Sunday, December 30, 2012

New World English


~~~My treacle/fruit/wonderloaf~~~

I had to learn a brand new English when I began to live in Canada. I think I've basically assimilated now but for a while I was completely lost. Pinafores and jumpers (jumpers and sweaters here) just the starting course. Don't even talk culottes and bonnets and boots.

It has taken me a while but I'm still tripped up now and again. There should be a dictionary.

I was baking a loaf last night and remembered my mother doing much the same thing. Her saviour in Ireland for baking cakes was grease-proof paper. You lined your cake pans with it. When I came here first and wanted to bake I couldn't believe grease-proof paper was nowhere to be seen racking the grocery shelves as I did, asking store managers who viewed me as deranged. They had never heard of such a thing and guided me to the wax paper. Well, I used it but it just didn't have the, let's say detachment, of the stoic old greaseproof. It often wound up strangling cakes and breads and it kinda turned me off baking as it left an icky taste where the paper touched the mix.

Imagine my surprise when I was at a friend's a few years back and she was baking a cake and she had greaseproof!!! I just about screamed in excitement. I picked up the box. It was called "parchment paper". Parchment!! Lawdy lawd. I couldn't wait.

Now I bake a lot of the time with this lovely parchment. I wish I'd known sooner. And I can also use treacle again - now that I know it's called molasses here.


30 comments:

  1. in my case it helped that English wasn't my mother tongue when i moved here...the biggest thing was spices, but a lot of times the french ended up being close to German (written anyway)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Was the greaseproof brown in colour? We no longer have the old type of our young days - great for tracing maps!! ;)

    Here these days we have a choice, but watch the price:
    Greasproof 20m £1.50 & Unbleached Non-stick Baking paper 8M £1.05. The both look and feel exactly the same.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I use parchment paper all the time.
    Makes my bread and cakes turn out
    of pan perfectly.
    Enjoy this day
    very cold here by the woods
    but all is well....

    ReplyDelete
  4. Now that I am temporarily in Houston, I find myself constantly lost for words and saying, "I don't know what it's called." I go into long descriptions of whatever word I am trying to say and hope I find some understanding but it is a frustrating business. Mostly I translate directly out of Dutch and hope that works well enough. I never knew I liked speaking Dutch so much. My mouth and my tongue are made for it. xox

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, I'm American and I never knew one could use parchment paper to prevent breads from sticking. I butter and flour the bottom and sides of the pans as needed. Who knew? It took someone from Canada, by way of Ireland, to tell me how to use parchment paper, even though I have known the name of it all my life. Too funny!

    ReplyDelete
  6. CC12:
    Yes, that would have helped. A lot.
    "Knock you up" was a classic. In Ireland that was "I'll wake you" here it meant "I'll get you pregnant". You can imagine the hysteria this caused!!
    There were hundreds of such faux pas.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  7. GM:
    You remember whereof I speak!!The non-stick sounds like a hit!
    Here there is also ricepaper which is wonderful for delicate cakes but enormously expensive.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  8. Irene:
    You're getting a bit of a taste of what I went through when we emigrated here.
    It is so difficult to find the words, I still use "spanner" here and have completey deleted the Canadian equivalent which causes no end of questioning with the handymen I've had. Try and describe that without an obscene connotation coming in to the picture!!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  9. Mel:
    I come from the school of flour and butter only working occasionaly!
    Oh you are going to LOVE parchment paper. I never had a fail yet.
    I laughed at the meandering route it took to your doorstep!
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  10. Before I got to the end of your post, I was going to recommend parchment paper, but I see I was scooped. Glad you found out about it, though! It's also good for making a packet to cook seafood in.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There should be a glossary of English-to-English translations for just such difficulties as this. I'm delighted you finally found the Canadian version of greaseproof, WWW.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Parchment paper? Whoever would have guessed? But strange that none of the store managers knew what you were referring to....

    ReplyDelete
  13. SAW:

    Well thanks for that hint, lovely lady! Never thought of it.

    BUT did you know that wrapping salmon in tinfoil, butter, dill and lemon juice and running it through the dishwasher cycle cooks it perfectly???

    Thought not!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  14. Stan:

    There are literally hundreds of such examples, yes a glossary'd help. Maybe I should create one?

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  15. Nick:

    They were Canayjuns, what would you expect? None of my Old World English words mean anything to them.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  16. There's parchment paper in my kitchen drawer - now for that loaf cake recipe! Please?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pauline, I only have it in hard copy, I will type up and post.
    XO
    WWW
    PS it is very flexible also which I love.

    ReplyDelete
  18. First off---what Pauline said! I've been on the Irish-English to American English roller coaster for 42 years now and still sometimes get tangled up. I loved playing tennis when I was young, and in Ireland we'd have a "knock up" to warm up before we'd start a game. Well, that caused some raised eyebrows when a co-worker of my husband's invited me to play! Then there's "tom-ay-to" and "tom-ah-to!" There's the "boot" instead of the "trunk," the "cooker" instead of the "oven," chips and crisps and biscuits, and dozens of other linguistic tripping hazards I can't think of at the minute! It would almost have been simpler to have had to learn a new language....

    I only recently figured out that parchment paper is the equivalent of our mothers' grease proof paper, wax paper being a very poor relation!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Molly:
    I'm so glad I'm not alone in the parchment department!!
    I remember one time shopping for a countertop cooking surface and no one understood me. I found out the word was "range" which was what we called the Aga. Foreign language indeed. Not to mention petrol, etc.
    And going back to Ireland has its own linguistic pitfalls for the "yank".
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  20. Ah yes! I remember trying to explain the delights of greaseproof paper to Himself once or twice and getting blank stares.

    I'm still coming across new USA/English translations, and there are some I do know already but will just never warm to - such as faucet for tap.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This summer we met an exchange student from New Zealand who referred to what we call a cooler for beverages as a chilly bin.
    When the wife makes christmas cakes she lines the pans with plain brown paper. and wax paper together.

    ReplyDelete
  22. T:
    LOL! Well now you know what to call it.
    I remember "washroom" causing me consternation at first. Where's the toilet? I wanted to ask, but didn't dare.
    And I found "do you need the washroom?" Enormously offensive at first. (I needed cleaning? - the nerve!)
    And "restrooms" in the US had me totally confused, though pleased that you guys thought I needed one.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  23. GFB:
    Introduce her to parchment!!
    I love the way Kiwis talk, almost in poetry sometimes.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  24. OWJ:
    I just fished you out of the dark watery depths of spam. Blogger does not wish to know you are NOT spam. I will continue to resuscitate!!

    I wish I'd known you when I first starting hunting the greaseproof!!

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  25. Of course I forgot the most famous one of all---offering someone a "ride!" When all you meant was to be charitable and offer them a "lift" in your car when they were without transportation---Oh Lordy!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Can anyone tell me what freezer paper is?? See it in lots of sewing pattern things and haven't a scooby what it is over here in Ireland ...

    ReplyDelete
  27. I seem to remember asking my parents to get parchment paper but was told it was too expensive for my baking and elbow grease and shortening would have to do.....lol

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh Molly that is so funny I had forgotten when I offered a fellow on a ferry boat on Lake Ontario a ride and he asked me did my husband know? (Husband was 6'5")
    LOL LOL.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  29. Fiona:
    I think greaseproof would do the job. Freezer paper has a shiny side and a rough side and is not transparent at all.
    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
  30. Orla:
    What nasty people your parents were. I hope I never run into them as for sure they'd have a piece of my mind! :)

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete

Some of you are having trouble, I've removed captcha and verification so we'll see how that goes. My apologies. Blogger is putting up far too many roadblocks. Thanks for the emails alerting me.
wisewebwomanatgmail.com