Friday, January 20, 2012

Questions For American Readers!

Amy and I were talking over lunch recently, discussing some American things that are a mystery to us Irish!  Ha!  Sure we could "google" these things, but we thought it might be more fun to ask you all.  So please dear American ladies, would you be so kind as to enlighten us?

  • What actually are "grits" and what are they used for?
  • What is celebrated on Labour Day?
  • What we call jam, you call jelly.  So what do you call jelly
  •  Is a corn dog made from corn?  If not what are they made from?
  • Is an American "biscuit" the same as a scone?  If not then what it the difference?  When would you eat one (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and what with?
    Thanking You All Kindly In Advance! :)


      Zsuzsanna said...


      - Grits is like farina, except it's from corn, not wheat. Can bee cooked in water or milk for breakfast.

      - Labor Day is a socialist holiday, pushed through by the unions.

      - Jam: contains the whole fruit. Jelly: usually made from only the fruit juice.

      - a corn dog is a hot dog on a stick, dipped in a corn-based batter and then deep fried. Yes, it is as gross and unhealthy as it sounds!

      - biscuits are quick breads, much like scones, except that scones here are usually sweet, while biscuits are neutral and could be served as a side to soup, or spread with butter and jam for breakfast.

      Twinkle Toes said...

      Isn't if funny how things are different even in the same language?! :D

      Grits are ground corn, usually hominy I believe. They are used for a breakfast dish mainly. At least that's what I always hear them as. It's kind of like a mush, but people use lots of different toppings. Butter & cheese, fruit, sugar, syrup, etc..

      Labor Day... We "celebrate" people who labor. I really don't think most people really celebrate much of anything on that day anymore. It's just a day off work or school and a three day weekend. (Cynical me, most holiday's aren't really understood or celebrated by people anymore, just another day off for fun)

      My non-expert opinion on the jam/jelly thing is, if it's got chunks and is thicker it's jam. Jelly is slightly thinner and doesn't have any chunks or seeds in it. But I personally call both jelly.

      A corn dog is made from a hot dog with cornmeal baked or fried on the outside of it. Yummy, but not super healthy :)

      A biscuit isn't the same thing as a scone exactly. I think a scone is more dessert like? Generally a biscuit is made of flour, baking powder, salt and milk. They're generally a breakfast or dinner food. Plain as a side for dinner, with maybe butter & honey or jelly. Breakfast with gravy or as a breakfast sandwich with egg and bacon or sausage.

      I may not be right on all those, but that is my "opinion" on them :D I'll be interested to see others thoughts!

      Anonymous said...

      What actually are "grits" and what are they used for?

      Grits are corn that is ground up and then made in an oatmeal like fashion. In some areas it's a breakfast only dish. But the south has it's own take and will often use it with many meals. However, it's traditionally a breakfast dish used often with eggs on the side.

      What is celebrated on Labour Day?

      Labor day is basically the celebration of the working man. I wish it was fancier than that, but it's not much. Oh, you can get into how it's the socioeconomic contribrution, yadda, yadda. But it boils down to celebrating working. Leave it to us to celebrate working by taking the day off, eh.

      What we call jam, you call jelly. So what do you call jelly?

      We also have jam. We have preserves, jam, fruit spread, and jelly. The picture you posted is what we would call gelatin. Jello is the biggest maker of flavored gelatin so most would actually call it Jello.

      Is a corn dog made from corn? If not what are they made from?

      A corn dog is a hot dog, put onto a stick, then dipped in a corn batter and deep fried. Yes, it clogs your arteries on contact, but oh, oh so good with mustard. If you want a REALLY bad for you but good corn dog, you will visit a fair, circus, or theme park. They seem to have the best. Hehehe.

      Is an American "biscuit" the same as a scone? If not then what it the difference? When would you eat one (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and what with?

      Bisquits are usually a breakfast food eaten with butter and jelly (preserves, jam, fruit spread). However, down south we love buisquits and gravy (cream gravy is usually the gravy for that type of meal). There isn't a lot of different (other than cosmetic - shape, look, etc).

      Scones, from my experience, do tend to be a bit sweeter in flavor. I don't eat scones for breakfast but more as a treat.

      sarah in the woods said...

      Well, this is a fun little post.
      *Grits are dried, coarsely ground corn. You add water and simmer, kind of like cooking oatmeal. You cat eat it with butter and salt or add cheese.
      *Labor Day is a celebration of workers and people get the day of from work.
      *What you call jelly, we call jello.
      *A corn dog is a hot dog on a stick that has been dipped in cornbread batter and fried.
      *A biscuit is like a scone, but they're never sweet, and they're always round. They are supposed to be light and fluffy and buttery, and you can eat them anytime. Biscuits and sausage gravy or biscuit sandwiches or as a side of bread are all common ways to eat biscuits.

      Erin said...

      Grits are a southern treat and are hard to explain. They are made of corn, it's white, is best when there are clumps in it, lots of butter (or coconut oil), brown sugar, or fruit taste good in it. It's chewy so if you don't like texture, you wouldn't enjoy it.
      Labor Day is to celebrate the worker. Everyone gets the the day off of work. And schools up north, usually start school after Labor Day.
      The jam/jelly thing was confusing for my children when we lived in Ireland. Jelly seems to be thinner.
      Good question on the corn dog. They are covered, dipped and cooked, in cornmeal. So the hot dog is underneath that, all on a stick.
      Biscuit's aren't the same, they're most similar to your buns. We eat them w/meals, breakfast or dinner. Or, in the south, biscuits and gravy (white sauce w/sausage in it) over the top is super yummy. If it's a side for lunch or dinner, then they're great w/butter, honey or jelly.
      Hope that helps.

      Diana J. said...

      Grits - boiled cornmeal, served with butter. Usually in the south. It's better than it sounds!

      Labour Day - I believe it celebrates the common worker.... that is, the labor force. Good question.

      American jam - has pulp or seeds. American jelly - strained, has no pulp or seeds.

      Corn dog - a hot dog dipped in a cornbread batter and deep fried, served with usual condiments for a hot dog. Haven't had one since I was a kid!

      American biscuit - Nope, not the same as a scone. They're usually made of white flour, a fat such as shortening or butter, and leavening (baking powder) and salt, then mixed and spooned for drop biscuits or kneaded and cut for rolled biscuits.


      Diana J. said...

      Oops, forgot to finish the last question. A biscuit is eaten with breakfast (with sausage gravy, or with butter and jam), or at dinner as a basic side-accompaniment to the meal.

      His bondservant said...

      So funny how things are perplexing to us from one place to another. Even here in America…many northerners don't care for "grits"…it's a southern thing! And biscuits are definitely not the same thing as scones. And here in the south…we eat them ANYTIME!

      Anonymous said...

      Ah, but Diane, what we eat with supper/dinner is usually called a roll is a tad bit different than a bisquit...if you want to get techincal. HEhehe.

      Chelle said...

      Grits- are cornmeal that you fix with hot water and sugar. mainly a southern dish. Kinda like oatmeal.

      Labor day- I'm not sure why we have that. We have alot of holidays. I think people just want the day off, so the goverment said ok.

      Jam and jelly- jelly is made from the juice of the fruit with lots of sugar, our jam has seeds and all the fruit. We also call it preserves.

      Corn Dog- is a hot dog on a stick dipped in cornmeal batter and fried. They are very good but not good for you.

      Biscuit/scone- Are not the same. They are not real sweet. They are made of flour, water, salt , shorting, and a little sugar. They are very good especially with gravy on them. Like sausage or chipped beef.

      Hope this is a help to you. This has been fun. I'm sure there are many things that are the same. I'm not sure what a scone is , but I had a friend tell me they were sweet.

      Nicole said...

      I live in America and have NO IDEA what grits are! Always heard "grits" but never knew what they were, thought they were a southern thang, and I am a Mainer:) Haha!

      Everyone did a great job explaining everything else so I wont do the same, I will just add that corn dogs are disgusting :)

      Elizabeth said...

      What they all said. But I love this post. It reminds me of when I asked you what a jumper was a while back...cus surely your husband wasn't wearing a dress!

      Elizabeth said...

      Oh, and has a purebred southern American who, in 33 years, has only been out of the south twice (and even then, only of you count the area just outside Kentucky: Southernmost Ohio as Yankee territory), I will say that grits are WOOOOONDERFUL!!!!

      Sarah said...

      Elizabeth ~ Haha, I remember the "jumper" incident! That week I had a few "anon" commenters asking me about my cross-dressing husband!?!! *eye-roll*

      There seems to be a bit of a divide here, on the scone/biscuit debate! Ha! Maybe I'll just make a batch some day and see what the difference is.

      Corn dogs sound totally gross! I actually think I've seen something similar when we lived in Australia...though I think they called it a pluto-dog, or something like that! I always avoided them! ;)

      And finally, as for "Grits", the way you all described, it sounds yummy! Perhaps though someone should rename them? "Grits" sounds...well, kind of gritty! Ha! Maybe one day I'll get to try some! :)

      Thank you all so much for your comments...this was brilliant!!! :)

      Humble wife said...

      I may be late to this discussion, but I live in southern New Mexico on the border of Mexico. To be honest, I have never eaten or seen grits.

      Our diet is a good deal closer to Mexican or Tex Mex. We rarely eat biscuits either.

      Interesting questions. In the US I find it interesting the word soda. Depending on where you live depends on what you call your carbonated fizzy drink. Some call it soda, pop, soda-pop, and coke.

      I called it pop, my husband called it soda, and here in NM it is soda pop. Cracks me up!

      Take Care


      Stellar said...

      Darn!! I was going to answer this, but everyone else beat me to it!

      I drive a station wagon, but I hear that in the UK/Ireland/Europe, people call them "estate cars." Is this true?

      Zsuzsanna said...

      Ha, the jumper question reminded me of a funny story from when I first moved to the US (I had been here for about 6 months at the time).

      The church we were going to threw a "maternity" shower for me when I was first pregnant with Solomon. This was a shower to give the expectant mom some maternity clothes. Because I was going to be pregnant during the summer, many of the items I received were maternity summer dresses.

      My mother-in-law (who is super nice and kind) suggested that since they were sheer, I would need to make sure to wear a slip underneath, and that I would need to find a maternity one.

      Well, where I came from, and from my previous use of British English, a "slip" was underwear (as in, underpants). I knew that being fairly newly saved I still had some funny habits and ideas, but I was a bit surprised to think my mother-in-law had doubts as to whether or not I would find it necessary to wear underwear under slightly sheer summer dresses... :)

      Sarah said...

      Jennifer ~ Ha! Thank you for your comment! We call it "pop" here too! :)

      Stellar ~ Are you talking about a car with 7 person capacity? If yes, then people in Ireland would call it a "people-carrier", or a "7-seater". Never heard of an "estate car"!

      Zsuzsanna ~ Hahahaha! Your last sentence cracked me up!!!

      Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

      LOL - some of these are yummy and some are not!

      Grits are a southern thing {I live in the northern part of the US} so I actually have no idea what they are made of. They are pretty tasteless unless you add honey, then they aren't so bad :)

      Labor Day is a day to remember the blue color worker. Public schools generally start the next day.

      Jam has berry chunks and is thicker than Jelly.

      A corn dog is a hot dog that has corn meal baked around it. It's not bad, but again, not my favorite.

      A scone and a biscuit are different, but I can't think of how to describe the difference! Scones are generally a breakfast food; biscuits are served all day.

      Ruth inEngland said...

      In the UK an "estate car" is a car with a large boot ("trunk" I think...) of the sort where you could see over the back seats into it. No parcel shelf. Or maybe you don't call it a parcel shelf either??

      Elizabeth said...

      I gotta get back in on this ;-)

      Where I live, all manner of "pop" is a Coke. Doesn't matter what brand, taste, color, or content differences there may be.

      "Hey, do you want a Coke?"
      "What kind?"
      "Think I'll have a Sprite."

      Yeah, pretty silly. But that's just how it is. But really, most people here would choose sweet tea: Black tea, to which is added sugar (too much usually imo. Sometimes 2 cups per gallon). The tea is served cold typically over ice and sometimes with lemon.

      As for corn dogs, why all the corn dog hate? :-) I think it's like most other things where premade, store bought is gross and homemade is awesome. To have my favorite sausage (not a hot dog...or at the least a kosher hot dog) on a stick and wrapped in my favorite corn bread recipe and then dunked in mustard just sounds great by me. To each his own, I guess :-D