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Controversy rages in our office and we need you (and your readers) to arbitrate.
I just went into the kitchen where my otherwise esteemed colleague Jane Leonard (I'm sorry, but she needs naming and shaming) was making three cups of tea.
I caught her in the act of fishing two teabags out of one of the mugs and asked what was going on. It transpired that in order not to 'waste' tea she had used one teabag each in two of the mugs, then transferred both the USED bags into the third cup.
Clearly this is some kind of wartime economy measure gone mad (and anachronistic given Jane's youth). But on the basis that the box of 240 bags of Waitrose 'Premium Gold' tea (highly recommended, by the way, as an all-round crowd-pleasing blend of Kenyan and other African teas) costs £3.75, each teabag is worth less than 2p. My innate horror of a cup of tea made from recycled teabags meant I couldn't bring myself to try the offending brew (we gave it to the accountant), but my suspicion is that the supposed saving is JUST NOT WORTH IT. Jane on the other hand mainatins that this is 'normal' practice, and grossly extravagant to do anything else.
What do you think, Nicey?
|Nicey replies: Katie,
Tea bags are designed for pots, not mugs unless they are the one cup variety with the string thing. What this means is that each tea bag is more than capable of producing two cups of tea, as this is a civilised amount of tea to brew for a a single person who may require a second cup. The upshot of this is that you can, and indeed the Wife and I do, make two perfectly good mugs of tea with one bag.
When thinking of tea economy I'm always reminded of Donald Plesence in the Great Escape who had used his tea leaves for about the thirtieth time.
So in short I'm with Jane on this one, of course you have to be using proper sensible tea in the first place.
Crawfords chocolate rings Review
Must say that I'm nearly falling off my seat in excitement at sending my first feedback to ncotaasd. Absolutely fantastic site too, for one whose dietary intake comes largely from the biscuit food group, I feel quite at home here.
Anyway, having read an earlier May review, just wondered if anyone else has come across these fabulous little chocolate covered biscuit rings called 'Filipino's' which appear to be remarkably like the aforementioned, more dully named, Crawford's chocolate rings? Dodgy name could be something to do with the Spanish production, but I hope not as it's ruining my fantasy of moving to the Philippines one day, spending the bulk of my time on the beach and subsisting entirely on what I presumed was the national food.
I can also reliably inform you that you can get these little beauties in dark chocolate form (highly recommended), as well as a somewhat Caramaccy toffee type flavour (interesting diversion). Clearly one of my most memorable hours was when a now very good friend brought a packet of each flavour round for a nice cup of tea and a sit down. There were few survivors.
Hope to be back soon!
|Nicey replies: Oh yes you are quite right 'Filipinos' and 'Crawfords Rings' are one and the same thing, which is why the Crawfords biscuit is made in Spain. Its a perfectly nice little biscuit, and apparently United Biscuits are now making tubs of the holes, that is, the bit punched out from the middle all covered in chocolate.
I still think its a bit cheeky passing them off as some kind of Crawfords traditional brand steeped in 150 years of Scottish history when its clearly one of the most popular biscuits in Spain. Still its nice that UB can use its acquisition of brands across Europe to bring a bit of variety to different markets, even if smoke and mirrors are sometimes employed.
Plain Chocolate Gingernut Review
just read your review of the chocolate coated ginger nut - these are perhaps the finest biscuits yet crafted by human hand. Simple and unassuming, they invade the senses with an explosion of finely married texture and flavour. I can't believe it took this long to invent, whoever was responsible for this at McVities should be knighted. However I haven't been able to get any for a disturbingly long time - have they been taken off the market? If they have, I make take my own life. Please can someone provide an update?
|Nicey replies: Fear not, put down the shotgun or take your head out of the oven, I saw them in Tesco's today.
||I have lots (well, 5) children and am frequently asked at what age should children be encouraged / taught /forced to make tea. Personally, I think it is an important developmental milestone and far more useful than building a tower out of three blocks. The difficult bit is surviving the stage when|
they present you with a cup of luke warm water (out of the tap) and a floating teabag at 6.30 in the morning. (Always have a potted plant in the bedroom).
Most children need encouraging (a doll's tea set in the Wendy house when they are toddlers is essential). Some need teaching, some don't. One of my sons was an advanced child who could produce something passable at about 6 or 7 years old and 20 years on is still a 10 cups-a-day person. The youngest, age 11, still cannot make tea which is drinkable despite intensive coaching from his elder brothers.
All children need forcing from time to time (well most of the time actually) especially when they don't want a cup of tea and you do. Bribery is good but sets a precedent, threats are cheaper and more effective. (Mutter about money they owe you, peeling potatoes, tidying bedrooms or just resort to violence)
Teenagers often have particularly disgusting tea making habits (cold water + teabag + mug in a microwave is not uncommon) and also specialise in under-bed storage of mugs. The primeval life forms which grow in half drunk cups of tea in this alternative under-bed world are just not the sort of thing to go with a nice sit down.
Small children and tea don't mix either. For instance it's almost impossible to have a sit down with a cup of tea until they are about 5 AND under 5's always want to dunk their biscuit in you tea AND they always leave it in too long so that it breaks off.
|Nicey replies: Well the younger members of staff have simulated cups of tea which are actually mugs of milk, as they aren't old enough to make or appreciate tea yet. So it will be a year or two before I have a view on this whole issue. They do however do that dunking their biscuits in other peoples tea thing, luckily the Wife's not mine.|
Bahlsen Crumblys Review
As a fellow pedant, I have to agree with your learned friend Alan's comments about the misplaced apostrophe. However, it is common practice in French and German, when faced with an "imported" word so to speak, to simply add " 's" to denote plurality. The ubiquitous "ies" plural formation from a singular "y" in English serves only to confuse them with its quintessentially British idiosyncrasy.
Thus are we faced with a dilemma - deny the British population the chance to savour the delights of this biscuit on the grounds of grammatical sloppiness, or accept that pan-European branding sometimes throws up such issues. (We should rejoice in the fat that the chosen name was not akin to Plopp, or Pschitt, which do exist in other countries, but have failed to make their way to these shores other than via marketing presentations on the pitfalls of branding.)
Fortunately for biscuit eaters over here, we have elected to adopt the second of these two above-mentioned options. However, as a gesture of goodwill and commitment, I shall endeavour to get my wife to change her name by deed poll to Mrs. Vera E. Crumbly. I feel that this compromise should provide an equitable solution to both parties.
Marketing Manager, Bahlsen Ltd