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Firstly I would like to express my continuing delight at viewing this excellent and sensible website, and the hearty and well-informed opinions of those who have sent contributions. I hope mine does not seem trite or improper in some way.
I have personal experience of a departure from what could be called "the norm" of biscuit tin usage. I was unaware of the curious nature of my parent's method of biscuit storage as I was but a child and knew no different, but have become keenly aware of the eccentricity of their actions as I went through a happy biscuit eating childhood into a more philosophical tea drinking maturity.
I should start by saying that when viewed from the exterior all seemed as normal. A stalwart tin was employed depicting scenes from the coronation of George VI, as far as I can tell the tin was contamporaneous with this event (is this a record for biscuit tin age?) and whilst showing signs of rust on the outside is still nice and shiny on the inside, which brings us neatly to the point of my rambling discourse:
The biscuits were stored in the tin still in their packets.
I didn't realise that this was odd until I saw my friends mum casually tumble a whole packet of custard creams into their biscuit tin (or "barrel" as they laughably referred to it). "How strange" I thought. Then I noticed that EVERYONE seemed to have the biscuits loose in the tin, which shocked me. Looking back on it though there is I think a certain logic to their actions. The tin keeps the biscuits in their opened packets fresh, whilst the packets prevent flavour osmosis occurring. Biscuits in tip top condition at all times.
This was thrown into a mockery when my father took to buying "Broken Biscuits" which were a mixture of imperfect biscuits in a bag, 1kg for a quid, in which all the biscuits tasted of the strongest flavoured biscuits anway.
Is all this because my father went to art school?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
|Nicey replies: Unless your Dad is in a well known rock band, or somehow still at Art School, then he totally missed the point of Art school.|
||Can you settle an ongoing debate within our department, jaffa cakes - is|
the orangey filling jelly or jam? We contacted McVities who confessed it
was an industrial type jam. However, we are not convinced what is an
industrial jam, we maintain it's more jelly than jam.
Great web site but strangely a lack of tea related stuff, perhaps you
could redeem yourselves by joining us in campaigning for the
reinstatement of the PGTips monkeys!
More Tea! PG Tips Pyramids of course!
|Nicey replies: Richard,
I've always thought of it as Jelly but if McVities say its jam then jam it is. I suppose it comes down to what sort of complex macro-molecules give it its jelly like texture. For Jam its pectin a polysaccharide component of plant cell walls, and for jelly its gelatin a protein found in skin, bone and cartilage. I just checked on a packet of Tesco's Jaffa cakes and the gelling agent is Pectin. So Jam it is.
Still industrial jam sounds pretty cool, a step up from recreational jam. I suppose military or weapons grade jam is the next level up.
As for tea the wife and I regularly enjoy PG. The chimps lost their way since about 1976, but as yet the motives of the plasticene birds are unclear.
I think tea is a very personal thing so I don't tend to get drawn into debates on its components or construction.
I feel compelled to warn all other NCOTAASD regulars about the Sainsbury's "Be Good To Yourself" range of biscuits. I purchased some Strawberry and Cream biscuits from the range and sat down to eat one with a cuppa yesterday. They are foul. I am not sure about the rest of the range but would advise caution. Luckily I had a spare Chocolate Digestive (standard packaging) to wash away the taste. These views should be treated as subjective, I have no wish to feel the legal wrath of J. Sainsbury.
Yours in concern,
|Nicey replies: James,
These biscuits have a very different agenda to conventional biscuits, as they are trying to be good to you by monkeying around with the basic dynamics of the biscuit recipe, altering the fat and sugar content. The Strawberries and Cream thing is meant to be a diversion away from the now compromised biscuit.
Like most things in this world that are bad for us you are better off having one or two good ones rather than a truck load of dodgy ones, as I think your example has illustrated.
During my boyhood in Newark (-on-Trent) (is there another one, then?), the ladypersons of the family used to make Grantham Gingerbread biscuits. The were delicious, all crisp on the outside and sometimes just a bit gooey on the inside, with bubbles in them. They had a Secret Ingredient, obviously. And they were yellow. That was 50-60 years ago. I was just thinking (as one does, you know) -- I haven't seen or heard of Granthem Gingerbread biscuits since then, during all the years, in four or five countries, through thick and thin. Do you/does Wifey/does anybody know them, or the recipe?
Greety things be unto you
|Nicey replies: I've not heard of them, they sound very nice indeed so it would be good if we could find them. Maybe they were in some axis of power with the nearby Lincoln biscuit, and a dispute over the secret ingredient caused them to be sidelined. Is there anybody in the East Midlands who has heard of them??|
As Mark Daszkiewicz rightly states in his previous mailing, iced gems are "amongst the worst kind of biscuit imaginable" and are best avoided for several reasons.
However, I was recently given a packet of these 'biscuits'; i didn't want to throw them away so i thought of a way to make them more palatable. I tipped them into a bowl and poured cold milk over them (i suppose you could put sugar on as well; vanilla sugar might be good) and ate them in a similar way as you would a breakfast cereal, along with a nice cup of tea.
Just thought some of your readers might want to try this if they have a packet taking up space in their cupboard.
|Nicey replies: Dear Mr G,
I think they could make a good subsitute for drawing pins. If anyone manages to nail someting to a wall using Iced Gems let us know.