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What a fantastic video that was, contributed by you readers Nick and Tom, I think the Top Trumps are an excellent idea long overdue, and the mix of psychedelic visuals and the cheery, funky tune will keep us smiling for days to come. However I was distressed to note one dangerously disturbing part of the video seemed to be encouraging the practice of allowing the teabag and milk to cohabit within the same cup at the same time. At best this sort of display should be accompanied by a strongly worded warning and at worst it should be outlawed, punishable by enforced arrowroot biscuits for week.
Whilst a largely liberal person, I think we can all agree that there is a limit, and when that limit is crossed we must all don our grumpy hats, and write grumbly letters to the relevant powers-that-be, be they MP's, Terry-Wogan, or in the case of biscuits, your good selves.
|Nicey replies: Very quietly
Yes the Wife does that from time to time, and its all a bit wrong. It also makes a really repulsive sort protoplasm slime at the bottom of our teabag-bin.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I have just read Chris Capon's problem relating to the unfair distribution of tea making duties at his place of work.
There is a "Tea Turns" device available on the PG Tips web site which may provide the answer to his problems.
Simply add the names of your colleagues, give the wheel a spin and allow fate to select the tea maker for the day.
|Nicey replies: Yes we reviewed a couple of those tea making deciding things in the last newsletter. I think what is needed is a client server architecture with some form of simple messaging protocol so that people can broadcast when the the kettle is going on and other people can register for tea in a FIFO queue. Ideally all the tea drinking equipment like kettles and mugs would have sensors with bluetooth built in so they could report their status by relaying to your desktop PC. The Kettle might need its own little WiFi enabled base. The whole thing could come in a big kit consisting of sensors, WiFi kettle and portable Java based software. You could then simply click something on your PC to register for tea, and when your mug gets hot and then cools down again that effectively completes that tea cycle. Registering for tea might instruct you to go and make it, and for who.
Its just an idea. Alternatively you could just give people a shout when you put the kettle on.
Can you help...every morning when I get to work I make everyone in the office a cup of tea. This can sometimes add up to 6 cups of tea...now the question is how many cups of tea do I get made for me during the day? A big Wagon Wheel (the original size that is) of a zero. Not a one. I don't know if I should stop making the tea in the morning.
More recently I have even had my tea making skills called into question with some people saying I should put the milk in first, and of course every sane person knows that the milk only goes first in coffee. Do you think I should withdraw from the tea making altogether?
Any help greatly appreciated.
|Nicey replies: Yes jack it in.|
||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
Having looked through your feedback, I notice that there are many items relating to various cakes and biscuits but very little correspondence on the subject of toast.
I imagine that for most people, the phrase "A nice cup of tea and a sit down" evokes an image of afternoon tea. This is perfectly understandable as the 3 o'clock cuppa or a freshly brewed pot on arriving home after work are the most anticipated and well deserved breaks in the average day. On these occasions, a biscuit or a nice piece of cake is exactly the right accompaniment.
There are, however, other tea drinking opportunities, particularly breakfast and supper time, when a slice of toast is more appealing. As a child, one of my favourite culinary treats was hot, buttered toast with a sprinkling of sugar. The toast has to be hot to allow the sugar to melt into the butter. Nowadays, I enjoy toast with butter or marmalade for breakfast. Speciality jams are also provided for the younger members of the household.
For supper, I will occasionally top my toast with peanut butter or something more exotic such as cheese (with a dash of Lea & Perrin's), pilchards, plum tomatoes or mushrooms with cream.
Perhaps you could provide a survey on the best "toast topper", including butter, jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite (yuck!), mashed banana etc.
As you can see from this short list of options, toast is extremely versatile and should note be ignored.
p.s. Possibe new icon alert.
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
Our mate Nick Parker wrote a splendid book on toast, he also ran the London marathon last Sunday.
Of course Toast falls within the gamut of tea and sitting down activity. Wifey likes tea before, during and after Toast in the morning. Wifey sticks rigidly to Marmite or cheese. I like Bovril, Marmalade, sometimes a spot of jam occasionally Peanut Butter with sweet pickle or fresh ground black pepper. A spot of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is very good also. The whole team enjoys Sardines on toast and we feel strongly that more people should eat Sardines on toast.
I'll try a sweet toppings poll first, but I think I know the outcome already.
Big Woos for the icon fest nature of this message
||Dear Mr Nice,|
I have a short tale to tell.
A month or so back I was ambling in an unfocused manner through my local high street when I was waylaid by a pleasant lady of middling years, clutching a clipboard. She asked if I could spare twenty minutes to answer a few questions. I was dubious, having heard of such things on Watchdog, and other high brow programming, but the winter sunshine had lulled me, I was feeling helpful, and I threw caution to the wind, grasped my adventurous side, and acceeded.
She first had to 'qualify' me, by asking me very general questions. I expect you will understand how my interest was roused when the third question she asked was whether I preferred tea or coffee. I straightened my back and answered stoutly, "Tea, madam!"
Imagine my delight upon discovering that I had been recruited to give my opinion upon tea! Specifically, it was Twinings tea, who are planning to launch an everyday brand, but are, I gather, concerned that they might lose their 'top of the range' brand positioning. A tricky business indeed, and not one to be taken lightly. I flatter myself that I played my small part in guiding the powers that be away from the lemon-yellow box design which they were, as it were, 'running up the flagpole to see which way the wind blew'. It was not in good taste, suggesting insipid offerings, served with neon-coloured french fancies rather than good, sturdy biscuits.
I was rewarded for my efforts with a box of Twinings Assam teabags; a little posher than I am used to but a nice change for a week, until I could return with relief, but also, I confess, with a certain nostalgic regret, to my usual, 'Clipper' fairtrade brand; a cup I consider superior to even the PG Tips pyramid.
I now take my tea with a more serious air, knowing that in Britain, the silent majority's voice can still be heard, and that the future of teabag box design is not settled upon lightly.
Yours in bemused certainty
|Nicey replies: Good work telling them to ditch the yellow box. Anybody who has been traumatised by Liptons Yellow Label tea whilst abroad will have a strong aversion to tea bags from yellow boxes.|