Posts Tagged ‘Australian English and Slang’

This weekend we enjoyed a night out with friends watching the Melbourne Storm — currently first on the ladder — take on the 2nd place Brisbane Broncos.  It was our first live rugby match and we loved every minute of it.  The experience can be summed up as follows:

Learning the rules of the game

One small scuffle that was squashed before it could become an all-out brawl.

Very few hoaky mid-game marketing stunts…although there were cheerleaders and a mascot.

Ended after two seemingly short 45-minute halves.  The clock doesn’t stop except in rare occasions unlike NFL (Gridiron, as they call it here) where it seems there is a TV timeout after nearly every play.

Really solid, large-necked, big-legged, strong-armed men running at each other with ungodly amounts of force and speed.

Un-adulterated brutality.  Imagine NFL without the pads.  So Brutal. 

Great seats at a really cool venue, AAMI park, pronounced “Amy“.

Bundled up in our warm, hooded, winter jackets we felt like we were at a football game at home.

Yes, VICTORY for the Storm!

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Sometimes you have to forget all you’ve ever learned about portion control, good carbs versus bad carbs, and trans-saturated-you-will-die-if-you-eat-these-fats.  For our normally very health-conscious house, this was a few weeks ago.  Ryan was celebrating a Birthday and we had some left over apples.  Those are our excuses.  You know there always is at least one.

For Ryan’s Birthday I cooked him his all-time favorite Mongolian Beef.  I had been looking for a winning recipe, one that rivals our favorite Chinese place back home.   While I don’t know if I can claim the title yet, Ryan thinks it’s the bomb-diggity and who am I to disagree?  I use the Mongolian Beef recipe from Blog Chef (whose pictures look much better than mine…where is that natural light when you need it?) but I add a red peppers (capsicum, here in Australia) to mine.

I also serve mine with the very unhealthy…wait for it…coconut rice!  (Insert gasp here).

Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

Servings: Makes 6 servings

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups basmati rice (about 13 ounces), well rinsed, drained
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted

Combine 2 cups water, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in heavy large saucepan. Bring to simmer, then stir in rice. Cover, leaving slight opening for steam to escape. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 12 minutes. Cover tightly, remove from heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Transfer rice to bowl; sprinkle with toasted coconut.

Later in the week we were discussing what to do with our left-over apples that were going to go bad.  I was leaning towards something healthy like, you know, just eating them.  Ryan, on the other-hand, wanted to try an Apple Tarte Tatin again and basically sat on me and twisted my arm until I caved.  At least that’s my recollection of how it went down.

Apple Tarte Tatin and I have a sordid history. It was the one recipe who bested me…bad.  I don’t need to reopen old wounds but lets just say it has to do with burning sugar and unwittingly subbing cayenne pepper for cinnamon.  Bad.  Anyway, I found a new ATT recipe from the tried and true, Smitten Kitchen and this one was a hit.

It’s not a set-and-forget recipe but who doesn’t enjoy bathing apples in caramelizing sugar and nearly a stick of butter?

One of my favorite things about this is that it’s not really about presentation.  The apples are supposed to be a bit messy and the puff pastry goes on top and is flipped on its end later so it doesn’t matter how it looks in the pan.

The hardest thing is the flip.  Once it’s out of the oven you have to flip it upside down.  I left this to my equal parts strong and nimble husband.  Then you cut and serve with a bit of cream.  As they say in Oz, You beauty.

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Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the days when my coffee order was simply “small coffee, cream, and sugar” or a stress-induced  “skinny or non-fat turtle mocha” splurge.

In Australia, ordering coffee is like learning another language, but harder.  So, trying to keep it simple, we decided to hone in on our favorite drink so our order would be the same each time.  It’s a skill that would be utilized time and time again because every cafe, restaurant, bakery (and yes, some gas stations) have espresso machines from which baristas make your (anything but) Cuppa Joe.  From experience I’ve learned that you better know your order in “Australian” or all you’ll get is a blank stare.

Here’s the gist of your options:

-A Short Black is basically a single shot of espresso served with foam floating on top served in a short glass.  Hence the “short” part.

-A Long Black is espresso with water (1/3 parts espresso to 2/3 parts water).

Think that makes sense logically?  Stay with me…here’s where it gets tricky.

-A Flat White is espresso with steamed milk, very latte-like, I suppose, but with no foam.  It’s basically the same as the Long Black but with 2/3 milk instead of water.  Weird, right?  Don’t order a Long White, that’s where the blank staring comes in.

-A Short Macchiato (Short Mac) is a short black with a dash of cold milk.

– A Long Macchiato (Long Mac) is a double shot of espresso with steamed milk.  HUH?

– An Affogato is a shot of espresso poured over a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

-A Cafe Latte is a shot of espresso that is filled with steamed milk and topped with foam.  The Flat White with foam?

-A Cappucino (Cap) is what we’d expect in the states (thank goodness) and same with a Mocha.  Because seriously, why would you try to mess with chocolate coffee?

We spent weeks trying to figure out our perfect coffee drinks.  Ryan enjoyed many a Cafe Latte (including this one at a lovely cafe in Noosa) while I was still indecisively finding my drink of choice.

I settled on a Long Black with a side of milk which is most like a plain cup of coffee with cream and sugar.  Live dangerously, right?

But I will indulge on a nice “skinny” mocha from time-to-time, especially when they’re served with a mini chocolate chip cookie.

My anxiety stepping up to the counter has dissipated and I finally feel confident in my “coffee-ordering abilities”.  Who knows?  Next time I may be daring and order a skinny turtle mocha and this time I might just stare right back.

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Australians shorten words.  And not just words like hippopotamus or ecclesiastical, although I’m sure those are shortened as well.  Words like breakfast becomes brekkie and afternoon becomes arvo.  It seems like the words are shortened and an “ie” or “o” are most commonly added to the end.

I haven’t asked any Aussie natives the reason for this.  I speculate it has something to do with the laid back culture but I could be wrong.

Not wanting to sound “too American” we’re trying learn and incorporate these into our vocab (see?) as often as we can.  When in Oz… right?  Here are just a few other shortened words we’ve noticed since we’ve arrived.  I’m sure the building of this list will be ongoing.  For our Australian friends, which common ones have I missed?

Cuppa / Cupper = Cup of Tea

Brekkie = Breakfast

Arvo = Afternoon

Ambo = Ambulance

Sunnies = Sunglasses

The G =The MCG (where Australian footy is played)

Mozzie = Mosquito

Uni = University

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