British things Americans might find odd......

yoyobon_gw

Here's a delightful blog you might enjoy !

http://www.lostinthepond.com/2014/01/5-british-food-combinations-americans.html#.XkRp0o7Yqt0


One British breakfast dish which I always find very odd is eggs, bacon served with baked beans and fried tomatoes.

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colleenoz

That seems quite normal to me. I might also have some fried mushrooms and some people also have fried black pudding, which is a kind of blood sausage.

Everything in the blog I would eat, except the chips with curry sauce. (Well, maybe :-) .) I;m not fond of soggy chips. Chips and beef gravy are popular here. I don't mind it if I can dip the chips into the gravy rather than have it poured over the bowl of chips.

I do like the American pancakes with maple syrup and bacon or sausage, but I was brought up eating that. Family and friends here are grossed out by it.

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yoyobon_gw

I personally am not against eating leftovers for breakfast....spaghetti being one of my favorites ! I'm not a big fan of traditional breakfast fare.

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carolyn_ky

I find leftover pie for breakfast preferable to spaghetti!

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colleenoz

I love leftovers for breakfast. Leftover pizza or Chinese food is probably my favourite :-D

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friedag

Could we have kippers for breakfast?
Mummy dear, mummy dear
They got to have 'em in Texas
'Cause everyone's a millionaire.

The above lyrics from the song "Breakfast in America" by the English rock/pop band Supertramp have amused me with their absurdities. People in Texas that I've known are surprised to hear that the English have ever thought 'everyone' in Texas is rich, and Texans say, "Huh? What the hell are kippers?" I didn't know what kippers were, either, until I had 'em in England -- for breakfast! Not bad, I have to admit.

However, I never could get used to bloaters. The fish themselves taste all right, but the name makes them almost indigestible -- in my mind.

I like leftover beef stew for breakfast. After sitting over night in the fridge, when it is reheated it is so much tastier! Mark Twain called that melding of flavors "swamping together." I've called it swamping ever since I was a kid when I first read it in Huckleberry Finn.

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vee_new

I don't think the list above, is meant to be of food eaten only at breakfast! The 'fry-up' as Colleen describes is very common as an all-day meal, especially in pubs and cheaper cafes. The ubiquitous fish and chips, or chips served with curry sauce (yuk) or chips covered in grated cheese (another yuk) are becoming less common as the variety of take-out places . . . .pizza, Thai, Chinese, Indian have largely taken over.

Boiled eggs are a very civilised way to start the day. Yes, served in an egg-cup and eaten with an egg spoon, slightly smaller than a tea-spoon, and kept warm with an egg-cosy; often knitted by an ancient Great Aunt. 'Soldiers' of toast or bread and butter are not compulsory but good to soak up the soft yolk.

Frieda, kippers have become much less common over here as has smoked haddock. The quality and availability of herrings is partly the problem and almost no-one seems to have the time to sit-down at a properly laid table and eat a nourishing meal first thing in the morning.

Over here during the last 30-40 years we have become slaves to the US cereal manufacturers. Whole supermarket isles are dedicated to their sugary, starchy wares. They are all over the TV ads . .. and long gone are the days in which my Father would say "There's more goodness in the cardboard packet." Hence I grew up in a cereal-free house!

I wonder how many of RP'ers grew up with a 'proper' breakfast served by our busy Mothers, or when/if as mothers ourselves we did the same for our children?

I'm just giving my halo a quick polish here as I always provided a 'cooked' brekkie for my kids as my Mother had done for me.

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annpanagain

Vee, I had to check with my D as to what I did for breakfasts around the late 60s, early 70s, when my two were going to school. She replied "Weet-Bix and Rice Bubbles." I think I made porridge in the cooler weather though.

I never had a proper cooking stove for many years as the house originally had a woodburning one when we bought it in 1965. I sold that promptly and bought a small electric appliance that sat on a counter top. It baked and had a top element for two saucepans. It was meant as a temporary measure but I never got around to buying another as it did well enough.

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yoyobon_gw

I only recall having Rice Krispies , Corn Flakes, Shredded Wheat as choices for breakfast. When I could choose my own cereal in a box I liked Corn Pops.

Mom liked to make me soft-boiled eggs which I really enjoyed. Does anyone bother making a soft egg any more ?!

As a side note: In reading books written by British or Australian authors I notice that many words are given an odd little "diminutive" form such as "brekkie" ( see Vee's post above) , "argy ( argument) " ......and more that aren't coming to mind at the moment. This is not common in the US. Or did I miss it !?

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msmeow

Ann, you don't eat pancakes in Australia?! I love pancakes. :) I have a friend who used to put ketchup on them because she doesn't like syrup.

Bon, something I've seen in a lot of British books is a phrase such as, "He set the coffee cup on the side and left the room", or "she saw the vase sitting on the side". What is a "side" in this context?

Donna

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yoyobon_gw

Donna......sideboard ?

re: catsup + pancakes = GAGGING UNCONTROLLABLY

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annpanagain

We certainly do eat pancakes. My Retirement Village is having a Pancake Tuesday event...all welcome!

I would read the "side" as being a small table next to a chair or sofa or the sideboard as a repository for a cup or vase. The text isn't really clear.

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carolyn_ky

My mother cooked breakfast every morning until my father died. He liked meat, so we had a lot of fried ham, bacon, or sausage, eggs, Southern-style biscuits (not cookies, Vee and Ann), and milk gravy. I have never liked soft eggs--can only eat them scrambled with applesauce alongside or now, since discovering Penzey's spices, a mixture called Sunny Paris that has chopped chives in it and is very tasty and good at killing that eggy-ness.

My daughter started school during a time of double sessions due to overcrowded schools (when the boomers were just beginning to be a phenomenom), and they went to school half days. They only got a milk break, and fearing starvation for her, I insisted she eat either a scrambled egg or a small bowl of oatmeal every morning. She still holds it against me, never having liked to eat early in the mornings.

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vee_new

Pancakes only cooked on Shrove Tuesday in this household and while growing up. They were always the big thin ones that filled the whole pan crepe style, not the small ones I think you have in the US. We call those Scotch pancakes and they used to be served as part of a Scottish High Tea; maybe they still are. And that was/is a carbo filled meal loved by us as children when visiting Scotland!

Donna re 'he set the cup on the side' . . . probably means just that he put it to 'one side'. The writer could just as easily said 'He set the cup down' and over here we don't usually say 'set down' but 'put down'; although we do 'set' a table' ie lay a table. It can all become complicated!

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vee_new

Carolyn, over here there is such a growing worry about obesity in children that many schools run 'breakfast clubs' usually for a small charge, where the kids arrive early and are given cereal, toast and juice, which is certainly better than nothing. Also all schools are now required to provide a free cooked healthy school lunch for the first three? years of education. I know the pupils at our small village school enjoy sitting down together to eat and apparently their levels of concentration don't fall during the afternoon. And some of them get to use a knife and fork correctly . . . something that is lacking today a many families/kids eat using their fingers, in front of the TV!

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annpanagain

The small pancakes are called "pikelets" here. You can buy a pack in the supermarket. Eaten hot or cold and spread with honey or butter and jam or sprinkled when hot with lemon juice and sugar.

I made my first lot from crepe mixture and got some comments about the thickness...or lack...from the men in my new Australian family! A kind SiL said that they were special ones!

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vee_new

Annpan, 'pikelet' is used in the English Midlands and North . . . or used to be back in the day.

yoyo , you asked about diminutives of words. Of course I can't think of any off hand for the UK . . but they are used a lot in Australia . . . tinnies, bevvies, frosties (ie cans of beer) stored in an esky to keep cool while waiting for the barbi to heat up followed by a swim in your cossie/budgy smugglers. I don't know how accurate any of the spelling is!

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yoyobon_gw

I wonder how that started? Or is it due to the playful nature of the Aussies ? :0)

The only examples on this side that come to mind are mani and pedi ....short versions of services provided at day spas.

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colleenoz

Australians shorten heaps of words. “O” is also a shortener- “Garbo” (garbage collector), “servo”- service station, “bottle-o”- bottle shop/liquor store, “Damo”- Damien, etc. We also have “Chrissy pressies” around December 25. I think it’s the casualness of the Australian attitude.

I remember being invited to a new friend’s home for pancakes soon after we arrived in Australia. I was very surprised to find the pancakes were large in diameter and thin -no leavening-, and served sprinkled with lemon juice and sugar and rolled up. Fifty years later I still think that’s weird :-D

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annpanagain

Colleen, I put the habit of shortening words down to the heat! Why expend energy on long words and don't open your mouth for too long and let the flies in!

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woodnymph2_gw

Childhood breakfast in Atlanta: My father was quite the fisherman, so I can recall being served fish with scrambled eggs, or better yet, shad roe for breakfast, years ago. I have never liked traditional American breakfast foods: I detest cereals, scrambled eggs, and absolutely hate bacon and toast. So my mother learned early on to prepare for me other foods, such as the sort of meats we might eat at dinner.

It was not until I spent a year living in Paris that I discovered my type of breakfast favorites: strong coffee, fruit, and a croissant. That is still my preference, with yoghurt. I do not have a strong appetite early in the morning.

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yoyobon_gw

LOL.....Ann, that is funny .

Colleen, what you were served 50 years ago sounds more like a crepe, not a pancake which definitely has leavening in the recipe and consequently some loft to it.

yoghurt .....yogurt.....how do you spell it ?

I always use yogurt, no H.

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woodnymph2_gw

Yoyo, I googled your query. It would seem both spellings are correct, depending on where you live. "Yogurt" is the preferred American spelling currently. "Yoghurt" is preferred by those who live outside of North America. I probably picked up my spelling of it when I lived in Europe.

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colleenoz

Yoyo, it certainly was a pancake. British style pancakes are pretty well identical to crepes and have no leavening. Back in the late 60s in Western Australia, British style cooking was the norm unless you had migrated from somewhere else, and the British-descended majority locals tended to eye their food with suspicion.

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Rosefolly

My favorite breakfast is oatmeal with some kind of dried fruit, usually raisins, and recently I have begun adding walnuts, served with skim (nonfat) milk. I actually prefer skim milk. Once a week for a change Tom and I go out for eggs over easy and buttered rye toast. I can eat bigger breakfasts, but if I do my waistline pays the price. Oh, also coffee, lots of coffee.

I do enjoy the British eggs with tomato and beans breakfast when traveling in England or New Zealand, but never do it here at home. Just too much food. And I'm not crazy about pancakes though I do prefer them to waffles which I've never much liked.

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annpanagain

Colleen, I have always made pancakes with self-raising flour, milk and an egg.

Then I saw a TV chef add some heated butter to the mixture, drained from coating the pan and I did that afterwards.

That recipe makes quite good pancakes! What other ingredient would you add for "leavening"?

Has anyone heard of the first pancake in a batch being called "One for the dog"? It is because the first one is a tester for the heat and condition of the pan! I think I have come across this expression but can't remember where.

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vee_new

Annpan 'one for the dog' and pancakes brings back childhood memories of my father attempting to toss the first pancake which missed the pan on the way down . . . falling on the dog's back. Dad tried to scrape it off and was surprised none of us wanted to eat it!

I suppose it was more a case of 'hair of the dog'.

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yoyobon_gw

One of the most delicious pancake recipes I have made is from an Australian recipe I found recently which includes ricotta . It is called Ricotta Hotcakes and also included Honeycomb butter ( which I didn't prepare). It is based on a recipe from Bills in Sydney.

The leavening is from both baking powder and whipped egg whites folded into the batter.

https://grabyourfork.blogspot.com/2008/11/bill-grangers-ricotta-hotcakes.html

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colleenoz

Annpan, I've got old British cookbooks and old Australian books which don't use SR flour for pancakes, they use plain. The only leavening is the egg.

I call the first pancake "the sacrifice to the pancake gods" :-D

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annpanagain

Colleen, that would come out more dense than I would like. I never read any recipe after my first effort at making pikelets, as I mentioned earlier. I just made pancakes as I saw other people do them.

Who gets to eat "the sacrifice" at your place? We had an obliging dog who ate most things but baulked at a plateful of leftover jelly from a birthday party!

She gave me the most pitiful look!

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colleenoz

If I don't eat it, it goes in the bin. Cats don't seem to like pancakes :-D

The pancakes are made very thin, as crepes.

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