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||Nicey, just thought you might like this little tea tidbit fromThe Antarctic Dictionary: A Complete Guide to Antarctic English by Bernadette Hince. Under the entry for tea bag she writes:|
"Remarkably, tea bag is an antarctic word. the technique of immersing a permeable bag containing tea in boiling water was recorded decades earlier on Australian antarctic expeditions than in American or British kitchens. On early antarctic journeys the bags were cloth, possibly the inspiration of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson."
Hince goes on to say "Sometimes these bags were re-used several times, even after being scavenged from old supply dumps. In desperation in Antarctica, used tea leaves were also eaten or smoked."
But from one who has been there, the best thing to ward off the cold in Antarctica is not, I'm afraid, tea but a mug of steaming hot raro. (Raro is a brand of powdered cordial, its name evoking the South Pacific island of Rarotonga.) In minus 27 degrees Celcius, it takes a while to rip open a packet of Raro and add boiling water, but it's worth it from the first sip.
A few years ago a colleague and I had a very tricky "personal work mug" problem to deal with. Our boss - a corpulent, red-faced man with a perpetual sweaty sheen, a surprising number of carnivorous teeth and porky fingers would occasionally use our personal mugs. As it only happened every few months, none of us wanted to risk making a scene. We already had enough to deal with, keeping him away from our personal biscuit supplies. He actually used to rummage through our drawers (I mean our desk drawers, naturally) looking for biscuits - even while we were there - then he would help himself to them, talking and laughing with his mouth full and spraying us in the crumbs OF OUR OWN biscuits. Sometimes he also grabbed hold of our telephones and dribbled crumbs into them too while barking orders to someone in another department. I hate to think how many cocktail sticks we used to get through in a week, prizing them all out of the perforations.
We tackled the mug problem in two ways. I took inspiration from my dear old Auntie Dorothy's tea cups and purchased a selection of three of the most unappetising old-ladyish lipsticks I could find in puce, orange and raspberry. At the end of the day, I would wash my mug, but then - and this is the important bit - I would apply each of the lipsticks in turn and imprint highly visible, slightly smeared lip-prints around the circumference of the mug (this works best on a light-coloured mug). My friend felt she needed a different ploy. She obtained some yellow food colouring which she would mix with half an inch of water and leave in the mug each night. She also hit upon the excellent idea of standing a medium-sized paint brush in the liquid before replacing the mug in the back of the cupboard. Eventually, a yellow stain ring appeared at the bottom of the mug and she was able to dispense with the food colouring altogether, simply pouring in water to level of the stain mark.
The biscuit problem proved inexorable. We tried embedding sweetex tablets in the jaffa cakes and wrapping long hairs around the middle layer of custard creams, but were perplexed to note how little this appeared to bother him.
|The inventor of the Hob Nob is my favourite chap,|
His crunchy, choccy, bicky put McVities on the map.
I love them with my morning tea,
So does my better half.
As we dunk our Hob Nobs,
We tend to have a laugh.
Nice ! Is inadequate, to sum up how we feel.
We'd have to say "unbeatable" , "our favourite mini meal."
From where the name of "Hob Nob" came, we sadly do not know.
But somehow it encapsulates that magic biscuit so!
So let's raise a mug of Earl Grey Tea
To that McVitie chap
Who's sudden inspiration,
Put Hob Nobs in our lap.
Aged 40 1/2
|Nicey replies: Well done.
And congratulations on your massively long email footer, it's lovely isn't it.
I'm from Essex and have never heard about tea money before. My Dad would sometimes pour the tea from high above the teacup, joking that it was "high tea". This made lots of bubbles, but never made me rich - maybe it doesn't work if you make the bubbles deliberately.
||Ok Nicey, the Shrewsburys are in my possession.|
They are presented in a cardboard tray which bears 15 biscuits totalling 200g. They boast to be "hand baked" which is obviously a false claim, noone has hands that hot, so I rather think they mean hand made. The company producing them is Farmhouse Biscuits Ltd. of Lancashire. They produce a vast array of interestingly named biscuits and the web site actually has an online biscuit shop so no more problems of availability. Unfortunately it appears not to be working at this precise moment. Great news for dunkers too. The Shrewsbury will hold a lot of tea yet somehow keep it's crisp texture. I timed a 20 second dunk with no biscuit residue released into my cuppa. Website is here hopefully this will be useful for the ncotaasd Shrewsbury fans.