Letter: 'Powdermilk cookie' takes the biscuit

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Sir: I am in London with a contingent of 35 students and staff from Gustavus Adolphus College, St Peter, Minnesota, studying here for the autumn term. Your article on Garrison Keillor (3 October) and Lake Wobegon made us feel right at home, but your use of the term 'powdermilk cookie' struck a false note.

May I help you with translation? Garrison Keillor has popularised 'powdermilk biscuits' - a bit of his own fiction. It's true that a biscuit in England is called a cookie in the United States. But a biscuit in the US is what you British call a scone. Can you imagine a lovely, rich scone being made from reconstituted powdered milk - non-fat milk, as is usual in the US? Herein lies the Keillor oblique, understated humour.

Sincerely,

KATHRYN CHRISTENSON

London, W2

6 October

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