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||Hi - I'm responding to the item saying that Manchester water used to be shipped to Ceylon to taste tea with.|
Did you know that all Ceylon tea tasting has to be in Colombo, i.e. at sea level; the best high grown tea (usually made into broken orange pekoe or BOP) is produced between 4 an 6,000 feet above sea level and kettles boil at a lower temperature, and therefore don't make very good tea.
Apprentice tea growers are known as creepers, hence the local expression 'He's creeping under Mr. Premadasa at the moment.
I have nothing to do with the Ceylon tea industry, just brought up there: I would ask you all please to resolve to drink lots of Ceylon tea in 2005 to help boost the economy of this shattered country.
I've only just discovered the site, having been bought your book for Christmas and felt I had to relay an experience I had some years ago. My family has long gone without sugar in tea but one of my friends Steve never has. He never had sugar at our house however and the reason is simple ... He was scared!
My father comes from the north of Scotland and his accent is said by some to be strong and may be perceived as aggressive. On his first visit to the house my Dad was making tea and enquired if Steve would like one. Steve replied that he would and that he would like one sugar please, nothing unusual so far! My father was in mischievous mood however and replied that "we don't give sugar to students!" (Steve had recently started at university). This comment was delivered with no change in facial expression and nothing to indicate that he was Joking.
It was at least 5 years before Steve got sugar in his tea at our house, he never did dare ask again, my Dad still smiles when I remind him.
Steve had his revenge however when his mother gave me sprouts!
|Nicey replies: Your message contains many simple truths within it. Not least that a Scottish accent is intimidating to many. A friend I used to work with (Wendy (aka 'The Scottish Unit') ) who was originally from Glasgow could slip effortlessly from a estuary accent to a Glaswegian one, often mid sentence. She always reserved her Scottish accent for serious business calls.
What a lovely Scots themed mail with New Year approaching.
Graham cracker Review
I just finished reading your Graham cracker page. Add me to the list of Americans who had no idea what a Digestive was [until I read about it on your web site] but had known about Graham crackers for well over half a century. Graham crackers were a staple of my youthful diet and a treat through middle years and into my 'rusty' years. They are also a staple for my grand kids. They are the ever-ready between meal snack which keeps little ones quiet.
Graham crackers come in a couple varieties that I know of. Plain, as pictured on your web page, and with a cinnamon-sugar topping on one side. I personally prefer the cinnamon-sugar ones. I have not seen the apple and chocolate ones you mention... but I have never looked for them either.
Graham crackers are one of the three ingredients of Smores, or S'mores. Smores is a contraction of the words some more, as in I want s-more. Smores are almost a 'necessity' while sitting around the evening campfire when camping.
Do a web search for more Smores web pages.
While the photo [on your web page] of the Nabisco Grahams box shows jam on a Graham cracker, I do not recall ever seeing anyone eating that combination.
Graham crackers make a good topping when squished in the hand and sprinkled over a bowl of ice cream. They add a nice random crunchiness to the ice cream and a flavor contrast of grain to milk product.
My favorite topping for Graham crackers is about an equal mix of peanut butter and honey. A small round bottom tea cup or coffee cup makes a nice mixing container. I take a few knife fulls of peanut butter and scrape it into the cup by dragging the knife blade across the cup lip. Alternately, you can put a spoon full in the cup, but then you wind up using your finger to scrape the peanut butter out of the spoon, and then the spoon to scrape off your finger. Once the peanut butter is in the cup, I add honey using my eyeball to 'measure' when there is about an equal amount of peanut butter and honey. Then stir it with the knife until it is well blended. You can then add more of either ingredient to suit your taste, or make the consistency spreadable. Once mixed, it is spread atop a Graham cracker. I usually have milk with it, but tea or coffee would do as well... depending on your personal preference. Smooth peanut butter works better for spreading. No peanut pieces for the spreading knife to bounce over. But crunchy peanut butter will work too... if you like the spread layer thicker.
Both my kids and grand kids like to dunk Graham crackers in a glass of milk or a cup of hot chocolate.
I followed a link from Andy Edward's Music web site to visit your web site.
Curiosity question: What kind of tea do you Brits prefer? Unless I am mistaken, if one orders 'tea' at a restaurant here in the US, you will get black pekoe as the 'standard tea'. However many places now bring a bread basket style container with an assortment to choose from. Just curious if you ordered a 'cup of tea', what kind it would be. Is there a 'standard tea' which is usually served in the UK?
Spokane Washington USA
|Nicey replies: Hi Leo,
Thanks for that very informative mail about Graham Crackers. We had smores explained to us the other evening by an American girl, whilst we were down in London for the evening. We repaid her kindness by forcing her to eat a several things she had never encountered before including Jaffa Cakes and Tunnocks Wafers. She seemed to enjoy it although she couldn't finish the Tunnocks so I made her wrap it up again and pop it in her bag so she could have it in the morning.
As to what tea we drink, well that really comes down to brands, but you are essentially right about it being standard tea. All the leading everyday teas are blends of various black teas from India, Sri Lanka and Kenya. These are carefully blended to give each brand its own particular taste, although they are all broadly similar. The leading brands are Tetley, PG Tips, TyPhoo, Yorkshire Tea and so forth. The supermarket chains also have their own blends with Sainsbury's and the Coop both being highly regarded. As you probably know all our teas are designed for drinking with milk. I suppose that if you mixed up some Celyon, Assam and Kenyan teas in the right proportions you could create something fairly close to any of our well known brands. The trick is to blend the tea to suit the water. It was common to ship water from Manchester to the tea plantations in India so the tea could be blended correctly before it ever left there.
If you ever visit the UK you simply just have to ask for 'tea' and that's what you'll get. A couple of Digestives wouldn't go a miss either.
I have been pondering what makes up a nice place to sit down (outside of home). The following factors make it for me, I wonder what others think?
- Wooden chairs and tables- not plastic- yuck.
- Proper cake selection (with 2+ homemade biscuits)
- Warm and cosy
- Friendly and informal staff
- A choice that includes proper tea and not just
- (A gamble here, I know) If they serve caffe latte
then I beg them not to serve it in a glass cup,
regardless of what they may or may not do in Italy.
My current favourite meeter of the above criteria is The Boston Tea Party in Bristol. Lovely place.
|Nicey replies: It's got to have enough room to swing a cat. I can't be doing with those places where you don't have enough elbow room to pour your tea. I like a few random or peculiar things scattered around which you can ponder on whilst drinking your tea. Such things as obscure farm/kitchen implements, or pictures of places a very long time ago when they looked different.
||As an ardent tea and biscuit fan living in the biscuit wasteland that is the American south I love visiting your site. I am sending a "recipe" of sorts for Liz who asked about chai. I found combining 1 bag of Bigelow Oolong tea, and one bag of Celestial Seasonings "Bengal Spice", made a decent chai. The Bengal Spice has all the proper chai spices, especially the pepper-very warming-and it is often left out in the pre-packaged sweet chai drinks. If you are a cardamom lover (another spice often deleted due to its cost) throw in an extra pod or two, or a pinch of the fresh ground powder. Top your cup of chai with milk, soy milk, rice milk or for a special treat almond milk. Hope this serves as a good starting point for Liz and any other chai do-it-yourself-ers.|
PS- Down here tea and biscuits refers to hideously oversweetened ice tea and doughy white bread dumplings that go in your box of takeaway fried chicken.
|Nicey replies: Yep, what ever it takes for you folks to survive, as I have said we drink PG Tips.