Things peculiar to North America


Graham crackers are slightly sweet (sometimes flavoured with a bit of cinnamon) whole-wheat biscuits. In Australia, you can substitute shredded wheatmeal biscuits. In England, use digestive biscuits.

There are four sticks of butter to a pound, so one stick is a quarter of a pound, or 114 grams.

[Speaker to Minerals:] A bundt pan is like a tube pan (you know, the kind you make angels-food cake in), except instead of being smooth, the sides are scalloped. An ordinary tube pan should make an acceptable substitute.

[Merrigold:] "What he said!" says Merry. "Basically, any pan that's shaped sort of like a doughnut (ie. ring-shaped with a hole in the centre) should be ok. The Bundt pans just look a little fancier than an angel-cake pan does. I'd guess that the pan should be about 12 or 14 inches across, and the sides of the pan should be fairly high, maybe six inches. If you don't have a ring shaped cake pan, a more normal cake pan will work, but I'd be careful to check it while it's cooking, in case differences in thickness affect cooking time."

[Mary:] ``a tube pan, I think, is a cake tin with a tube in the middle so the cake comes out as a ring, not solid. A torus?'' Mary looks for a mathematician around to check with. ``Ignatz? A torus is a donut without the jam, isn't it? I don't have one, I find a cake tin with an empty baked bean tin in the middle and pouring the mix in carefully works fine. Angel's food cake is a very light fluffy cake - use 90% cornflour to get the texture''

[Nicarra:] Baking chocolate (also called unsweetened chocolate) is a chocolate made with no sugar at all. It is unavailable in Australia. Do not substitute cooking chocolate - this has sugar in it. If a recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate, the following substitution can usually be made safely: Three tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa to one of vegetable oil equals one square (one ounce) of baking chocolate. Semisweet chocolate is more like the dark chocolates available in Australia. Use any dark chocolate. Dark cooking chocolate is just fine. Milk chocolate is too sweet, don't use that.

[Nicarra:] Oh dear, this one is complicated. Scallions (US) == green onions (US) == shallots (Oz) != shallots (US). In other words, green onions, scallions and Australian shallots are pretty much the same thing. But there is another vegetable called shallot in the US which is similar in growth patterns to garlic (I think this is the same thing that you would find in France under this name, but I could be wrong.) Fortunately, almost no one actually uses the shallot (US) and so you probably don't have to worry about this one (unless you get a couple of gourmet recipes.)

[kitten:] corn meal is corn ground fine... it is coarser than wheat flour but finer than oatmeal... used much the same way as regular flour...

[Nicarra:] Now this one is a very tough question. Jalapenos are small but very hot peppers. To substitute, you could use canned jalapenos (they may be available in stores there, I forget.) you can use some other sort of hot pepper (you may well have to add more peppers then the recipe calls for), or you can sprinkle ground chili (I know this spice can be found there) in the dish to taste. Be warned that all of these methods are sort of guess how much heat each adds and how much heat you can stand. If you should happen to hit a recipe that calls for ancho/poblano peppers, there is no substitute. These are mild, flavourful and slightly hot peppers. Neither capsicums nor regular hot peppers can be used. I solved this problem last year by growing my own peppers. :--)

Bisquick is self-rising flour with oil/shortening added already. Here is a recipe for making your own, due to Martin Golding from (used without his knowledge/permission - I tried mailing him but got bounced. If anyone can contact Martin, I'd be grateful.).


[I'm reasonably sure this is or is based on a Swiftening's recipe]

2 cups shortening 9 cups sifted flour 1 Tbspn. salt 4 Tbspn. baking powder 1 Kitchenaid K5 (optional) [an electric food mixer, I presume. - DM]

Mix dry ingredients, then cut in shortening until it resembles corn meal. If you're using a Kitchenaid, use the whip and the splash cover. Store away from air and bugs (we put it back in the flour tins. Tupperware probably works.).

Martin Golding Real cooks make hollandaise over medium heat.

** Random hints and tips for cooking novices **

(More thanks to Nicarra)

Trick for measuring butter. To measure a 1/4 cup of butter, start with a

glass measuring cup. Fill cup with cold water until it reaches the 1/2 cup

mark. Now add butter until the water level reaches the 3/4 cup mark.

If a recipe calls for self-rising flour you can substitute

1 cup plain flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

per cup of self-rising flour called for.

Never ever substitute self-rising flour into a recipe that calls for yeast.

Weird things may well happen with two different leavening agents in one bread.

Categories Cookbook, Guide to strange names

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