American/Canadian Dictionary Part Deux

It's already happened twice and we've only been down here in Mesa for about five weeks. What the heck am I talking about? The differences between Americans and Canadians. We look alike, we walk alike, but we sure don't talk alike! You may want to refresh your memory by rereading my post here. In a nutshell, most of the people we hang around with here in the park are from Canada. Every year I learn a new word or two from our neighbors north of us.

Recently a friend of mine from back in Illinois called and asked me to try and find a toy called a "Zhu Zhu Pet". It seems that they are the latest craze, and are of course, all sold out everywhere. They are on all the kids' wish lists, my friend's granddaughter's included. I told her that I'd look for the item down here. My Canadian friend, Lenore, mentioned to me that she was going to Walmart, so I relayed the information about the toy. I spelled it out for her. We continued talking; then upon departing Lenore said, "Okay, so it's spelled 'Zed-h-u Zed-h-u'".

I looked at her totally baffled and said, "HUH?"

Lenore laughed and replied, "Oh, that's right! YOU say 'ZEE' and WE say 'ZED'".

I see. But they don't say "ZEDBRA". They say "ZEBRA". Go figure. Anyway, I guess there are two schools of thought on how to teach the kids in school to say their abc's. Some schools say the letter "zee"; others say "zed". Now you know.

Not only have there been word differences between the two countries; but also food. For instance, chili. A group of us women were talking one day and one asked me, "What do you eat with your chili?"

"What do you mean? We eat ours in a bowl."

She replied. "We serve our chili over rice."

What? Why? I did ask other Canadians, and that seemed to be more of a Western Canadian tradition. As far as I know, Americans eat their chili in a bowl,

photo courtesy of food porn

unless they're spreading it over a hot dog or something!

photo courtesy of keithaque

So last night we were invited over to Pat and Bob's place. Pat told me earlier that she had made turkey soup and "matrimonial cake" for dessert.

All of us Americans drew a blank.

"You don't know what matrimonial cake is?" Pat asked increduously.

"No," I admitted.

Pat turned to Vivian and said to her, "THEY don't know what matrimonial cake is!"

"Well, what IS it?" Norma asked.

Pat described the ingredients, which included dates, oats, and flour.

"Oh," Norma said. "Date bars."

"No. It's a cake."

Whatever. It's made in a pan, you cut it into squares, or bars. Call it what you want. It's very popular in Canada.

Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/4 c. rolled oats
1 3/4 c. flour
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
1 c. butter
1 tsp. soda
Grated rind of 1 lemon

Mix ingredients as for pie. Put half of mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch baking pan. Spread with date filling. Put remaining crumb mixture over date filling, pressing it down lightly.


1 1/2 c. dates, chopped fine
1/4 c. brown sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
Enough water to cover dates

Bring to boil; simmer until thick and of spreading consistency. Cool before spreading on cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

While looking up recipes for matrimonial cake, I stumbled across this site. It's called Canadian Cuisine. It has everything you've ever wanted to know about Canadian food. So whenever one of my friends mentions something I never heard of, I now have a source I can turn to! But I don't care what they say. I am NOT going to eat Poutine: fries, curds and gravy.

And last, but certainly not least, who wouldn't want to munch on some pets de soeurs? The name literally translated means nuns' farts . They are also called Old Women Bellybuttons. It is pastry dough wrapped around a brown sugar and cream filling.

Pets De Soeurs


3c Flour
2tb Baking powder
1ts -Salt
1ts Sugar
0.5c Lard
½ to ¾ cups Milk


2tb Butter; softened
1c Brown sugar
1ts Cinnamon
1c –Water

Sift the dry ingredients together. Blend in the lard to form a coarse mixture. Gradually add the milk until a soft dough is formed. Roll the dough until it is fairly thin, although it should be thicker than a regular pie crust. Butter the dough with soft butter, cover with 1/4 inch of brown sugar and sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and slice into circles about 1/2 inch thick. Pour water into a casserole dish. Put the sliced dough into the casserole and bake at 375F for about 30 minutes or until the pets de soeur are golden brown.

I need to rest now. All this CSL (Canadian as a Second Language) is giving me a headache. I'm going to dream about matrimonial cakes, nuns farts, and old women's bellybuttons. Good night and God Bless.
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