Tag Archives: british

UK / US Cuts of Beef

Food, cuts of meat

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November 24, 2013 · 7:49 am

British and U.S. Equivalents

Separated by a common language, sometimes following recipes in the US / UK can prove difficult if you’re apparently not familiar with the ingredients mentioned.  Here is a simple run-down of equivalents that I hope will help.  Please let me know, by leaving a comment below, if you come across any more and I will include them.


Aubergine                                        Eggplant

Beans, Broad                                   Fava Beans

Beans, Soy                                       Edamame

Beef, Flank Steak                           London Broil

Beef, Rump Steak                          Beef, Top Round

Bicarbonate of Soda                      Baking Soda

Caster Sugar                                    Granulated Sugar

Cheese, Emental                            Swiss Cheese

Clotted Cream                                No equivalent  (The closest equivalent to this would be to use stiffly whipped heavy cream)

Coriander                                         Cilantro

Cornflour                                         Cornstarch

Courgette                                         Zucchini

Cream, Clotted                               No equivalent  (The closest equivalent to this would be to use stiffly whipped heavy cream)

Cream, Double                                Heavy Cream

Cream, Single                                  Half and half cream

Cream, Whipping                           No equivalent  (Whipping cream has the consistency of single [half and half] cream but with a higher fat content it can be whipped into peaks)

Digestive Biscuits                          Graham Crackers or similar

Flour, Plain                                     All Purpose Flour

Flour, Strong                                  Bread Flour

Flour, Wholemeal                         Flour, Wholewheat

Gelatine                                            Gelatin

Glucose Syrup                                 Light Corn Syrup

Golden Syrup                                   Corn Syrup

Icing Sugar                                       Confectioners’ Sugar

Madras Curry Powder                     Curry Powder

Mince (meat)                                    Ground meat

Mincemeat (for cakes)                    No equivalent  (A ‘preserve’ or mix of finely chopped fruits like apple, raisins, sultanas and citrus peel, with shreds of suet – often used in ‘Mince Pies’)

Pastry Case                                         Pie Shell

Pine Kernel                                         Pine Nut

Plain Flour                                          All purpose flour

Polenta                                                 Cornmeal

Salad Onion                                         Spring Onion, Scallion

Self-raising flour                                No equivalent  (Substitute All Purpose Flour with a raising agent)

Swede                                                   Rutabega

Tomato Puree                                    Tomato Paste

Vanilla Essence                                  Vanilla Extract

Vegetables:  Beans, Broad                 Fava beans

                              Beans, Soy              Edamame

                               Courgettes             Zucchini

                               Swede                     Rutabaga

Whipping Cream                                Heavy cream  (Whipping cream has the consistency of single (half and half) cream but with a higher fat content can be whipped into peaks)


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‘Pigs in Blankets’

This is a UK favourite at Christmas time and has more or less become an intrinsic part of this special meal.  ‘Pigs in Blankets’ are simply chipolata sausages, wrapped in streaky bacon. 

So easy to prepare, for 8 people you will need:

 8 regular-sized pork chipolata sausages (allow 16 if you’re buying the usual cocktail size Christmas midgets)

8 rashers of streaky bacon strips

Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F / Gas mark 7  (200C for a fan oven, approx 400F)

Put a slice of streaky bacon on a flat surface and stretch and flatten it by gently pulling the back of a knife or palette knife over it.

Take a chipolata and roll the bacon strip around it to make a ‘pig in blanket’.  (If you’re using the mini sausages that are usually around at Christmas you’ll find that half a strip of bacon will do for one little sausage).  Repeat until all sausages are wrapped.

Sprinkle a little sunflower or olive oil in the bottom of a shallow oven proof dish.  Lay the pigs in blankets on top with the loose ends of bacon facing downwards and drizzle a little more oil on top.

Cook in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Drain on kitchen paper if you are concerned about them being too fatty.

Preparing ahead:   On the day before these are needed you can roll the sausages in the bacon and store, covered, in the fridge.

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Filed under Christmas Countdown, Cookery

Definitely Eddie

I feel in the mood for a bit of a giggle.  This is Eddie Izzard from his very funny show ‘Definite Article‘ and here he is talking about the famous experiment with Pavlov’s dogs, except this time applying it to cats. Eddie clearly knows a thing or two about our feline friends:


Filed under media, Smile / Humour, Things to make you smile

French and Saunders: Bideford v Florida

When my husband and I first visited the U.S. with our very young children we stopped one day at a supermarket in Palos Verdes just outside L.A.  I waited outside with our sleepy girls whilst my husband ventured into the shop.  It was the first time he’d been in an American supermarket and just wanted a couple of small cartons of milk for the children to drink and maybe ‘lunch box’ sized treats of packets of dried raisins to eat.  He came a cropper at the first hurdle (the milk).  Here in the UK we have skimmed, semi-skimmed and full fat milk in small cartons of about 230ml (great for those lunch boxes), half litre and litre cartons.  What he saw in that US supermarket was just totally mind-boggling.  There was milk with this, milk with that, milk with this but not that, milk without any of it (except a little bit of this), milk with all of it and the sizes ranged from about 2 litres up to…well I don’t know really, he said they looked like gallon containers.  A lady shopper saw his bewildered face and took pity on him.

‘You look lost’  she said.  ‘Can I help?’

‘I just want milk,’ he replied forlornly.  ‘Ordinary milk, from a cow, that no one has done anything to.’

That was our first experience of American food shopping.  Nowadays, with regular visits under our belt, we’re old hands at it, rarely surprised by the sheer variety, sizings, quantities and even quirkiness of ingredients.  (Although there are notable exceptions still)!

Today, because I’m just not feeling at my pukka best, I went over to YouTube to check out a few comedy videos to brighten my mood.  I came across a French and Saunders sketch that I’ve never seen before and it made me laugh out loud because it’s filled with their usual silliness, comparing the tiny town of Bideford in Devon with life in a gated community in Florida, and because it references our above experiences of the American culture compared to our rather more austere (and sometimes lacking) European ways.  Here it is:


Filed under Home, media, modern life, People watching, Smile / Humour, web memorabilia

Cooking with the seasons – Summer*

Summer BerriesSummer is, of course, the best and easiest season in which to source fresh, locally grown produce.  However while supermarket shelves are heaving under the weight of fresh fruit and vegetables at this time of year, you need to be aware that many are still sourced from way beyond your direct area.  It’s quite possible that there are smaller, local producers selling many of the same products fresh from the fields and this is why I’m a fan of farm shops.  Seek them out and you will often be rewarded with the best fruit and veg money can buy and the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting traders in your own community.  

It may be that supermarket shopping is easier for you and that buying locally produced goods is less of a priority.  Whatever the case, Summertime gives us an enormous variety of fruit, veg, fish and meat which is at its best at this time of year.


Seasonal Vegetables

Artichoke, Asparagus, Aubergine, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Corn-on-the-cob, Courgettes (Zucchini), Fennel, Green beans, Green peas, Herbs (Basil, Chives, Dill, Fenugreek, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme), Jersey New Potatoes, Kiwi Fruit, Marrow (Squash), New Potatoes, Peppers, Rhadishes, Rocket, Runner beans, Salad ingredients, Sorrel, Spring Onions, Spinach, Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips, Watercress

Seasonal Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blackberries, Blackcurrants, Blueberries,   Cherries, Gooseberries, Elderflowers, Loganberries, Melons, Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Raspberries, Redcurrents, Red water melon, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Tayberries,

Seasonal Meat & Game

Lamb, Wood Pigeon

Seasonal Fish

Cod, Clams, Crab, Dover Sole, Grey mullet, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, John Dory, Lemon Sole, Lobster, Mackerel, Pike, Pilchards (Sardines), Plaice, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scottish Squid, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, Trout


*(Seasons and availability of produce obviously varies from country to country depending on geographical location.   This list is primarily based around location in the UK & western Europe).


Filed under Cookery

The heebie geebies

Director Tim Burton is currently applying his considerable talents to Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ – due for release in March 2010.  I actually always found this a rather unsettling story as a child, which is why I’m not a hundred percent sure that I will be rushing out to see this film.  Having had a look at the character and set stills displayed on the IMDb site, it looks as though Tim Burton’s imagination has run rampant again, producing an amazing result … but one which may just give me the heebie geebies.

Alice in Wonderland


Filed under media, Photography, web memorabilia


Do you find that you like Lily Allen’s music, even though you feel you shouldn’t?  Her songs may initially sound simple and juvenile but then you get pulled in by her clever lyrics that are like poetry and that’s it – you’re singing along.  One of my favourites here – such a cheery sounding ditty … until you catch what she’s singing about.  Makes me glad to be living in the boondocks! 

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Filed under media, modern life, People watching, Smile / Humour, web memorabilia

Zero 7

Stop me if you’ve heard this before but you know how sometimes you watch animations and it’s obvious that somehow they were taken from actual film footage?  That’s called ‘rotoscoping’.  It was a technique invented by the great Max Fleischer, creator of a favourite character of mine – Betty Boop.  (He was also the creator of Popeye).  Rotoscoping basically traces the individual frames of  live film footage.  It must be an incredibly laborious task, but then so is all animation.  

Why am I wibbling on about rotoscoping?  Simply because I was looking around You Tube this morning and came across this track that I like by British music duo Zero 7.  The video uses rotoscoping and I find it fascinating to watch the people in this reduced down to single line drawings.  I think you actually notice more of their body language in this simplified state and as an ardent people watcher I find it fascinating.  Great video, great track.

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Filed under media, People watching, web memorabilia

Cadbury's wackiness

Here’s a glass and a half of full cream Cadbury’s wackiness. I particularly love the little girl’s face.  🙂


Filed under media, Things to make you smile