Monday, June 25, 2007

Anyone for Flapjacks?

I always thought I spoke English until I lived overseas. Mind you, outside the US I’d only lived in Kenya and Cyprus -- which, like America, are both former British colonies -- before moving to the Mother Land (which was inevitable, I suppose).

Anyway, over the years I’ve learned that -- among the English -- what we call pants are really trousers, not underwear. A sweater is a jumper, unless it buttons up, in which case it’s a cardigan. An undershirt is a vest, and a vest is a waistcoat. A bathing suit is a costume.

The trunk of a car is the boot, the hood is the bonnet, the windshield is the windscreen and the turn signal is the indicator. A truck is a lorry, and an RV is a caravan. Gasoline is petrol. A detour is a diversion. The highway is the motorway, unless it’s a divided highway in which case it’s a dual carriageway. An overpass is a flyover, the sidewalk is the pavement and a place where pedestrians have the right-of-way is a zebra (rhymes with Deborah) crossing.

A vacation is a holiday.

Soccer, as everyone knows, is football. Baseball and cricket are not the same thing. Nor are football and rugby.

An apartment is a flat. A duplex is semi-detached. An elevator is a lift. The first floor is the ground floor, the second floor is the first and so on. The bathroom is the toilet, not necessarily a room with a bathtub in it. Your bottom is your bum, and a fanny is… You don’t even want to know.

A shopping cart is a trolley. A stroller is a pushchair. A pacifier is a dummy. A diaper is a nappy, and a nap is a sleep (often taken in the pushchair while Mummy walks to the shops). A crib is a cot.

Q-tips are ear buds, Kleenex is tissue and Saran wrap is cling film.

Chips are crisps, and French fries are chips. A cookie is a biscuit, a biscuit is a scone and a cracker is something you pull at Christmas that makes a bang and has a paper crown, a toy and a joke inside.

An eggplant is an aubergine, a zucchini is a courgette, a bell pepper is a capsicum and a scallion is a spring onion. Coriander is cilantro. Arugula is rocket.

Fish sticks are fish fingers. A sausage is a banger. Ground meat is mince. Mincemeat is actually not meat at all but chopped, dried fruit. Oatmeal is porridge.

Dessert is pudding, and pudding is custard. A popsicle is an ice lolly. Cotton candy is candy floss, and candy is a sweet. Powdered sugar is icing sugar. A cupcake is a fairy cake. Jell-O is jelly, and jelly is jam.

Now, there are whole shelves of books ennumerating the differences between the English and American languages and cultures, so this list is just for fun and by no means exhaustive. My point is, when we moved here, silly me, I thought I’d heard them all.

But then I learned about flapjacks! Of course, at first I assumed they were pancakes (wrong: pancakes are crépes), which explains why I was so confused when a Mum friend from church offered to bring some to a playdate at our house.

Come to find out, flapjacks are like homemade granola bars, and they’re usually the first thing British children learn how to make (a healthier alternative to Rice Krispie Treats).

Jack and I made flapjacks today, since it was cold and rainy outside. He wouldn’t try them when Kat brought them over that day last fall, but since helping his teacher make them at nursery school one day, he’s become a huge fan.

Here’s the recipe if you’re in the mood for a simple, tasty treat:

Flapjacks from Kat

Preheat oven to 325F/160C.
Grease a pie plate or 9x9 baking pan (or tin, if you’re British)
Stir together over low heat until just melted:
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 full Tbs. golden syrup (or Karo syrup, if you’re American)

Pour melted mixture into:
1-1/2 cups rolled oats/porridge oats
pinch salt
handful raisins

Mix well and press into baking pan/tin until even. Bake for 20 minutes.
Mark into portions while still hot. Remove from pan/tin when cool.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FWIW has a book sale this week.Thought it might be of interest.