Thursday, August 9, 2007

Stranger in a strange land

So it's been three years since I moved to the US and, largely, I feel I know my way around; traffic comes from the right, to relieve yourself you ask for the restrooms and if someone says they like your pants a "costume malfunction" has not (necessarily) occurred. However, occasionally things still throw me, normally involving activities I don't do often. Like baking a cake. I have a recipe. I have a shopping cart. How hard can it be? Eggs, no problem. Flour, no problem. Caster sugar... ah. No where to be seen. When I ask a friendly shop assistant he looks blank and asks me what exactly that is. Well, really, I don't know! It's called caster sugar and goes into cakes. I know no more. A phone call to a friend results in the question 'isn't it just finally ground sugar?'. It's a better guess than mine and the packet for that had a carrot cake recipe on the back. Near enough. Then we hit 'mixed spices'. These don't exist either, but hey, I've got some nutmeg and cinnamon. I'm sure that'll do. Finally we run up against sultanas and glacier cherries. Are sultanas different from golden raisins? I thought they looked near enough. I then cornered some dried cherries which I'm sure will make do - at the very least, they are the right fruit. The contents of all the above is now in the oven. As for the eating... I'm taking it to a pot luck which is strangely appropriate.

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