Thursday, May 29, 2014

Your father lacks an appreciation of the finer points of bad behavior.

One of the drawbacks of having foreigners raise you in the US is that certain words will never ever ever ever be ok. They will lead to confusion and possibly embarrassment no matter what.

Like saying "tomato." My parents say "to-MAH-to" and not "to-MAY-to." They have always said it that way, so when I try to say "to-may-to," I feel like I sound retarded and the word comes out a weird hybrid of both. So I just avoid saying "tomato" altogether.

"Garage" is also a problem. Mum, who is Irish, says "GA-ridge." Dad, who is English, says "GAH-raahhhhge" (Idk how to spell how he pronounces it; that's the best I can do). Just like with tomato, when I say it, it tends to come out a combo of both parents and the US version.

But I'm getting away from the actual subject of this post.

Biscuits, cookies, scones, crumpets, and a number of other baked things.

If someone asks me if I want a biscuit, I have to think very hard about my answer. (Either way, the answer is usually "YES I WILL TAKE SEVERAL BISCUITS," but I like to know what I'm about to receive beforehand.)

If Mum or Dad offers me a biscuit, I will receive a biscuit:

None of my relatives have ever offered me a cookie. Because it's not a cookie; it's a biscuit.

But then if someone in Cracker Barrel offered me biscuits [and gravy], I would also reply with yes, and I would receive this:

I have lost count of the number of times I have had to explain this to visiting relatives.

Then in college, there was the Great Biscuit vs. Scone Debate.

My roommates very much enjoyed my cooking and baking. They were also fascinated with all the "foreign" recipes I prepared (like soft-boiled eggs; seriously idk how anyone could survive childhood without soft-boiled eggs and soldiers).

One time, my roommate asked me to bake her some scones. So I baked her some delicious scones, and presented them to her with jam, and tea.

And she was like "what the f*ck are those"

She claimed that I had made her biscuits, not scones. Then she tried to explain that  these weird triangle things are scones.

I don't know what the heck those are, but they are not scones.

They're delicious, though. I've gotten quite good at making them.

I made a colour-coded chart to make all of this food confusion a bit easier:

Also if anyone's interested, I am on my second round of [stronger] antibiotics because the first ones didn't work, and I also have a nice big grocery list of other prescriptions to pick up later. Apparently, I have contracted some kind of plague. 


  1. Those are not scones this is madness I don't know what to think right now. I have a really good American friend and we have had several long chats about biscuits. In the end she got what I meant when she introduced me to Graham Crackers. Apparently that's what yanks call chocolate biscuits. It took far longer for her to explain what Americans mean when they say biscuit though.

  2. Now I am completely confused!

  3. Ha, ha, Utahn's think a piece of fry bread is a "scone".....and don't EVER try to convince them otherwise. Sigh.

  4. you know I used to want to move to Europe until I realized that American biscuits can only be had in America
    "... I think you want a crumpet" LOL

  5. I tend to mentally categorize scones as "triangle biscuits with sweet things in/on them" so that part actually works for me lol. How did I not know your dad was British? I only knew you were of Irish descent. It's like I don't even know you?! Ehhh I guess I kind of don't xD Teh Internet makes for strange relationships. As for "crumpet" I have always believed that is not a real word and thus cannot possibly refer to any actual food. I'll stick with my English muffins (sourdough, please).

  6. We eat a lot of soft boiled eggs here. Never knew they were British...or Irish. I'm very impressed with your baking. I pretty much suck at it, except for pies.

  7. All of that looks delicious, by any name. Except scones, too dry for my taste (although that's probably b/c my aunt was a horrible baker and ruined scones for me)

    I got a sense of these cultural variances (and the British spelling of words like 'colour') from my ex-gf. Her mum was British and her Dad was Irish, and she lived in Canada where everything was a bit British. Not certain what they call their pastries up there but their candy was definitely different. Smarties aren't the tart little things they are here; they're more like M & M's I think.

    1. SMARTIES ARE DELICIOUS. Especially the orange ones, they have a hint of orange flavour. I'm so glad I was raised on foreign candy, because it left me unable to enjoy American candy. Hershey's is nasty. Like how the eff do you screw up chocolate.

  8. One of the things that amuses me is learning how different countries/cultures have different terminologies! I still to this day have no idea what a "crumpet" is and I have yet to learn what the English call an American biscuit. But I have recently learned in Australia that "root" is a (possible rude) slang term for coitus!

    Cracker Barrel is one of the only places my family eats when we actually leave the house together (mainly because it's my grandmother's favorite place). I thought it was more common in the South where I'm from but I guess they're all over the US. I told one of my foreign friends about it- she laughed and asked if it was a derogatory terms for a "white person's restaurant". I laughed as well because I never thought of it that way!

    1. Holy Cracerker Barrel, i can't think about that place without wanting to puke....not because of the food, but because my husband had to work there, 2 nights a week, after teaching everyday.....UGH!

    2. Lol I could live in Cracker Barrel and eat there forever. Which wouldn't be long, because if I ate there for every meal every day, I would likely be dead of a heart attack in less than a week.....

  9. Yasssss! Smarties! Digestives! Rich Tea Biscuits! Real Scones for Afternoon Tea! Long live the British commonwealth! Jelly babies! Real Cadbury's chocolate! mars bars! Sigh. Nostalgia.

    I use English pronunciations but my spellings are now American for the most part, mostly because people kept "correcting" my spelling when there was absolutely nothing wrong with it and I got fed up. I still sometimes find myself saying trousers and everyone being like " you said trousers". Also crisps versus chips!


      And wtf they're fecking trousers, it's everyone else who's wrong. Pants are your knickers.

  10. Sorry about the plague by the way :(

  11. I live in the US (though I am a walking nation unto myself) and have absolutely no clue what a scone is, no matter what country presents it. You could place a carrot in front of me and tell me to enjoy the scone, and I would.
    But you can't let these cross-continental regionalisms bother you, because there are crazy differences between states. What do you use at supermarkets, a "shopping cart" or a "buggy" or do you murder a hobo because that's how you represent the idea of a cart? And then there's cola/soda/coke/pop issue. If you can't achieve intercontinental agreement, what chance does international agreement have?
    Can we all just agree that's it not okay to call cigarettes "fags"?

  12. Ha we americans are dumb. Just pat our heads ^_^
    Where I live the biggesst yelling happens over soda vs pop.
    Sorry about the Plague. I guess regular viruses are afraid of you


We say whatever we want to whomever we want, at all times.