I wish I could afford to spend more time in Europe. I LOVE Europe.
I don't use 95% of the convenience products in the grocery stores here in the US --- (we perimeter shop, the bulk of our purchases come from the produce section, just a few things from the middle aisles, such as cereal and coffee) and am trying to teach myself many of the "lost" or "old-fashioned" way of doing things so I don't have to rely on the mass-produced stuff. I'd keep chickens and even goats and a cow if it were legal here. Sadly, my large yard is NOT well-situated for growing veg. The best I can do is tomatoes and some herbs. --- so I seriously doubt I'd miss them (the convenience products).
I WISH we could shop here in the US the way y'all do elsewhere in the world. I HATE megamarts! I'd much rather go to the butcher's and then a few doors down to the baker and then across the street to the cheese monger, etc.
One of my main interests in baking is learning to make the traditional European cakes, tortes, and pastries. It can be frustrating at times, though, as I have to rely on the internet (including online translation for some) for recipes and some of the ingredients y'all have, we don't!
Aaaaaand, because I'm a dork:Jell-O:
brand name belonging to U.S.-based Kraft Foods for a number of gelatin desserts, including fruit gels, puddings and no-bake cream pies. The brand's popularity has led to its becoming a generic term for gelatin dessert across the U.S. and Canada. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jell-OFruit Butter:
made by slowly cooking fruit and sugar together until a smooth, thick "butter-like" consistency is achieved.Fruit Curd:
a dessert topping and spread usually made with lemon, lime, orange, or raspberry. The basic ingredients are beaten egg yolks, sugar, fruit juice and zest which are gently cooked together until thick and then allowed to cool, forming a soft, smooth, intensely flavored spread. Some recipes also include egg whites and/or butter.Jam:
contains both fruit juice and pieces of the fruit's (or vegetable's) flesh. Properly, the term jam refers to a product made with whole fruit, cut into pieces or crushed. The fruit is heated with water and sugar to activate the pectin in the fruit. The mixture is then put into containers. Available in seeded and seedless varieties.Conserve/Preserves:
made of fruit (whole or large pieces) stewed in sugar. While some brands (namely, Smucker's) differentiate between "jam" and "preserves" (the former being smooth and composed of fruit juice and pulp while the latter is a chunky version containing whole or large intact pieces of the of the fruit).Jelly (US):
a clear fruit spread consisting of set, sweetened fruit (or vegetable) juice. Additional pectin may be added in some instances where the original fruit does not supply enough, for example with grapes.Jelly (UK):
generally used to mean a sweet dessert made by adding gelatin to fruit juice, or more commonly from commercially prepared concentrated blocks.Marmalade:
made from any of the citrus fruits, sugar, and water. Some recipes include some amount of peel and zest, which imparts a sharp, bitter taste from the bitter citrus oil.Confit:
most often applied to preservation of meats, especially poultry and pork, by cooking them in their own fat or oils and allowing the fats to set. However, the term can also refer to fruit or vegetables which have been seasoned and cooked with honey or sugar until it has reached a jam-like consistency. Savory confits, such as ones made with garlic or tomatoes, may call for a savory oil such as virgin olive oil as the preserving agent.
a thick sauce of Indian origin that contains fruits, vinegar, sugar, and spices and is used as a condiment. http://www.answers.com/topic/chutneyPickle:
Food that has been preserved in a seasoned brine or vinegar mixture. http://www.answers.com/topic/picklePudding (US):
a sweet milk-based dessert similar in consistency to egg-based custards, though it may also refer other types such as bread and rice pudding. These consist of sugar, milk, and a thickening agent such as cornstarch, gelatin, eggs, rice or tapioca to create a sweet, creamy dessert.Pudding (UK):
rich, fairly homogeneous starch- or dairy-based desserts such as rice pudding and Christmas pudding, or, informally, any dessert. The word is also used for savory dishes such as Yorkshire pudding, black pudding, suet pudding, and blood pudding.
a range of preparations based on cooked milk and egg mixtures. While 'custard' may refer to a wide variety of thickened dishes, technically (and in French cookery) the word custard (crème or more precisely crème moulée) refers only to an egg-thickened custard. In the United Kingdom, 'custard' often refers to a dessert made from cornflour rather than eggs, although this is also called blancmange. UK Custard Powder is roughly the same as the US Instant Pudding Mix. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Custard