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Oh, just Brit stuffs…


Welp, they do one of these articles about once a year. I know, because I always steal it to post: silliest placenames in Britain. Enjoy!

Food question

I refuse to believe there’s any part of a pig a Tennesseean doesn’t eat, so I suspect what we have here is a failure to communicate. On the menu this week at Badger Manor is gammon or boiled bacon. The internet tells me “Gammon is the leg from a side of a pig which has been cured. Ham is the leg which has been removed and cured separately.”

The internet also tells me “Gammon has been cured in the same way as bacon whereas ham has been dry-cured or cooked.” But, since British bacon bears little resemblance to the good American stuff of that name, I don’t think this is likely to be helpful.

So, the question is, what is this cut called in the US, and how do we usually cook it?

Also served with

The Brit version is, indeed, boiled (or pressure cooked, in our case) and is often served with pease pudding.

Not to be confused with mushy peas, often served with fish’n’chips. I like pease pudding and mushy peas just fine. They sit comfortably in the mashed potato slot.

When Uncle B asked me if we had pease pudding in the colonies, I said we have the rhyme, “pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in the pot, nine days old,” but really no fucking idea what pease pudding (or porridge) might be.

Does that tally with your experience?

Thanks for the memories

Last two Christmases, we were treated to a dead rat under the master bedroom floor. Or a dead something, anyway. As the floor is made of gigantic Tudor oak planks spiked into the support beams, there’s no chance of getting them up and extricating the corpse. (Some nights I lie awake and imagine the ancient rat boneyard directly under me).

We didn’t get one for Christmas this year. Looks like we’re getting one for Easter instead. Um, yay? My sense of smell is very poor, so I don’t suffer that much. But Uncle B sleeps in agony for the weeks until the smell goes away completely.

Spare his poor nose a thought this weekend. And have a good one your good selves! We saw the first lambs of Spring this week…


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 4, 2016, 8:09 pm

Uncle B is always astonished how many old English nursery rhymes I grew up with that are missing American context. Did you? “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross”? “The muffin man who lives on Drury Lane”?


After Ace wrote about it, I checked out the new Ghostbusters trailer. Against the odds, I thought it looked kind of fun.

I could have done without the sassy black chick, but so could the SJW’s, so…

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 4, 2016, 10:12 pm

“So, the question is, what is this cut called in the US, and how do we usually cook it?”

Dont know and we dont. I think I’ve seen it in cheap luncheon meats but I’ve never seen anyone buy it.

However, I saw Rachel Khoo prepare some and wanted to try it. She was duplicating the egg mcmuffin. She fried the gammon and then smeared English mustard and maple syrup on each side and cooked it some more. It really did look yummy.

Comment from mojo
Time: March 4, 2016, 10:28 pm

Sounds like a bone-in ham, except for the curing. I have no idea how British bacon is cured.

Comment from bds
Time: March 4, 2016, 10:36 pm

I think gammon is just ham that isn’t cooked in the curing process. So we would just call it . . . ham (after cooking it). It’s not a different cut, just a different processing method.

Pease porridge and split-pea soup are basically the same thing; I think pease pudding is probably similar, just with less liquid added. Split pea soup congeals pretty pudding-ish even with extra liquid added while it cooks down, so without that liquid you probably don’t have to wait.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:00 pm

Just as bacon (American-style streaky bacon) is treated with salt, sugar, smoking, and other ingredients—it is still raw and must be cooked. As far as I can tell, gammon has all the handling and flavoring attributes of “ham,” but like bacon, it still needs to be cooked. I remember as a child we would have hams at Christmas and Easter that needed to be baked for a long time. The curing process preserved them up to a point, but they still needed to be cooked. I think uncooked hams been over-taken by the ready-to-serve, though surely they are available at a real butcher’s shop.

This Christmas past, husband and I bought a $75 HoneyBaked ham that was so good I nearly swooned.($50 of that came from a gift card that was a bonus from his employer.) We packed it in ice and hauled it 500 miles to the panhandle.


Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:03 pm

Ham and fresh potato salad on Easter. Mmmmmm!

Comment from Carl
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:15 pm

Oops, the other way round – Peover Inferior in Cheshire and Pratt’s Bottom in Kent.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:18 pm

We have a Climax in addition to the one in Georgia. And we have Christmas, and Hell.

We also have a place named ‘Hodunk’ that, almost certainly, became ‘Podunk’ when someone wanted some stereotypical out in the back of nowhere, one horse, no stop light town with a tavern and co located motel of some ill repute. There are even satellite and U2 overhead images and if you know the place, you know which black dot is the seed dealer and which is the tavern.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:23 pm

We used to pass the signpost for Pratt’s Bottom on our way out of London, Carl. I always joked we should stop for a cup of tea there.

You’ll note from the article, though, there are 136 “Bottoms” on the map, some of which are undoubtedly even more fun.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:45 pm

Another thing that can be amusing.
Try to invent a name using phonics, Klingon excepted. Then search on Google and see how many other people have already thought of the name before you did.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 4, 2016, 11:45 pm


Comment from m
Time: March 5, 2016, 12:00 am

I remember those rhymes as well…mother was child of an
English immigrant Pease porridge looks like pea soup to me

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: March 5, 2016, 12:20 am

Skandia Recluse: place name or personal name? If the latter, just a first name or last name, or both?

I have no trouble inventing novel personal first-and-last names. Here’s a few new tries:

Alpira Goznion (0 hits)

Stebram Vickelry (0 hits)

Niodros Hesser (0 hits, 500,000 hits on Hesser)

Chiddath Takar (0 hits)

Brint Folsham (0 hits; 446,000 on Brint, 5,800 on Folsham)

Morcessa Yakerston (0 hits)

The tricky challenge is composing a novel “anglo” name which is also plausible. Though I think have a couple there.

Comment from AliceH
Time: March 5, 2016, 12:47 am

I have the occasional mouse get inside during the winter, never clear where they come in, though with a 100+ year old house, there are lots of possibilities.

I read on several sites that mice (and also ants) are deterred by peppermint. They hate it.

I got some peppermint essential oil and started adding several drops to the floor cleaner when I mopped, plus put some drops on cotton balls and tucked them under the sink and other places along the outer walls.

Maybe a coincidence, but this is the first year I’ve had no mice at all.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: March 5, 2016, 12:53 am

Rick Rostrom, another thing I like to do is take an apparent ethnic first name and a completely unrelated ethnic appearing family name :

Andropilous Wu Long. Imagine the family history you could invent to explain that!

Comment from AliceH
Time: March 5, 2016, 1:46 am


At my old job, there was a guy named Pedro Fong. One of my favorite names of all time.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 5, 2016, 10:25 am

Uncle B used to see a Chinese herbalist called Dr Fang. I realize that’s not what you were talking about, I just thought it was impossibly cool.

Comment from mojo
Time: March 5, 2016, 1:48 pm

Are all the goofy place names in the Cornwall/Oxford region?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 5, 2016, 3:30 pm

Husband used to maintain a network for a doctor named/spelled Wang, only it was pronounced Wong. His family had been in the US since the California goldrush, and I always wondered why they didn’t change the spelling. But saying his name in the office invariably set off a round of Abbott and Costello style comedy.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 5, 2016, 8:41 pm

@Stoaty RE Gammon. My Gran taught me to cook and she often procured a leg of fresh pork from the butcher. I have vivid memories of her sawing through the bone (does anyone even have a kitchen hacksaw nowaday?). The butt end was brined with bay leaves, cloves and juniper berries. I don’t remember that it had a name, butt I’ll call it gammon for clarity. The joint half of the leg was roasted with root veggies or grilled on the BBQ in the summer.

Gran would carve 1/2″ thick steaks from the gammon and fry them in bacon fat for breakfast. I remember she would place a small pan lid on top them to stop the steaks from curling.

Is there anything better than ham and eggs with cream gravy & buttermilk biscuits? (toast is good too, cuz who has time to make biscuits for breakfast).

Now I’m hungry.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 5, 2016, 8:50 pm

@Alice H

We also use peppermint oil to keep mice out of the car and farm equipment engines (they chew the wiring to bits). It absolutely works.

Another deterrent is spreading bay leaves in the kitchen cabinets and pantry, bugs don’t like them either, it keeps cereal and/or flour weevils, um, at bay.

Comment from Subotai Bahadur
Time: March 5, 2016, 11:12 pm

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 5, 2016, 3:30 pm

From family history, dealing with the US government over Chinese names is . . . an exercise.

Chinese name order for males: Surname, generational name [same for all brothers in the family], given name.

Western name order for males: given name, middle name which is basically another given name, Surname.

Getting them to write down any name correctly is all but impossible. My dad’s family has an extra letter on it in English that does not belong there, because the person from the government who wrote it down was from the South and did not understand that Chinese is a tonal language.

That is one problem. The other is the name order. For my dad, they figured out the surname correctly because he had adopted a Western given name. My late uncle [dad’s brother] kept his Chinese name, and gave the name in Chinese name order. His given name in Chinese was Fong. In this country, and legally, my uncle and all his descendants have the Surname Fong. It is on all the papers including the birth certificates of all my cousins from that uncle.

Given the dog’s breakfast that the ICE is in general, and add in that they are under orders to hate anyone who is not Muslim or Hispanic; it is safer and easier to leave it.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 6, 2016, 12:31 am

Primary school dinner lady sacked after 11 years for accidentally dishing up gammon to Muslim girl


Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 6, 2016, 1:54 am

@Subotai Bahadur. I understand. My family’s name was a misspelling by a government official. It’s just distinctive enough that anytime I meet an American with the same name, I know they are a cousin.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 6, 2016, 6:00 pm

Nancy Reagan died today.

Comment from JC
Time: March 6, 2016, 6:49 pm

Looks like ExpressoBold has made the splash in the DeadPool.

Comment from Nina
Time: March 6, 2016, 10:53 pm

Too bad it had to be Nancy!

Comment from J.S.Bridges
Time: March 7, 2016, 12:10 am

Yes – sad, indeed. Hope she gets to be with Ronnie again…somehow, somewhere…


New Pool next Friday, then?

Comment from OldFert
Time: March 7, 2016, 1:29 am

@Subotai Bahadur. When he showed up at Ellis Island, family legend has it that bad handwriting changed my great-grandfather’s (and hence my grandmother’s maiden-) name from Carancio to Carango. Seems the C and I were too close together. A quick internet search and it looks like Carancio is still pretty common in the US, but Carango is more of a Brazilian thing.

Also, RIP Nancy Reagan.

Comment from BJM
Time: March 7, 2016, 7:40 pm

@Subotai Bahadur & OldFert…a similar thing happened to my Dutch paternal grandfather…they literally scratched out the prefix “Van der” and changed a “y” to an “i”. He decided to keep his new surname as it was easier for Americans to spell and less foreign. He migrated in 1919 when a Germanic sounding name wasn’t a good thing.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: March 7, 2016, 11:08 pm

The story of our family name is that my great-great grandfather ended up in the 4th Pennsylvania Regiment during the Civil War, and they just wrote down his name phonetically when they enrolled him. After that, he had to write his name the way the Pay Master liked it, or he didn’t get paid – he did it so often he finally got used to it. FWIW, family legend says an umlaut was lost, and blames “a damn-dumb Irishman for it.” This last might come from grandfather teasing my grandmother.. Who was Irish.

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