Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
||About thirty years ago when I lived in Germany I was puzzled to discover that THEY DID NOT HAVE KETTLES. This may have been a result of continuing postwar austerity, for what they did have were electric kettle elements of varying lengths (called Tauchsieder - diving boilers) which you plunged into specially shaped tall narrow metal pots. Someone must have realised the intense danger, as well as the energy-wastefulness, of this as they have now been largely superseded by real kettles - indeed many kettles are now made in Germany or by German firms, another example of a fine British idea that we failed to develop properly. However you can still buy Tauchsieder in Switerland. I was shown a selection in the electrical store in Altdorf only a fortnight ago, although I did not purchase one. There was a British equivalent, known as the Travel Boiler, made (probably abroad) by Pifco. Ours (actually my wife's) has travelled faithfully to many continents, but died in Italy, which perhaps explains why I was prowling around the electrical store in a small but very clean Swiss village.|
Since I mentioned Switzerland, Lake Lucerne still has a fleet of early twentieth century paddle steamers (www.lakelucerne.ch). My gradually failing memory insists that these are powered by magnificent Sulzer compound engines, the workings of which can be viewed from a special platform at the centre of the ship, and which were designed with an integral tea boiler. It would be my contention that these can lay claim to be the world's most impressive kettles, although the tea-boilers are no longer used for this (or any other) purpose. I last travelled on one of these steamers over ten years ago - maybe one of your Swiss readers could offer an update on this?
Nice book - recommend for Christmas presents.
|Nicey replies: I had a Czech friend who had one of those travel boilers, which he would reheat tea with. This always made my head spin as I tried to figure out exactly which aspect of this was the most life threatening, death by electrocution, fire, exploding shards of mug, or just really awful putrid tea.
Terrific to hear about the fleet of giant floating kettles, I wonder if they have some kind of toaster facility built in as well. You could steam around Switzerland drinking tea and eating crumpets. I want to go every like that from now on, perhaps we can modify our diesel Peugeot 306 to do this.
Ever since a young lad I have had the habit of dipping marmite toast in tea, a bit like the french dipping criossants in coffee.
Am I the only person to do this?
|Nicey replies: Quite possibly.|
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
Like many people across the country, I am partial to a spot of marmalade on my toast at breakfast. For me, the thing that sets marmalade apart from jam and gives it its appeal is the inclusion of the pieces of orange zest, the bigger the better.
Imagine my surprise when, just last week, my wife brought home some Golden Shred Shredless marmalade (surely an oxymoron), stating that she "doesn't like the bits". In the same shopping trip she also bought some fresh orange juice "with juicy bits".
Women, will we ever understand them???
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
I think this allows me to utilise the seldom seen Jam and Fruit icons
I'm an Englishman abroad in California. I've just looked in the fridge and a stick of butter is indeed 4oz. Bizarrely, the paper wrapper has markings to show some kind of spoonful conversions, and cup conversions. It is very odd that people do not weigh ingredients here. And of course they use a 16 fluid ounce pint rather than the 20 ounce pint which used to be used in the UK.
I try my best to confuse my colleagues by using the 24 hour clock and metric measurements.
I've attached a photo of our kitchen tea station, as we found a rather fetching cup of tea sculpture in a local bargain store.
The best local biscuits that we buy are Graham Crackers. Quite light and suitable for regular consumption, particularly the honey flavoured kind. More serious biscuit enjoyment is restricted to imported products.
|Nicey replies: Phil,
Thanks for the butter info. You seem to be doing splendid work out there in California getting the tea making sorted out. That's a very nice mug you have there. Wifey says she's concerned about which teabags you are using in it. I trust from time to time you have baked beans on toast for lunch to further unsettle the locals..
||Hello again, |
when I worked in catering, one of my regulars, a young but old-money tweedy kind of gent, asked me for his toast to be done on one side, 'because that was the proper way to do it'. Little did he know, the toast-making machine did one side at a time, so I could present him with said toast with an air of smug satisfaction. He was a pleasant fellow, not for him the toast made from bread aged in a cupboard, that would explode into a million pieces at the first application of a butter-knife!
Mark 'nothing too much trouble' Gott.
|Nicey replies: He didn't have a faintly Geordie accent did he?|