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|Mary Ann Lund
I thought this 'Tidy Tippist' [sic] keyboard might be just the thing for the taking of afternoon tea at work
As you can see, the doily design adds a touch of refinement to proceedings, while the handy wipe-clean surface prevents dangerous tea spillage and the perennial problem of biscuit crumbs getting stuck between the keys.
With best wishes,
Mary Ann Lund
|Nicey replies: Yes those are some barking mad products. I think I could manage to live out the rest of my days with out a combined tablecloth / keyboard but I'm sure for others its a must have item.
I like the laptop bag designed to look like a rubbishy plastic bag to prevent thieves spotting it, but again I find myself perfectly able to imagine a future that doesn't include it.
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
At tea this morning one of my colleagues picked up a McVities plain chocolate digestive which had the chocolate on the wrong side. How often does this happen? Are there any collectors of such biscuits? Do biscuit manufacturers keep statistics about these occurences?
All the best,
|Nicey replies: Chris,
Judging by the glaring omission of a supporting photograph we can only assume that the poor little chap was quickly and humanely dispatched. Unfortunately I don't have the statistics for such things to hand. I suspect they are impressively low as this is I think the first time it has been reported to us, and that the mighty McVities wouldn't tell us even if they knew.
||Welsh Cakes |
I got this recipe from my father's mother, Mary Blethyn, who had it from her grandmother in Hendy Gwyn (Whitland), Pembrokeshire.
- 1 pound of Flour
- 6 ounces of Sugar
- 6 ounces of Fat (1/2 lard, 1/2 butter) (I generally use all butter these days, though)
- 1/2 a teaspoon of raising powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- a generous handful of dried fruit
- milk to mix
Rub the fat into the flour until it's like fine breadcrumbs. Mix in all the other dry ingredients. Beat the egg well, add gradually to the mixture. Add the milk until you have a stiff, manageable dough. Knead well. Turn out onto a floured board and roll out to 1/2 an inch thickness. Cut into rounds about 2 inches across. Cook on a well greased plate (a thick frying pan will do if you don't have a bakestone) over a low heat until brown on both sides.
Some people sprinkle them with sugar or let them get cold and have them with salted butter, but in my house they don't even reach the serving plate. I like them warm and still soggy in the middle, preferably a bit burnt too. Some strange people even go as far as leaving out the fruit and spice, then cut them down the middle and fill them with jam. This is a ‘jam split’ and is an abomination, so we won’t delve too deeply into that
|Nicey replies: Sue as you know we hardly ever, ever put up recipes on NCOTAASD as we would soon wind up swamped with them. However this is definitely one time when we happily bend our arbitrary rules.
We used to borrow Aunty Marilyn's griddle (and recipe too) and make a big batch of Welsh cakes. They definitely cooked best on the griddle, but with St Davids day a month away now I may well see if our big frying pan is up to the job.
Dad's Cookies Review
|hi! Bought your book and love it, though I'm Canadian there are so many similar cookies between Canada and England (thank you Peek Frean!). FYI, Dad's Cookies can be shipped to the UK via canadaonly.ca. I was looking for the Dad's chocolate chip in a white dough, which are hard to find in Canada now, though the oatmeal are still easy to find. |
My personal madeleine are those gorgeous Playbox(?) cookies I had when I was little, but no one seems to remember: square, coverered in hard, coloured, thick icing with a picture stencilled on (clock, etc.). Tasted divine!! Were they Engish or Canadian? Thought they were Peek Frean (strange, the Peek Frean brand name is still used in Canada but not in UK).
|Nicey replies: We certainly remember the late Playbox biscuit, which other NCOTAASD readers mention frequently too, and have an entry in our Paleolithic Biscuits section which has a nice picture of a Playbox tin.
Peek Frean in Canada was a conseqence of the thriving export business in British biscuits to the now commonwealth nations in the early part of the 20th century. Peek Frean based in Bermondsey South London, built a bakery in 1949 in O'Conner Drive, East York, Toronto, and started supplying 'fresh baked' biscuits into the local Canadian market. When Peek Frean, Huntley and Palmer then Jacobs merged to form Associated Biscuits the brand began to take a bit of a back seat in the UK as iconic products from all three jostled for attention. However in Canada which lacked this sibling rivalry Peek Frean continued to be the recognised brand. Take overs by Nabisco, then Danone kept the names both here in the UK and in Canada. The last set take overs saw Danone selling Peek Freans Canada back to the Kraft Group who owns Nabisco too.
||Please tell Mark I have had good luck removing tea stains with baking soda and a damp cloth. The mild abrasiveness is enough to remove the buildup, but not enough to damage the china, and it rinses clean with no aftertaste. Perhaps in addition the mild alkalinity interacts with tea's mild acidity, but I hesitate to make such a grandiose claim. I believe this is one of those tricks that is passed down by great grandmothers, or in my case a little old lady at my mother's church. It has the advantage of being easy, cheap, and immediate (no soaking needed).|