Sunday 31 January 2010

Lost in translation

I realise I had done my 'new recipe of the week' with the Rocky Road but I woke this morning in the mood for some serious cooking. I've been craving some of the old recipes my mum used to cook when I was growing up so yesterday bought the ingredients for Lancashire Hot Pot. It's cooking at the moment and I can almost taste the succulent lamb, the texture of the pearl barley, the softness of the carrots and those gorgeous crisp slices of potato. I digress! So as that takes 2 hours to cook, I decided to use the top oven for some baking. I had seen Robyn's son Andrew making something that looked delicious here in the post 'One thing I miss' and we all know how great the Americans are at cookies don't we? Us Brits can't compare, so I thought I would give Robyn's recipe a whirl and have a go making a few minor adjustments along the way.
Firstly I had the problem of translation. How can two countries who speak the same language have so many differences?! Over here we are brainwashed into exact measurements and those of an advanced age such as myself (ahem, you don't HAVE to agree with that!) not only had to learn one set of imperial measurements when we were growing up, when we got into our teenage years we had to learn again with metric. (Hands up if you remember 'Granny gets the point' on TV? A public information advert to help learn decimal currency. No one? Just me? Oh my goodness I'm older than I thought) So anyway, the Americans use cups. How easy must that be? No need for scales. Good old Google, directed me to a '' programme and I had my translation. And of course America still uses the imperial scale of liquid - no litres in sight! Then of course there are some ingredients that I don't think I've ever seen in Tesco or Sainsburys or Waitrose: Canola oil? Is a Canola anything like a Sunflower? I had to hope for the best! The temperature seemed awfully high at 375 degrees, until I realised that in the US they use Fahrenheit not Centigrade.
Now at this point I have to say that when it comes to a tidy kitchen, young Andrew could teach me a thing or two. I am officially messier than a four year old. Chocolate mixture over me, the work top, and the kitchen towel. I decided to go for a larger, flatter cookie shape as in our family that seems to be most popular. Plus my daughter prefers a less dark chocolate so I was probably more frugal on the chocolate front. But you know what, these are some pretty tasty cookies. Don't take my word for it, pop over to Robyn's and have a look!


Sian said...

I've just come from Robyn's and can confirm they look delicious! I have a SIL from California who has bought me some great cookery books, so I had to just give in and buy some cup measures. Have you heard of "evoo"..took me ages to realise it actually means "extra virgin olive oil"

scrappyjacky said...

Have exactly the same problem...I always use imperial measures when I'd think US recipes should be easy as they also use imperial...but no, it's a whole new language.
Must go and check out this recipe nonetheless.
Can't remember the last time we had hotpot...but can now definately smell it!

Maria Ontiveros said...

There's some kind of sugar in the UK recipes that I still don't know how to translate . . . can't even remember what it's called anymore. Will have to look.

humel said...

lol!! I know just what you mean :-) I usually just make it up as I go along.... (And it's usually OK!)

Amy said...

Yummo Deb! Actually you got me salivating with the savoury dish - I'm more of a savoury girl when it all boils down, sweets are good as well though - oh, who am I kidding? I love food!
I have the same problem with conversions - 250g is a cup or closest equivalent I can find for our measurements. Sunflower and canola can be interchanged - well, I do!