Wednesday, February 28, 2018

English, Books,

Denise of My Life in Retirement, set me off thinking more about the English language. There is a heck of a lot of difference between Northern and Southern England and many of the names they use for things are quite different. Denise mentioned a bridie, very northern and virtually the same thing in Cornwall becomes a Cornish Pasty or even, locally, an oggie. Matt's dad came from the north and had lots of words I had never heard of such as cuddy for a pony, klarts for mud, cracket for a 3 legged stool. He had been in the south long enough to
Cornish Pasty
lose a lot of his accent, but if he wanted to he could really turn it on and was quite incomprehensible to us poor southerners. I remember my first husband saying he worked for 3 years with a guy from Newcastle and still didn't know what he was saying. I presume they would find us just as difficult to understand. Then of course there is Welsh, Irish and Scottish all of which have their own accents as well as speaking the Gaelic. I have heard people say the Irish use the punt as currency, no they use the pound (or did) but the way they pronounced it, it sounded like punt. Although, compared to the Americas, The British Isles is a very tiny area, it has also been inhabited for a very long time and also overrun by various peoples up until 1066 which was the last time Britain was invaded. However, all these people brought their own languages which affected what was spoken. I always remember that in the first chapter or so of Ivanhoe, two characters were discussing how animals changed their name from when they were alive to when they were presented at table. Meaning they were called by their Saxon names whilst being herded but by the French names on the table. Swine to porc is one example. I don't have a copy of Ivanhoe (I used to once) any more so can't check.

Talking of Ivanhoe, I realised the other day I have some books such as The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll and the same of Milton which were given to me as a child in 1950 or so and were printed even earlier. Checking it out I actually have quite a few old books, but I had forgotten about them over the years. I am wondering if they have any value. They are not, of course, old enough to have any real value, but there might be some. I have since heard from the bookstore and one thing they specify is dust covers! I don't even remember if they had dust covers, they sure don't now.  So I guess that's the end of that.

So I had to give you a recipe for Cornish Pasty - mind you I buy them in a Scottish Bakery in the next town over. Had a couple for supper tonight, very good.

Hairy Bikers' Cornish Pasty

Cornish pasty is a treat that everyone loves! This classic Cornish pastry recipe is a traditional bake that's great for using up leftovers and takes no time at all. The Hairy Bikers' delicious Cornish pastry recipe, which is from their brilliant 'Food Tour of Britain' TV show is warming, filling and delicious. Learn how to make your own pastry and fill with the traditional Cornish filling with this easy-to-make recipe. Perfect for picnics, parties or just a nice lunch with the family. This recipe makes 6 Cornish pasties and will take around 1hr and 10 mins to prepare and cook. This hearty classic is sure to become a family favourite and keep everyone happy and full when it comes to eating them. If you
have any leftover pasties, leave to cool thoroughly and then store wrapped in clingfilm in the fridge.

450 g plain flour
2 tso baking powder
1 ts[ salt
125 g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
125 ml cold water

Cornish pasty filling:
450 g potato, finely diced
150 g swede, finely diced
150 g onion, finely chopped
300 g beef skirt, finely chopped
Salt and black pepper
1 tbs Plain Flour
40 g butter
1 egg, beaten

1. To make the pastry: Place the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and egg yolks into a food processor and blitz until the mixture forms crumbs. Slowly add the water until a ball of pastry miraculously appears - you may not need all the water. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and leave it to chill in the fridge for an hour.

2. To prepare the Cornish pasty filling: Preheat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4). Roll out the pastry to the thickness you like, but be careful not to tear it. Using a dinner plate as a template, cut out 6 discs of pastry.

3. Season the vegetables separately with salt and black pepper. Put the beef into a bowl and mix with the flour and some salt and pepper. Place some potatoes, swede, onions and beef on one half of the circle, leaving a gap round the edge. Dot with butter. Brush around the perimeter of the pastry circle with the beaten egg, then fold the pastry over the vegetables and meat and seal firmly. Starting at one side, crimp the edges over to form a sealed D-shaped pasty. Brush the whole pasty with beaten egg, then make a steam hole in the centre with a sharp knife.

4. Repeat to make the other pasties. Put the pasties in the oven and cook for 50 mins until they are crispy and golden and the filling is cooked through. Leave them to rest for 5-10 mins before eating.

Servings: 6

Source: Hairy Bikers

Have a great day


  1. I should do a post about language. I watch a lot of BBC shows and there are times I cannot understand the pronunciation of a word or a phrase. Even backing up the video and listening again, I often miss it.

    1. Don't feel bad Denise, I have the same trouble these days. It's all very well making your shows realistic but if you are going to sell them overseas, the buyers have to be able to understand.

  2. Good luck understanding anyone who speaks the Welsh language.

    1. Ah, but do you mean the Welsh language or English spoken with a Welsh accent Alex? If you don't speak the Gaelic you are out of luck with their own language, but the Welsh accent is not so difficult (if you live in the UK that is).

  3. Hi Jo - language is so interesting and how it develops. I remember your pork and pig reference from my post on the Vikings and the spread and usage of language from when they stayed on in Britain.

    Pasty - I think the crimping should be on the top - not a D ... but that's from my mother and her friends and relatives - all west Cornish ...

    I can't understand Canadian ... and they can't understand me!!

    Cheers Hilary

    1. Yes, it really stuck in my mind Hilary. There were several references to different animals but I don't remember it all.

      You are right, the crimping on the top is usual, and I did post one pic of it correctly made, but the HB recipe seems to be on the side doesn't it?

      That's odd, I thought BC was supposed to be very English sounding. Like Winnie said, 2 nations divided by a common language although of course he meant the States.

  4. There are so many dialects and accents here in the USA too. Some of those alligator hunter and moonshiner reality shows need subtitles for the people w/ super thick southern and/or cajun accents.

    1. So true JoJo, probably read it from me before, but we golfed with a real local once in NC, spent 4-5 hours with him and I never did understand a word he said.

  5. We have differences in Australia too. For example, depending on what state you live in, swimming togs can be called cossies, bathers, swim suits or togs.

    1. I'm sure you do Pinky. I came across a couple once, in North Carolina, and asked if they were English, no, they were Australian. They didn't sound remotely like I expect Australians to sound. They didn't talk Strine!!!