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Your e-Mails

Pauline Wilson
Nicey replies: Pauline,

I'm not sure how you got hold of one of my biscuits as I tend to make them on a Saturday and keep them in a tin, till Sunday when the youngest member of staff plays football. We have a flask of tea and a few at half time. Still glad they cheered you up on the Norwich to Manchester flight.

My travels to and from Norwich in the early 1980s were always via National Express coach, where one was lucky to get a cup of Max Pax instant something. As I recall the main trick with Max Pax beverages was to read the description of the drink 'Tea' or 'Coffee' on the cup as taste, smell and appearance were insufficient evidence to go on. The second import thing was to make sure that all the powered muck in the bottom had been fully mixed with the hottish water, else lumps of it could fall into your mouth as you drank it.

I fear I may have wandered off the point now.



Nicey replies: John,

As you can see I have colossally slack having not updated NCOTAASD for some six years or something. However, this has rightly put me on the spot so I have sorted it out and the cake recipe is once again gracing the internet. To be honest I was in a similar predicament a while back although it was all of my own making. Wifey insisted that we got a new kitchen and not long after it went in I built a NCOTAASD fruit cake in it - the christmas variant of (soak all the fruit in booze for a couple of days and add another spoonful of mixed spice and some nuts (..and wrap the whole lot up in jam/marzipan/royal icing)). I resorted to a back up of the recipe, but was annoyed that I couldn't just go to online. Well now we all can.

Hoorah for you telling me to sort it out.



The French

Custard Cream Review
Nicey replies: Joe,

First well done on living in France. I always think that most of things we British do in France, including living in it, come as a bit of a surprise to it. They perform a useful service, helping to keep the whole place on its toes rather than sinking into a Gallic drowse. Drinking tea absolutely anywhere other than in a Salon de The seems to do the trick. Certainly striding around with a big enamel mug of the stuff a couple of fig rolls always gets me noticed. Having just got back from a few days over there, I have to say making French things into curries also gives me an overwhelming sense of 'France wasn't expecting that'.

So on those Custard Creams. Indeed they emanate from Lidls and therefore were probably made by United Biscuits, (McVities/Crawfords/Jacobs). As such Lidls wouldn't have much to do with their specification apart from a price-point. I suspect that you may be experiencing some effect caused by eating them in France. Perhaps your British metabolism is going into some sort of hibernation state. This could be due to the stress of having to eat all that semi-raw meat, heavy sauces and sharp jabby pointy crusty bread. Having at last had some proper tea and biscuits perhaps you body is trying to conserve these precious resources by entering a torpid resting phase.

Happily the advice would seem to be to eat ore of them till you get used to them again.


Chris Arnold
Nicey replies: Chris,

Yes indeed people in shock get given sweet tea whether they want it or not, that is the British way. Either it will fortify and comfort you, or if you find yourself struggling to drink the unaccustomedly sweetened brew at least its taking your mind off the matter at hand.

Chin up. At least that San Andreas fault thingy across the bay has gone off recently, that could really ruin your day.


Chris Bowen
Nicey replies: Chris you're right. I did make a special noise last night next to the stollen's in Tesco. I think this idea might have finally come of age as I have found myself gainfully employed once more which means I have many new work mates on which to road test such large tea time treats and therefore up the cake review bandwidth.