Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lost In Translation

I try so hard to like cooking. I really want to be a good cook. But I'm lousy at it, I can't make anything decent and the other day I actually felt rage brewing inside me when I realised I'd have to make dinner (I know, I know, I need help...any information on self help groups for people with kitchen rage would be greatly appreciated).

Photo source

The thing I hate most about it is when I can't figure out what the ingredients are. This is usually because its an American recipe and we Australians have different words for different things.

Summer from Sublime Happiness (a very cute and funny blog that you should definitely check out) wrote about buying a bacon and egg biscuit from Macca's. In Australia, a biscuit is a cookie like thing, like an Oreo (an Oreo is the only cookie I can think of that American's would know). I can't imagine sticking bacon, egg and cheese in between 2 cookies so I'm thinking that a biscuit means something else over there. I've also heard in an American TV show before about sopping up gravy with biscuits and at the time I thought it sounded really disgusting.

So I asked Summer to explain what it was. She told me and it sounded yummy so I looked on the internet for recipes thinking I could try to make my own. I was going to brave the kitchen, make these biscuit things that nobody I know has ever eaten before and I was going to take lots of pictures to put on this blog so everybody would be really proud that I managed to bake such good looking and delicious biscuits. Of course by now you have probably realised that it didn't quite work out that way since I am obviously being sarcastic.

The first step in the recipe says to sift all the dry ingredients together. That doesn't sound at all hard except they don't tell you what the dry ingredients are!

Next it says to add the shortening. WTH? If we have shortening here, I have never heard of it. I don't know if we call it something else or if it is called shortening here and I've just been walking past it in the supermarket every week for my entire life, totally oblivious to its existence.

The next step is to add the buttermilk. Yes I have heard of buttermilk I'm just not sure where to get it from. Is it with the normal milk? Is this another item that has not crossed my radar?

This is just all too hard. The kitchen will not be getting a visit from me today...


  1. Bless your heart Kerree! You made an attempt to make biscuits (like plain scones (no sugar) in England)! Biscuits, here in America, are regionally different. I have a recipe I could post for you on my blog and I could tell you what to do, if you wanted.
    Here's a link for shortening.
    You can usually (not always) substitute room temperature/soft butter for shortening, like in the biscuit recipe.
    Buttermilk is a thick milk that's slightly sour. You can use regular milk as a sub, just lower the amount a little because it's less thick. You could substitute cream/whipping cream for the buttermilk. I do that sometimes.
    Usually the dry ingredients are flour, salt, baking soda or baking powder just so you know, in case you give it ago again.
    Where do I live? I live in Northern Alabama. We are near (20+miles from) NASA's Huntsville installation on Red Stone Arsenal, so it's not all country bumpkins like people assume. Our house is 50 years old, needs some cosmetic work, which we are working on, but it's more than we could afford to buy in Atlanta, GA, where we used to live.
    I'm a little envious of your large brood of children. I have just the one and we've been trying for a while to have more. I bet it can be daunting though can't it?

  2. I found a recipe for's metric too, just in case. It's even got a photo of the finished product. I'm tempted by this one.
    Don't give up on the baking yet Kerree!

  3. LOL. You and I are kindred spirits when it comes to cooking. I've been doing it for most of my life but I still hate it. Every now and then something actually comes out right, just the way I planned! and I stand there stunned. lol. An amusing read. You had me laughing. Good luck!

  4. LOL, you can get buttermilk at an American supermarket...but I don't know about where you are!

  5. You are just too cute! Shortening is Crisco. And buttermilk can usually be found in the milk aisle (it's definitely NOT the same as real milk). Are you from AU and living here?

  6. The thought of sopping up gravy with Oreos has me laughing out loud! Thanks for brightening up my day! :)