American vegetables

  • Book almost done - 500 Baby and Toddler Foods

    oooh this is really scary, I've just sent back my final editorial comments on my new book, 500 Baby and Toddler Foods, so that could be it, has the fat lady sung?   I'm not sure, but it does feel a little odd not waiting for another chapter full of editorial comments to sort, or to translate into American-speak.

    I didn't really appreciate just how different a language American is to English, it could be Japanese really.  Trying to translate all the measurements to cups - why can't you lovely Americans use scales? Even is you do use scales then it's back to old fashioned pounds and ounces.  I've spent the past 10 years converting myself to grams.  My brain hurts with this.

    I must admit I did have a bit of a rant over email with my lovely American Editor, Cary, as she changed my wording of 'how to check if the muffins are done by inserting a skewer into the centre, if it comes out clean then they are ready.' to 'check for "doneness"' is that a word?  It's the sort of word i'd pull my children up pdq, but is that an acceptable Americanism?  I'm really not sure.  Poor Cary, she had an earful for that one and my rant on the use of proper English, she won though after all she is American and ought to be able to speak the lingo.

    Different types of sugar is another one, apparently you can't get Demerara or Muscovado sugar in the US and raspberries are very hard to get hold of and extremely expensive, what else?  Ah yes, the 6 email debate on what sort of oats to use for oatcakes.  We use oatmeal, apparently oatmeal in America is our rolled oats.  Anyway after lots of emails I gave up and changed the recipe to:

    'quick oats, place in a food processor and process to a powder' it was either than or give up and take out the recipe, I refuse to give up.

    The idea with these recipes is that they are all written to make life easy for a new Mum, no phaffing around, no measuring how much pepper, it's either one pepper or half a pepper and making sufficient to either feed the family the same food or freeze the rest for another meal.

    The other thing is - giant veg.  Apparently they have massive butternut squash that make ours look like baby vegetables, these squash would win the big veg prize at every country fair so that was interesting trying to make butternut squash quantities easy to work out.

    Scones - so cheesy scone pizza, scones don't exist over the pond, they are called biscuits, biscuits are called cookies and they are soft, if they are hard it is assumed that they are stale and are thrown away, out went my Oat Crunchies recipes, home made Hob Nobs are obviously inedible.  Crisps are Chips, boy that was confusing, homemade chicken nuggets with oven baked chips bashed up on the outside, hmm, not really the concept I was trying to get at.

    Please don't be offended if you are American reading this, I'm just trying to get the point across that we seem to speak the same language but really it's very, very different.  One thing I'm really impressed about, Americans call spring onions by the proper name, Scallions.  We call them scallions in the North East and no one down South has a clue what I'm on about, that's one part of the language I come together with the US - YES!

    Turnips too, down South they're called Swedes, sorry chaps, Swedes are people who live in Sweden and it's really mean to call them vegetables.  Turnips are the purple skinned orange fleshed root vegetable, I used to make turnip lanterns out of these at Halloween, pumpkins were foreign in North Yorkshire and i didn't even see one until I moved to London, always thought they were an invention of Disney. Down here you guys refer to turnips as being the little miniature rot veg that are white and green on the outside with white flesh - these are called Snowballs.  You can't make turnip lanterns out of those, they are way too small.

    So getting back to the point, I think the books done, just waiting to see the photos, very exciting, roll on August.

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