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!
I used to sell kettles after I was made redundant from selling tea by Whittards. The best kettle then was the phillips pirouette. It's one of those round metal ones but is the only one to have the correct distance between the handle and spout so not to scold your hand. It has been discontinued for three years or so but contains the two vital things to look for in a kettle, a concealed element and a scale filter.
As for the recipe from Mr Two Lunches. Cake I say. It has too much butter to be a biscuit.
I like the mugs. TTFN
|Nicey replies: Hoorah! for being the first to christen the fabulous new Kettle icon.
|Karl ‘Two lunches’ Hughes
My colleagues and I have spent some time this morning trying to work out whether this recipe is a CAKE or a BISICUIT.
We have a split in opinion. Can anyone out there please help resolve our conflict and let us know the official verdict.
Then we can get on with our work.
PS Nice Site!
Karl ‘Two lunches’ Hughes
|Nicey replies: Dear Mr Two Lunches,
Its not a Biscuit, niether is it a cake, it is however the sort of thing that is often seen sharing a shelf with the equally troublesome flapjacks in our local bakery. The Kiwis make a lot of this type of thing, and maybe that has something to do with the Scots that emigrated there. They call them 'tray bakes' I believe. Whilst for us it shouldn't be too much of an issue if something takes up an unusual spot on the great venn diagram of biscuits, cakes and related items, for the VAT man its a big issue. The VAT man would probably see this as a biscuit that way he could tax it due to its chocolate being largely external.
I fear I haven't answered your question, never mind.
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. Regarding american recipes, I think that a stick is 4oz. Bonkers way to measure if you ask me. Cups are also similarly unreliable, as it varies depending on whether you scoop or fill with a spoon. I did once happen upon a good website for american ex-pats living in the UK which converted them all but I can't remember the address. Good luck with the cookies though - can I also recommend you try the granny boyd biscuits in Nigella's Domestic Goddess - v lovely!|
As an experimental sort of person, I have recently been trying to bake my own chocolate chip cookies, which despite lacking the substance and rigour of many good British biscuits, can be very comforting when still warm a gooey, especially when served up with either a hot cup of tea or an ice cold glass of milk.
I thought the best way to bake American cookies would be to use their own native recipes, and therein lies the problem. I have managed to convert the volumes used in American recipes (usually cups of flour etc) to weights without too much difficulty, but no matter how hard I search I cannot discover the weight of a 'stick' of butter.
I have one friend who remembered that in America a pack of butter is divided into four sticks, and that a pack is roughly the same size as in Britain. This might make a stick weigh in at 4 ounces, but I would dearly love confirmation before I rink life and arteries to a mis-proportioned recipe.
If either you or any of your readers could help I would be much obliged,
All the best,
|Nicey replies: Your guess is as good as mine. How a nation as technologically advanced as the Americans still insist on using such arcane units of measurement is beyond me. All this feet and inches stuff is based on the distance from the end of Henry V nose to his thumb, yet they program it into their space craft. This then ploughed into Mars as some of the more sensible people at NASA had used meters but forgotten to tell the blokes still using feet and inchs. At least Beagle 2 knew roughly where it was when it smashed itself into tiny pieces.
Plus they have a different inch which they use for surveying, its only two millionths of an inch different to a proper international inch, (which incidentally is now defined in terms of the meter). But why bother? Mind you the Canadians have their own inch aswell.
And all this cups business is fine if you posses the American standard cup, and know how tightly to stuff things into it.
Butter used to be sold by the half pound, as opposed to 250g. That makes a stick 2oz based on what your saying.