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||As if news of the impending demise of the Plain Chocolate HobNob wasn't bad enough, one must now face the fact that we are moving out of the Cream Tea Season. Living in the west country, perhaps we lockels are more sensitive than most to this time of year but the sad fact remains that with the passing of the fresh strawberry season, we now must face a sudden down-turn in cream tea uptake.|
Wifey-Darling will no doubt become quieter, virtually hibernating over winter until the daffodils and Cream Tea signs start to re-appear next spring. All I ask is that your devoted readers and well-wishers keep in mind the many who shall be suffering these coming months. Some suggest Panettone therapy, but it's not the same, it really isn't.
Here's some lovely crumbly scones Wifey-Darling made earlier this year for a do:
|Nicey replies: That really is the nicest picture of strawberry topped scones we have ever seen.|
Custard Cream Review
|When I was treasurer of my union branch way back in the 1970s, one of my duties was to buy the tea and biscuits for the meetings. It was then that I discovered orange creams. These are very much like custard creams but with orange filling not vanilla. They are divine. Are they still for sale? It's a long time since I've seen them on a supermarket shelf. Perhaps an orange cream spotting competition with my grateful thanks as a reward?|
|Nicey replies: Every so often we get a mail from somebody trying to track down some Orange Creams. The last ones I saw in the wild were in the biscuit aisle of an Iceland as part of a three pack of custard, orange and coconut creams. The Iceland in question has since been demolished and a whole new set of of shops built, so it was a while back.
I have seen various flavoured cream biscuits originating from Ireland, such as raspberry creams and these were made I think under the Bolands brand which was used by Jacobs. These could occasionally turn up in the UK in small grocers and the like. Since the acquisition of Jacobs in Ireland by Fruitfield in 2004 I'm not sure what has been happening with the Bolands brand, or products. However we have heard that the Irish have fixed their Club Milk back from the rubbish raft format adopted in 2001 to the proper sandwich format we all know and love, so they certainly seem like a force for good.
Yes I am aware that I have completely wandered off the point now.
What Nessa appears to have had is a tea and fruit infusion party.....however i'm not going to get started on that again!
I've always thought you can tell a lot from someone's tea drinking habits and I think we can read a lot in to Nessa through these photos.
- She has laid out 19 cups and therefore expects 18 friends or family to join her for her party, this tells me she is clearly popular.
- She expects to get around 5 cups of tea out of each pot. This tells me she is an ambitious person but not someone who would tackle the impossible.
- The spread of identical iced fingers, large cake and enormous variety of tea types tells me that she likes to avoid conflict.
- The tesco finest jam tells me that she enjoys a little luxury in life, however would not waste money on top end names such as M+S or Waitrose just to impress.
Am I somewhere near the mark in my tea psychiatry?
I'm sure you have the higher resolution pictures at HQ, so could you tell me what those 3 strange spherical objects are in the middle picture.
|Nicey replies: Yes I thought I would let the infusion thing go which seemed fair as the three round things appear to be plums showing a genuine interest in fruit.|
||Until now I've been a failure as a parent. Both our kids have avoided any tea or coffee intake, in fact the only hot drink they'll touch is hot chocolate. This is probably due to my tendency to consume huge mugs of industrial strength Assam, with very little milk and certainly no sugar. My own introduction to tea was by my grandfather who served me tiny little bone china cups full of very sweet milky glengettie, and let me drink it from the saucer or teaspoon if it was too hot. (I also shared the saucer with his collie dog, Bob, but that's another story).|
Anyway, while on holiday our youngest (7) took part in a tasting at the Auray branch of the LeClerc supermarket chain (lack of French is no obstacle to a lad who can talk for Wales and doesn't care if anyone's listening). He was much taken with the Lipton Ice Tea Peche
Thankfully we can get a version of this at home, so he's very happy. My questions are:
1. Does this count, in any way, as tea drinking in the 'real' sense?
2. How can I encourage it to evolve into a proper tea habit without resorting to too much sugar?
(Much more cheerful this week, thanks!)
|Nicey replies: Hello Sue,
Glad you have bucked up a bit this week.
I remember my first visit to a LeClerc (indeed the first French Supermarket I went too), must have been about 15 years ago now. Despite only being a small one it still sold cement mixers along with the more obvious groceries. For added rustic charm a small flock of sparrows were coming in through a gap in the roof and making off with some goods placed at the top of the shelves. I'm guessing it was somewhere near Montreuil just south of Boulogne.
Anyhow sorry to bring you down in your hour of triumph but French peach flavoured Iced tea fails on at least three counts. Still the fact that the boy is showing willingness to try other beverages is a good thing in general. We work on the principle here that certain selected items such as special forms of cake (one's that we made a bit of a fuss about baking) can only be consumed with tea. This works some of the time but is in no way fool proof.
For some reason the chefs where I work insist on calling Custard "English Sauce" whenever they put it onto the menu! Is this some strange EU directive that means its not allowed to be called Custard unless it comes from the Custardy region of France or Germany or where ever? Whatever the reason, I can report that it tastes just the same. Maybe we need a capaign to Save Our Custard!
On a different point, my childhood favorite desert was Banana Custard, which my brother and I used to make by pouring a generous helping of custard over a sliced banana. Delicious!
|Nicey replies: Bananas and Custard are a proper pudding. The younger members of staff and myself often tuck into a bowl.|