First the whine.... Well, the end of the whine, at least. In case no one noticed, I was absent for a while. My last blog was a rather half-hearted attempt at Picture Perfect what seems like an age ago. Looking at that photo and the one I have here makes me want to toss the camera or at least let someone else take over the shutter. The last photo's excuse is that it is a very old scanned in photo. This photo has no excuse, but it still illustrates the point.
I was having a chat with a friend last night when I needed to pop off to the kitchen to deal with the cheese. It was one of those meals. I thawed what I thought was stewing beef, but, once thawed, it turned out to be mince, or what some of you call ground beef or hamburger. Where on earth does that come from anyway?? No connection at all. This brings me around to the point of this blog.... words.
A Brazilianism for you... They don't grate cheese here. Some of you would call that shredded cheese. Cheese is offered whole or sliced, more often sliced. I prefer sprinkling grated cheese on my food. One place that I found did 'grated' cheese, actually minced the cheese..... erm... what some of you would call 'ground', as in the 'ground beef'. Ever seen minced cheese? It looks like worms. Seriously not appetising.... but back to the words thing...
While having this rather confusing conversation, I came to the conclusion that British English, South African English and American English are three different languages. In South Africa, we speak British English, for the most part, though there's a healthy addition of localisms that would confuse the best of you. For us, for example, a traffic light is called a 'robot'. Words like 'bakkie', 'biltong', 'boerewors', and 'lekker' abound. The Americans take the prize though.
The cheese I have photographed is, what I would call, 'grated'. Americans call it shredded. I use a grater to grate cheese. The grater slices off slivers of cheese. Shredding is a different process, to my knowledge. Our cat shreds paper. I think she'd make a mess of cheese, if caught on a fussy day when she deems cheese inappropriate for diet. Then there's the mince, or 'ground beef'. I don't know about you, but I grind pepper and other spices, either in a grinder or with a pestle and mortar, or we grind flour in a mill. Grinding beef would be rather hard to do. We won't go down the hamburger route. According to Webster's Random House, 'hamburger' is ground or chopped beef. 'Chopped'? That would take forever! I tried to understand... honestly I did. I looked up 'grind' and found no beef. How is your... uh... finely processed beef actually processed? Is it processed with an odd-looking machine with a funnel thing at the top and holes in the front, producing, dare I say, 'meat worms'? Now before I'm accused of word prejudice, Webster's Random House is American, giving British 'alternatives'. 'Mince' according to Webster's is also, finely chopped. Ah.... I give up! I'm not one to mince my words.... Gee... that was bad... Bad, bad pun..... really bad... *slinks off again*