Saturday, 15 July 2017

There IS a difference...this time it's food....

Did you know that Mr Dunnit and I were recently in the United States? I'm sorry to go on. Actually, I'm not really.I hope my observations aren't too boring for you; I'm not offended if you choose not to plough through them, honestly!  we spent time with my sister in Eagle, Idaho. And we did a road trip to visit places -we drove from Eagle, to Twin Falls, then to Salt Lake City, then Kanab, then Flagstaff. We turned around after a couple nights in Flagstaff and went back to Eagle via Page and Orem.  There's so much to say, and frankly, putting these observations on my Blog will help me enormously in five years time when I start the scrapbook pages. I want to point out some differences in our cultural is one:
Of course, breakfast is the first thing...the bacon comes with the pancakes....I re-jigged it for eating purposes. I had heard of, but not tasted the maple syrup-on-bacon-pancakes thing. I didn't care for it, but it didn't stop me re-arranging the combination. Best ever - a breakfast that includes a pudding! Whilst we toured, we ate huge breakfasts at a variety of roadside diners. Where possible we chose independent word they were amazing. Every one of them was a potential film set!
'At home' in Idaho, Billiam was concerned that we try all the traditions and so this is the famous 'biscuits and gravy'. I know it looks like mushrooms, but it's actually quite highly herby and peppery sausage in the gravy. The 'biscuits' are rather like savoury scones, slightly less doughy perhaps. For five days I enjoyed coffee with 'Half and Half' in it. Then my sister told me it wasn't half fat milk it was half full milk and half cream. No wonder I liked it.
Biscuits and gravy, courtesy of  Billiam, chef of the day.
Most of the eating out was done on our road trip. At 'home' in Eagle, we did home stuff and ate home food. As you do!  It took me a few days to get used to the way that a server will clear the plates of anyone that's finished. Here, it's considered rude to clear until the last person has finished. In the States, not so. I lost the last few bites of several meals until I cottoned on and spoke up for myself! It's politely done, the most common phrase is 'let me get that empty tableware out of your way', which is very nice. I was always left eating on my own, I'm very slow. I talk too much.
The best Milkshake I've ever had..a cup full of soft ice cream swirled with huckleberries.

Very noticeably, Americans eat a lot of cheese. And they know their cheeses. Wherever we ate, there was cheese. Every sandwich, 'enhanced' with a slice of Emmental or Gouda or Swiss something or matter what other contents were between the slices of bread. Of course, burgers - Feta was very popular on burgers in Boise. Parmesan by the bucket load, added to hot chips (very nice), sprinkled over salads, and an addition to pizza, but ironically to us, not offered when we actually had a Bolognese. Of course, Macaroni Cheese appears on menus in Diners and five star restaurants alike...sometimes called different things, but Mac and Cheese it was. At Boise airport there were two places to eat and neither of them had a single savoury item on the menu that didn't include cheese. Largely the cheese is an addition that over here, we wouldn't have thought of, or noticed the lack of. For someone that can take or leave it, it became a bit of a habit to ask 'hold the cheese'!

And that really is a huge difference that was immediately obvious. 'Hold the cheese', 'add such and such', 'put the whatever on the side'. Massive menus that are then manipulated to suit the eater. It must drive the kitchen and washing up staff absolutely crackers. Didn't seem that way though. Nothing seemed too much trouble, to be honest.
Well, actually, one thing did. Getting a drink. Alcohol. I know and was expecting the rules to change from State to State, and I know in particular that in Utah it is less 'easy' to drink than other States. But we were a bit surprised when turned away from a restaurant-bar in Utah because I had no photo ID. We wanted a beer and a steak - we had been able to smell the grill from down the street. They couldn't let us in without ID even when we promised not to try to order drinks. Wow. Wasn't expecting any exceptions; rules is rules.  And yet, somehow, at 52.11 and 56.5 years old, it did seem a bit silly. Especially as the next night, we went to a ballgame (Go Bees!) and managed to buy a couple of beers without so much as a whisper about age or ID. Mind you - it was expensive enough to probably prevent under-age drinkers from even trying. EIGHT dollars, and it wasn't even a pint! I have no pictures, but I do have the plastic glass, one of my more expensive tacky souvenirs!

And finally, I have completely and utterly won the prize. Solved the puzzle. Got an answer. Our American cousins eat fruit with their savoury 'main meals' because....there's never room for pudding!
I can't count the number of meals I had that turned up and included a fruit salad. We were invited to supper at a friend's and enjoyed beautifully grilled steak with a strawberry and blueberry salad. Absolutely delish. And for once in the whole trip..just once, my eyes weren't bigger than my belly.

Since Blogger last updated, I'm struggling with basic editorial, font sizes, alignment, picture placing.....anyone else?
These two lines of text really illustrate it!


Kyla said...

Ah the yanks and food....such huge portions too! Never thought of them as a lover of fine learn something every day!
Glad you had a spiffing time.

Kyla said...

Ah the yanks and food....such huge portions too! Never thought of them as a lover of fine learn something every day!
Glad you had a spiffing time.

Annie said...

When we went to USA we took our son then aged 8 with us and he is allergic to peanuts!!.....a nightmare for us cos so much contained nuts or is cooked in nut oil. The sizes of portions was another thing and that they pile everything onto none plate to eat wonder I was easily able to buy larger lady items of clothing over ther....I actually felt rather slim over there 😂😂😂😂
So glad you had a great time. They say 'have a good day' everywhere you go and really mean it.
Annie x

shazsilverwolf said...

Well, the I.D. bit made me laugh! We hear about huge portion sizes, I'd never get to the end of one. Cheese with everything- who knew? Love & hugs, Shaz.xx

Sylvia/LittleTreasures said...

i am far away from home visiting glad you had fun is USA.. I found out to
day we have a cousin moving to Eagle Idaho...small world. i will be back home end of July and return to WOYWW I will need lots of sleep!!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Welcome to MY world, dear Julia. I don't care for bacon on pancakes, but I really LOVE biscuits and gravy. I tried to make them once, but it was a disaster.

By the way, now I understand why none of my T Stands For Tuesday group who live outside the states knows what 1/2 and 1/2 is. It's the ONLY way I drink my coffee. That 2% or lower milk stuff just doesn't cut it.

Like you, I"m a very slow eater. I've said before I couldn't even eat a Tic Tac in 10 minutes. I've had to speak up before and tell the waitress I've not finished, but most of the time I just ask for a take-out box (doggy bag) and eat the rest at home at my leisure.

In KS, you can't buy alcohol with your food unless you are a member of a private club. In fact, I think most private clubs don't serve very good food. It's like the Moose Lodge and places like that (I have no idea what Moose is, but it's a fraternal organization of some sort).

I really enjoyed your take on the U.S. eating habits. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of diners, but I do love mom and pop restaurants.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I forgot to mention, I've had trouble with my font size changing after I added an icon to my post. It is frustrating and no amount of deleting and trying something different seems to help.

okienurse said...

Glad you liked the breakfasts cause they are my least favorite...and you are right the cheese is everywhere and on everything....I like simple foods and a drink...with alcohol so I probably wouldn't do so well in the area where you were at. Are you glad you are back home?

okienurse said...

I am trying to figure that one out Elizabeth cause I have been to a lot of places in KS and have never had issues. Is it just around where you live?

Helen said...

I love your food review... the milkshake sound gorgeous... I haven't noticed any issues with blogger (long may it continue!)

Kathyk said...

So, NOW we know about the whole sweet/savoury plate sharing!! Splendid post and it sounds like you had SUCH a great time


Chrissie said...

You just gotta love it!
It's the differences that make life fun!

Christine said...

Food reviews are always good in my opinion.
Glad you mentioned the Blogger takeover! My ocd absolutely hates the way Blogger is dictating my font size and colour, it's driving me nuts.

Christine said...

Food reviews are always good in my opinion.
Glad you mentioned the Blogger takeover! My ocd absolutely hates the way Blogger is dictating my font size and colour, it's driving me nuts.

Lynne Mizera said...

What a lovely, newsy and mouth-watering post! I cannot believe you were so close to me and I totally MISSED you!! (I am located in Canada, but only 15 minutes from the Idaho border and I would have absolutely made the nine hour drive to Boise to give you a HUG!) And everything you wrote about American restaurant cuisine is so truuuuue- including how good it all tastes!! I am loving these "sharing posts" of yours... make MORE!! (Hugs)

Lindart said...

It was fun reading your reactions to the food in the US, much the same as here in Canada, although we do have Poutine - french fries with gravy and cheese curds on top! I never really knew things such as you don't put maple syrup on pancakes - what do you put on pancakes? And cheese - I thought cheese was big in Europe, although maybe not the same way as we use it. "Pudding" I assume is dessert, for us it's a once in awhile decadent treat! I was actually happy when your font got big - my old eyes have a hard time with small fonts! Thanks for sharing! Lindart

Cheetarah said...

Good to read you had a great time in the States, Julia! We were also very surprised on how HUGE the portions are when we visit the states... one is enough to share for two or three at times. And it would seem that breakfast is their best meal. The best we had was at Dottie's True Blue cafe in San Fransisco, a local favorite and people lined up for brekkie at 6am... the jet lag we had came into our favor there :) xo Cheetarah

Lynn Holland said...

I always remember the breakfasts being our favourite meals when we got married in Miami. In fact when I think about it I can't remember what else we ate apart from some mahoosive steaks.
I like to think of my blog as a diary and love to look back on stuff. I'm amazed how long I've been jumping on the desk with you haha xx

Nikki said...

The states and their huge plates of food so many choices and as a person who has worked in a restaurant. If you think your a fussy eater serve those who have been working in a restaurant we alter the menu like it's an Olympic sport lol and the road stop diners are my favorites to stop into can't believe you got carded and turned away at a bar Wow hugs Nikki

505whimsygirl said...

Hello Julia,

Very interesting reading. I'm really surprised that the steakhouse wouldn't even let you in the establishment without an id. I also hadn't thought of cheese being on everything - or almost everything.

What a great way to keep memories (posting on the blog) and be able to look back on trips. I'll have to keep that in mind!!


Neet said...

Love the ID story. What a hoot! Bet you didn't find it funny though at the time.
Love the 'biscuits' over there - cannot get enough of them and my friend's sister has given me a recipe so I can make my own over here. Now where did I put it?
Sounds like you had a good time eating - go on, how much weight did you put on - I usually put on loads.
Hugs, Neet xx

Hazel said...

Just seen your comment on mine, Julia about the sorting and labelling having to have an elastic timeline ... there has been already ... since we moved in here over 18 months ago ... although to be fair there were lots of other things to sort first, craft had to come last ... I'll get there ... soon - lol! It's good to be back on WOYWW. xx

Carmen Wing said...

I'm hungry now. Devvie would be in Heaven with all that cheese. Thank you for the biscuit explanation, I often read about them in American fiction and often wondered what they were - had thought they were maybe like cobbler topping.

As for the line spacing, the only way I have been able to fix it is to go into the html side of things. Where it has centred rather than aligned to the right you search for that bit of code and change where it says "centre" to "align left". If you do want to centre something in html make sure at the end of the code you type /centre and put it inside the pointy brackets at the end of your code - that switches it off so your next bit of text goes back to being aligned to the left. Also where it's putting a massive space is because it's added a load of extra code basically telling it to space down. You just delete the extra code. I'm not an expert this is just what I've picked up through blogging and reading and watching a crap load of free tutorials over the years - some of it sticks :)

Carmen Wing said...

I literally just finished my Rocking Friday post for tomorrow and one of my positives is dusting off the html and relearning it again :D I know, weirdo. You don't have to tell me ;)