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!
||Just a few words on those indespensible items to those of us who enjoy our T sweetened.|
I find the best way of keeping them truly shiny is to polish with a bit of metal polish every 6 months or so. That way you can even see your own reflection in them before you fill them with sweet stuff and stir your tea. Of course you need to give them a quick wash after polishing as the polish itself is toxic.
Back in the day, when I was at boarding school, the T-spoons were always in a terrible state. So to avoid any shenanigans I worked out how much sugar I would need from my own private bag and then stirred the brew with my maths set-square. The pointy end enabled me to stir the sugar round from even the darkest recesses of my mug.
I have often wondered though: with the amount of tea drinking that goes on at NCOTAASD HQ do you ever run out of tea spoons? and what do you use a substitute?
Anyway, I have to get back to work, T-break over.
|Nicey replies: We don't run out of teaspoons as we wash them up after we have used them. Was it a 60 degree set square or a 45 degree one (I'm guessing 60 degree would be best)?
||My heavy handed teenage sons bend my teaspoons by over-enthusiastic bag squeezing. Although my attempts to force them back into shape usually end in disaster, my major worry is that visitors might glance into the cutlery drawer and be led to believe that I'm sharing a brew with that mad Geller bloke. It's a worry.|
||Well, I've not been on your site for a while, but must write about the great spoon debate. It's not that I have a favourtie, it's the state of the spoons in the office cutlery drawer that narks me the most. I'm not sure why people seem to think a quick rinse under the tap is enough to clean it before it's used again. If you look at the underside of spoons cleaned like that you notice dark stains round them, which can only be shifted by hot water, pan scrubber and washing up liquid. It's no use complaining your tea tastes funny, it's not me making horrible tea, it's your fault for not cleaning your spoons. Great cups of tea deserve decent spoons, and besides, if you're in the kitchen cleaning spoons and keeping everything all hygenic for the tea making, then you are getting a break from answering the 'phone which is no bad thing.|
|Nicey replies: Good speech Paul. I can't be doing with a filthy spoon, and your quite right that cleaning teaspoons isn't too tricky. As with dirty mugs, dishwashers are often to blame for this horrible state of affairs. Many deluded employers seem to think that a dishwasher will make their companies more productive as people will spend less time washing up and more time working. Of course the precise opposite is true. Much time is wasted by people scratching around for clean mugs and spoons as they are now willfully incapable of washing their own. Very few people ever load or even switch on the dishwasher, which although it should go on at the very end or the very start of the day tends to quickly get out of sync with daily office tea drinking rhythms.
A green nylon scrubber some hot water and a spot of washing liquid and 30 seconds later everything is spick and span. Personal responsibility versus some energy burning, chemical gobbling machine that incarcerates all the tea making kit for 45 minutes.
Plus what is the story with those people that half fill a mug with water and put all the teaspoons in there? It's a bit like those tall jars of disinfectant that hairdressers chuck combs in, except it's stagnating tap water laced with tea and coffee, milk and sugar. Having studied Microbiology and been given lectures at one point by a very senior public health Microbiologist on bacterial food poisoning, to say nothing of epidemiology, when ever I see one of these I have to empty it out wash up everything concerned in really hot soapy water then find the person concerned and strongly suggest that they desist.
All this spoon chat has let me to throw my tuppence'orth in - I have long wondered - why do we still use tea spoons now that we have teabags and not loose tea? Presumably tea spoons were designed for a more delicate population to measure the necessary amount of loose leaves to make the perfect cuppa? However, now that we have the meaty heft of a roasting hot, stainy-liquid spatterbag to contend with, are they not obsolete? It is somewhat like attempting to balance an unconscious Bernard Manning on a bar stool ( I shall leave the resultant damge to the linoleum around the bin to the reader's imagination).
Although, it should be admitted that a hot teaspoon is a formidable weapon in any pitched sibling kitchen battle (a rolled up teatowel and a spider in a cup being other favourites in our house). Okay, they may not be fit for their intended purpose but they have a place as household armoury.
|Nicey replies: Its my understanding that tea spoons were conceived for the stirring of tea to disperse the milk. Also should you wish the addition of sugar and its stirring in especially in the case of sugar lumps. The sugar bowl should ideally have its own spoon to prevent issues with damp lumps.
The tea caddy would typically have some form of dedicated measuring spoon or scoop with its own story to tell.
You are quite right to highlight the important role played by spoons in the enjoyment of a good cuppa. Too often they are regarded as mere implements, instead of being acknowledged for the highly refined tools that they are. What else could do the job better?
It's a simple fact that a really good spoon makes your tea taste better. And better tea means happier people.
I recently bought some shiny new ones for use in the office and productivity is up by several percentage points. For return on investment, a good set of tea spoons can't be beaten. I estimate that if every business in Britian were to buy new tea spoons the nation's GDP would increase by £1.4 billion.
|Nicey replies: You don't happen to make spoons do you?|