibsey

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #64 on: November 18, 2010, 03:32:13 PM »
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Mincemeat is made with dried fruit, spice and alcohol it can sometimes have beef seut. You mix all the dry mixture and then add your alcohol of choice and leave it to age. I make mine at halloween to make mince pies at christmas for dessert.

According to wiki

Mincemeat is aged to deepen flavours, activate the preserving effect of alcohol, which over time changes the overall texture of the mixture by breaking down the meat proteins.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2010, 03:37:14 PM by Nibsey »
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hobish

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2010, 03:37:44 PM »
This quote is from another thread, but there is something I have been wondering about.
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it. Personally I find it an awfull custom, and I think a lot of USians think so as well. To take the last name makes sense and is practical (though for practical reasons it shouldn't matter whose last name it is), but I do not see why the first name is also there.
To be clear, over here it is Mr. and Mrs Hislastname
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

I think most Americans would agree that it is not a great custom, and it is definitely outmoded; but that is technically a correct form of address. I will definitely never go by Mrs. Gish Lastname; I agree that it is awful.
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hardia

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2010, 03:42:17 PM »
What exactly is Boxing Day?  Is that when presents are opened?  When the boxes are discarded? When you take the boxes back to the stores because you don't want what's in them? Are there boxes? Yes, I put too much thought into this!

I'm not sure where the name Boxing Day originated from, but it's simply the day after Christmas.  Here in Canada it has become a lot like the Friday after Thanksgiving in the States, with big sales and crazy deals at the stores, but that's a more recent (last 20 years?) development.  In Ontario, where I live, it's a statutory holiday, so most offices and public services are closed, but retail stores, restaurants, etc. are open for business.  In my family it's just an extension of the Christmas holiday -- when I was growing up we saw one side of the family on Christmas day and the other side on Boxing Day.  Oh, and the most important part?  Hot turkey sandwiches for lunch.  Very important.  :)

Some more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_day

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Snowy Owl

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2010, 03:44:06 PM »

What exactly is Boxing Day?  Is that when presents are opened?  When the boxes are discarded? When you take the boxes back to the stores because you don't want what's in them? Are there boxes? Yes, I put too much thought into this!

Are Christmas crackers better in Britain?  The only ones I've seen here have very cheap plastic toys or, more likely, small office supplies, a paper crown, and a silly joke.

Are lingonberries and cloudberries the same thing and what do they taste like?

Boxing Day is 26 December.  It's the day after Christmas Day.  My understanding is that traditionally it was the day that servants and tradesmen were given a box with money in as thanks for their work.  Servants were usually given the day off to visit their families.   That said there are various theories as to the origins of the term.  Nowadays it's a public holiday and most people, to my knowledge, spend it recovering from Christmas, eating up the leftovers and sleeping off the hangover.  It's also traditionally the first day of the post Christmas sales so people often go shopping.  

Christmas crackers in the UK vary, depending on the price.  Some of them are just like the US ones but you can get some with really nice contents (expensive stationery or jewelry) if you're prepared to pay a lot for them.  

Lingonberries and Cloudberries are from the same family and are typically served in Sweden and Norway.  Lingonberries are slightly bitter and tend to be served as a condiment with savoury dishes.  The most typical is meatballs with lingonberry although they're good with venison and gamey meat.  Cloudberries are much sweeter and are usually served as a dessert, sometimes as a mousse or a parfait.  There are also some wonderful chocolates with cloudberry liqueur filling available in Norway and it goes very well in jam.  
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NestHolder

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2010, 03:46:22 PM »
Just to add to what Nibsey said, mincemeat is definitely a dessert kind of thing.  Mince pies are our (British) equivalent of the US's Christmas cookies.  We don't have a tradition of baking enormous arrays of cookies for Christmas (I was Very Impressed when an American friend who was living over here gave me a selection), but mince pies, small (individual) pies filled with the dried fruit+apple+suet (+brandy, optionally) filling are ubiquitous.  Can be served cold, more likely to be served hot, ideally with some brandy butter melting over them.  Shop-bought mince pies occasionally incorporate a blob of brandy butter.

Christmas crackers here can be excellent or rubbish, it depends how much you pay for them.  Marks & Spencer sell very beautiful ones with respectable gifts (earrings, pen, small photo frame, etc); you can get quite a variety, eg themed ones with little china dogs as the gifts, or tiny pipes which can be combined by all the diners to play tunes; but I'm afraid the terrible jokes and the paper crowns are standard with *all* crackers!

It's possible that 'Boxing Day' derives from the traditional 'Christmas box', a gratuity that was given to people who served the household at this time.  I don't know whether it was for live-in domestic servants—I remember instead that my grandma used to give the milkman a 'Christmas box' which was an envelope containing some cash.  A ten-bob note, possibly, though that sounds quite generous.  In the UK, we have both 25th and 26th December as public holidays (actually, that may be different in Scotland, where the New Year is a much bigger deal, I think the Scots get an extra day off to recover from their Hogmanay celebrations).

Luci

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2010, 03:46:51 PM »
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it.
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

We take Mrs. John Smith as a written address, but are never spoken to as John Smith, only Mrs. Smith as a respectful name. It always works fine for me. That discussion is on the envelope thread and as you can notice, things are changing.

I think the Russians used to take the husbands first name feminized.

Nibsey

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2010, 03:51:14 PM »
So I've grasped that

British "biscuits" = American "cookies"
British "crisps" = American "chips"
British "chips" = American "French Fries"

Now someone explain to me what a crumpet is - is that like what Americans call an "English Muffin"?

Oh and British "pudding" - this sometimes seems to be a custard dessert, or something people set on fire?  But then there's "blood pudding" and that's a sausage, right?  Pudding seems to mean a bunch of different things.  Can any Brit clarify?


Sorry I just saw this. Some British people call dessert pudding. Pudding also refers to specific desserts like rice pudding which is this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_pudding

Christmas pudding is this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_pudding
The best I an describe christmas pudding is like a boiled fruit cake which you serve by covering it with brandy and then setting alight.

Blood pudding also called black pudding looks like a thick sausage that you slice up to cook by frying. It's made from blood and spices. There is also white pudding which is exactly the same without the blood.
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Red1979

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2010, 03:52:56 PM »
What the heck is a currant?

And, why does mincemeat pie filling have to sit in the fridge for a few weeks??

Mincemeat is made with dried fruit, spice and alcohol it can sometimes have beef seut. You mix all the dry mixture and then add your alcohol of choice and leave it to age. I make mine at halloween to make mince pies at christmas for dessert.

According to wiki

Mincemeat is aged to deepen flavours, activate the preserving effect of alcohol, which over time changes the overall texture of the mixture by breaking down the meat proteins.

But its a dessert, right?  And the meat is used for some type of chemical reaction?  It just sounds like a fruit pie with meat thrown in. ;-)
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marcel

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2010, 04:01:09 PM »
Apparantly in the US a woman gets,(used to get) her husbands first name as well. Is there any other country that also does it.
Quote
the correct formal address is "Mr. and Mrs. Hisfirst Lastname."

We take Mrs. John Smith as a written address, but are never spoken to as John Smith, only Mrs. Smith as a respectful name. It always works fine for me. That discussion is on the envelope thread and as you can notice, things are changing.

I think the Russians used to take the husbands first name feminized.
I now by now how it is done in the US, the other thread made me curious about other countries, and since there was a discussion on general differences between countries here, I thought I would put it here instead of starting a new thread.
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LTrew

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2010, 04:20:44 PM »
Mincemeat pies and mince pies are the same thing.  They used to have actual meat in them but I don't think many do that anymore. They belong to the range of UK Christmas desserts I won't touch with a ten foot pole - mince pies, Christmas cake, and Christmas pudding - dried fruit and alcohol, blegh! Most of these things are made way before they are to be eaten so they can be bathed in alcohol for weeks.  Then for good measure the Christmas pudding is also bathed in a fiery bath of brandy and served with brandybutter!  Definitely not for teetotaller me!

A continental breakfast can mean vastly different things.  Most of the time there is yogurt, some stewed or fresh fruit maybe, cheeses and cold cuts, bread rolls, butter, some pastries, and cereals.  I stayed in a hotel in Italy in September that had the most amazing breakfast I've ever seen,  it had anything you could think of including bottles of champagne on the table.
A full English breakfast includes some or all of the following - bacon, eggs, sausages, fried mushrooms, fried tomato, fried bread, hashbrowns, black pudding, white pudding, hogs pudding, baked beans, and toast. 
Most of the time it is bacon, eggs, sausage, mushroom, tomato, beans and toast and it is also called a fry up or a fried breakfast.

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Re: Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange
« Reply #74 on: November 18, 2010, 04:24:39 PM »
I didn’t know eating meat rare was a US thing. I have not noticed any trend toward it being more common or acceptable to eat it more cooked. Making a good steak well done is still considered a waste of good steak in my experience.


I'm from (and in) Chicago, but spent a year living in the outskirts of London about 9 years ago.

When I was living in the UK, the ex wanted beef well done.  Then again, he was quite picky, and hardly an example of normal eating habits (the man didn't like garlic, it's no wonder the relationship didn't last!).  I prefer it closer to rare, but I don't know anyone who would make pot roast that way - it's more like stew, it has to be cooked for hours so it gets tender.  A normal roast, though, is definitely better with some pink or red in the middle, in my opinion.  I've seen it done both ways here, DF and I solve the problem by making sure he gets outside slice, and I get inside slices.

We had a microwave when I was living there, but it was mostly used for stuff like heating milk for hot chocolate.  I don't remember if his mum had one.  I have one at home now, but I mostly use it for defrosting and reheating, not for actual cooking.  I went a couple years without one after ours broke, and I think the only reason we have one now is because my mom bought us one for Christmas.  I don't think my brother has one at all, but he's a chef and a foodie, so very particular about his kitchen ;)

I tried a few electric kettles when I moved home from England, but somehow they just weren't the same.  They're really not designed for everyday use here (or maybe it's just because I bought the really cheap ones).  I wouldn't trade in my stovetop kettle, and I use it pretty often, though these days I'm drinking more coffee than tea.  I'm very particular about what goes into my hot beverages, though, especially tea (after living in England) - DF thinks I'm crazy for preferring certain mugs, but I swear it makes a difference.

As others have said, lamb tends to be popular around Easter, and harder to find at other times (and yes, expensive).  I live in an ethnic neighborhood (mixed ethnicities, but not average-American), and we have access to a lot of less common meats and other foods here.  There's a local store that often has seasoned lamb burgers that are really fantastic, and really cheap.

Crumpets are similar to English Muffins, but better.  As someone said upthread, they've got holes in the top and aren't sliced.  You serve them the same way, though - toasted with butter.  They're definitely made here, I know I've seen them in stores, but they're not common and might be harder to find in a smaller city.

Grilling and broiling aren't quite the same, but I suppose it's the best comparison I can make.  Same with scones and biscuits - I really don't think it's a great comparison, but I don't have any better ideas.  Biscuits are someone light and fluffy and dense at the same time, and scones aren't.  The scones I've had here aren't terribly different from the scones I had in England, but the ones in England were more likely to be freshly made - I don't get them here often because I like them warm from the oven, just like I do biscuits (okay, so maybe they are similar ;)).

In a very general sense, class is roughly related to income (when we use terms like working class, middle class, upper class, it's pretty much directly related to income), but there are, of course, exceptions.  From what I've seen, we don't put as much weight on class, though it would be odd to see someone who makes $2,000,000/year hanging out with someone living paycheck to paycheck.

I use the same old dry measure measuring cups for most recipes, because I'm lazy and keep losing the liquid measures, but if I was cooking something that had to be very specific, I'd probably be more careful.  I do have a few mugs that I know are just about 1 cup, and I'll use those in a pinch, if it's something that doesn't need to be measured precisely.  When I was there, I had a couple American measuring cups that I brought along, and I think one or two that I bought there.  I did a lot of baking from American cookbooks, and mixed and matched cups without any problem, but I might have just been lucky.  I don't know any Americans who use stones as a measurement.

I rarely introduce myself by name to anybody who doesn't actually need to know my name.  It must be a tourist thing?

I almost always use butter in recipes that call for shortening or lard.  Mostly out of laziness, because I usually have it in the house and I know I can use the leftovers.  DF is more likely to seek out whatever it specifically says to use (though, I don't think either of us uses recipes that call for lard), because he's not as intuitive a cook, and less willing to take chances.

The breakfasts I've had on the continent are similar in concept to American continental breakfasts, but the specifics are different, just because every country has its own local pastries and meats and fruits.  I think my favorite cold breakfasts were in Amsterdam - best medium boiled eggs I've ever had, tasty bread and sliced meats and fruit and such.  Yum!  As far as English breakfasts go, the baked beans there aren't quite like the baked beans here.  The closest I've found here are Bush's vegetarian baked beans.  Regular American baked beans go better with barbecue than breakfast.

To expand on Guihong's description of taffy, it's chewy and sticky - the pulling process is what gets it that chewiness.

The only thing better than clotted cream is clotted cream ice cream.  Can't get it here, and even clotted cream is hard to find an expensive :(

Marcel, I get the impression that the Mrs. John Smith thing was carried over from England way back when, but I have no idea if it's still common.