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After hearing about nicecupofteaandasitdown a long time ago (through Good Food magazine no less!), I've finally got round to having a look. How clever you are to make a site for the most important tradition of them all. Nothing can beat a good cuppa and a proper biscuit or four (the more buttery the better, as far as I'm concerned).
But, I have a problem......
Being a twenty-something and keen to stay looking beautiful for many a year to come I am only too aware of the huge number of calories in a proper biscuit. What are your views on these 'low fat' biscuits, the 'Go Aheads' of this world?
I can't imagine for a minute that you like them, but what's a girl to do??
Roonie.(a Fox's fan)
|Nicey replies: Well low fat biscuits are a very tricky area, a bit like low alcohol drinks. Biscuits by their very nature have lots of carbohydrates and fat, mess with this basic equation and somethings not right. There are two main approaches, subterfuge and avoid total substitution. Foxs 'Officially Low Fat' cookies use clever recipes to avoid the fat content, small amounts of glycerol are used to keep the biscuit soft, a bit like its use in icing. Strong flavours such as almond and cherry try to steer our taste buds away from the lack of fat. The result through subterfuge is slightly odd but very very low fat cookie.
The second approach seen in much of the McV GoAhead range is to bulk up the biscuit with something that is low fat like fruit. Now, I happen to like that, but you may not.
Sometimes products are of course bulked up with low fat air, so watch out for those.
Interestingly another reason why the Jaffa Cake is a cake and not a biscuit is that is sponge base is much lower fat in than its biscuit shelf mates, and combined with plain chocolate the fat content is impressively low.
When I moved offices (and kitchens) there was a vending machine in the kitchen! I was quite excited as there wasn't one in my previous building, and I was making tea the proper way, but forever hiding milk and sugar from the people too lazy to buy it. But the vending machine tea was tasteless, and the bag always landed at the bottom of the cup with no spoons provided to fish it out. Other people would order a 'cappucino' and a coffee with milk and we could find no difference between them is colour or taste. Eventually, people boycotted the machine and it was taken away as it was no longer a money maker. It was replaced with a fridge so everyone could keep milk for tea. I should add at this stage, this is a university and most of the people in the building are students. Students are not normally fussy with such things, but I think stirring tasteless tea with folded up plastic lids was too much.
I'm happy to see you and the Wifey had a lovely time at the Eden Project.
Sad to see the end of the Abbey Crunch biscuit, yet another victim of the corporate "oh god, the sales have fallen below 30 million, better pull the product" philosophy that has claimed so many victims.
However, on the bright side (and the subject) I wonder how many people realise that free tea and biscuits (the oat and wholemeal is a favourite) and a sit down is available very near to all?
Yes, it's Blood Donation sessions, held at a hall or centre close to most people. All they need is an hour of your time (and some of your blood), and in return you get a free key-ring with your blood-type printed on it(subject to availability) a lie down, then a sit down, free tea and a choice of biccies.
All this for a pack of your blood three times a year. Another advantage is that most employers let their staff have the hour off work as a paid excursion. What more could anyone ask for? Even needle-phobics might suffer a little for the freebies, and you get a warm fuzzy feeling from helping the NHS.
Seriously though, if you haven't already covered this somewhere on the site, Nicey (apologies if this is the case) would you consider adding a note on the subject? Most people assume the blood is going to be available if they have an accident, but never consider where it comes from. I try to get people interested whenever I can, but it's not easy.
Think about it? More info www.blood.co.uk
Great pics btw.
|Nicey replies: Glad you liked the newsletter! We happily plug any institutions, even worthy ones, that have seen fit to place tea, biscuits and I believe a short compulsory sit down at the center of its day to day workings.|
||Is squashing a tea bag with a spoon proper protocol?|
I mention this because this is what I used to do, until my aunty's fella said to me with horror "Don't". He proceeded to say that it should be stirred. I've been doing this since. Which way is right?
|Nicey replies: Well modern teaching tells us that after long brewing times the higher molecular weight tannins which are released due to tea leaves structure becoming more porous lead to the stewed taste. The mechanical action of the spoon on tea bag has a similar effect, therefore leading to a stewed taste.
Of course this is exactly what some people are seeking and others avoiding.
Just have to lend my support to Nicola's point here. I can't say I've grown up with cream teas (though never say no if I get the chance to indulge) but in my limited experience, and preference, it's got to be cream first!
Surely this is just practical as well as more aesthetically pleasing? Think about it, jam, while fresh, can be pretty slick stuff. If you try to spread something rougher over it (i.e. clotted cream, surely the stiffest off all creams?), the whole topping ends up sliding all over the place. This is bad news, as evidenced by the mixed up pale pink creamy jammy goo (and worst of all with scone crumbs worked into it) that one could so eaily end up with in this kind of practice. However, treating the cream as one would butter on the scone and then dressing it up with runny jam ensures that all three compents retain their individual contiguity until they are devoured. Mixing is then allowed.
|Nicey replies: I understand what you are getting perfectly only the cream we had in Cornwall was quite runny and the jam quite stiff. Perhaps rather than hard and fast rules this is really a case by case judgment. Why can't one simply apply jam to one half and cream to the other in which ever orientation pleases you, no confusing mechanical issues.|