||Nicey & Wifey,|
Having been an avid fan of your site for a few years now, imagine how pleased I was to discover that I was working for a group of likeminded tea-enthusiasts. So much so that we have formed a tea society. We are the Backline crew for George Michael's Band, so we set up the instruments and do a lot of swanning around and such. Our tour merchandise has just turned up and attached is a picture of us all wearing the pure new wool sweaters emblazoned with '25Live Tea Society' around a little teapot on the right arm, and on the breast our names, tea preference, and how we take it. I have Frommy, Earl Grey, White no Sugar.
As you can see from the photo we have a blue Delft tea service (second hand from a Plymouth charity shop) with hand knitted tea cosy (Ken's mum-in-law) and a macrameed sugar bowl cover (Ken's Auntie). We take afternoon tea daily after linecheck (this is when we check all the instruments work before the band come in to play).
We are the envy of the rest of the tour - so far no comment from George though.
Keep up the good work.
Frommy & Cyril, Kerry, Ken, Lance, Turbo & Dan (The 25Live Tea Society)
same only bigger
|Nicey replies: Well that's really opened our eyes to the glamorous backstage world of a major international recording artist. We never knew it could be so refined. Of course it has to be a distinct advantage having your tea preferences emblazoned on your chest. Should you perchance to doze off you can be gently awakened with the cup of tea of your choice by any passer by. Wifey reckons George would do well to get one of your nice woolies too.
Nice Fruitcake and Tiffin shot too.
|John E Noir
||Dear Nicey, Wifey and YMOS,|
Hope you enjoyed your bicycle tour and are fully recovered from any lingering saddle soreness.
As you may be aware I have expressed interest in fruitcake elsewhere in your lovely site. Your recent fruitcake symposium prompted me to muse on the acceptability of serving fruitcake with cheese.
It is traditional in this part of Yorkshire to serve a fruitcake with a nice bit o' Wensleydale a la Wallace and Grommitt. Other similar crumbly cheeses such as Lancashire may pass muster (but NOT in Yorkshire!) It is my opinion that a good moist cake could also stand a nice mature cheddar but it would seem unacceptable to muck it about with blue cheeses or waxy cheeses like Edam or Gouda. I also have reservations about the newer varieties of Wensleydale that incorporate fruits in the cheese such as cranberries or apricot. Not that I have anything against cheese like this just served with fruitcake it seems to be "Gilding the Lily"
I am sure your readers would welcome your opinion on this delicate subject and look forward to hearing your thoughts on this matter.
I include a picture of a recent dabbling into cheese/cake combining and also another pic not necessarily of my addiction to cheese but just to prove the exceptionally dark beverage in the first pic is actually tea served black rather than coffee.
John E Noir
|Nicey replies: I think my thoughts on this is that it's a Yorkshire thing that I have no direct experience of. It has been mentioned before but always in the context of Yorkshire-ness. Mind you I do imagine that Caerphilly cheese would work too.
We visited Caerphilly in May on a rainy day to see the excellent castle. Afterwards we had a spot of lunch in the town but couldn't find any Cearphilly cheese for sale which was a bit of a blow.
Here's a picture of the castle not the cheese
|The Biscuit Doctor
Dad's Cookies Review
As the Biscuit Doctor I feel it is high time that I contributed to your excellent and informative treaties on biscuits.
I would like to add to the information on the demised Dads Cookies. When in 1974, I was Technical Director at Chiltonian Biscuits in Lee, South London this company bought the rights from the Canadian company to make Dads Cookies in Britain. Formerly, they were being made at a company called Smiths in Corby. Smiths later closed.
There were four varieties, the Ďoriginalí, which was the most popular, and also Coconut, Chocolate Chip and Candy. They were all basically the same recipe including oats, peanuts, raisin paste and a little cinnamon for flavouring but with additions of coconut, chocolate chips or Chellies (Chellies were flavoured pectin drops in various colours). Chiltonian introduced the use of raisin paste (from California) as previously the fruit was either Turkish sultanas or raisins that were mashed up by mincing. The fruit was the characteristic flavour of the cookies and can be greatly recommended.
So, Dads Cookies were made by Chiltonian until the early 1980ís when the factory was closed and many of the famous products such as Garibaldi and Lemon Puffs were transferred to Jacobís Aintree factory. I believe Dads Cookie production was stopped after the closure of the Chiltonian factory.
|Nicey replies: Thank you for casting some light over so many issues. Not only have you helped reconcile the Dads cookies lineage questions, but also explained why Lemon Puffs in addition to Garibaldis took a turn for the worse back in the 1980s. All these biscuits were glorious under your stewardship and we salute your work.
I made the fruit cake from your recipe on Saturday morning last, and at the time of writing (Monday p.m.) there is but a thinnish slice left. Delicious. I like to eat it warmed in the microwave although the cherries can be pretty hot on emerging! I've made loads of cakes over the years but this one got my husband's seal of approval. Looking forward to the choccy one (!)
Margaret Broom (Ipswich in Suffolk)
|Nicey replies: It must have been the proximity of the cake to you as we sat on Ipswich station for two and a half hours due to a broken down freight train, sending out 'make me-make me' cake mind control messages. I wonder how many cakes were made in Ipswich that week?
Glad you both enjoyed it, and thanks for letting us know.
|Ruth and Mark
We saw his just arrived in Currys and we just have to know if the "near boiling point" output is actually good enough to make proper tea. Can you help? Are you willing to initiate some scientific (or otherwise) research?
Ruth and Mark
|Nicey replies: That looks interesting mainly due to its energy saving claims. It seems good for small offices maybe. Not sure that we feel brave enough to take one on though..|