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This morning with tea at elevensies we had some Mr.Kipling Apple pies with custard and a lattice pastry top which were quite superb. But by 3pm they had all gone so we (the management & I) tucked into our biccy tin. Our dilemma is now should we buy more of the apple & custard pies or should we think of our waistlines?
Regarding cream teas in devon & cornwall I can thoroughly recommend the ones served at the Lee Abbey tea rooms at Lee Bay near the Valley of Rocks by Lynton - they are so good that on occasions we have had to opt for the mini-tea which has only one scone if we to reserve room for dinner.
|Nicey replies: I always advise in these situations just steaming into them in the hope that you'll get sick of them. Mind you biscuit enthusiast Andrew who I used to work with tried that with Double Coat Tim Tams, but the whole thing got away from him. Last I heard he had enrolled in the local gym and lost two and half stone.
I'm sure I had a cream tea near the valley of the rocks years ago, it was a long time ago but it was a good one.
|Cesca and Lucy
First of all, congratulations on your informative and compelling web site. Your biscuit tin quiz showed that even in the most dedicated biscuit consumers there's always room for improvement!
We are currently facing a biscuit boffin's worst nightmare and seek your advice to get us through this difficult time. Our much loved and well used biscuit tin has unfortunately of late become a health and safety hazard. It is with much regret that we must part ways, although we do have the best interests of our biscuits at heart. Our current tin is a family treasure, bought in Dubai circa 1980, it features a photo of three kittens frolicking among foliage. (To illustrate our attachment to this tin may I just say that the family suffered much trauma when a recent visitor commented that the three felines had probably died long ago.)
As we've had this tin for over two decades we are not up to speed with recent trends and developments in the biscuit tin world. With the plethora of choice out there, how best to approach the minefield of the biscuit tin? We would hate to insult our biscuits by storing them in a sub-standard vessel. Can you advise as to colour, shape and size? Any tips would be much appreciated.
Cesca and Lucy, big fans of all biscuits great and small.
|Nicey replies: Oh dear, this must be a very difficult time for you. Unfortunately biscuit barrels are a bit hard to come by nowadays. There are really three viable options as I see it.
1) Get a christmas Selection tins and use the left over tin.
2) Get yourselves into your local pound stretcher type shop, you'll almost certainly get some sort of bargain and if you're lucky it might have tacky pictures on it.
3) Go to a proper shop, and pay over the odds for something.
I would stay clear of the cookie jar school of design, as they tend to be too heavy for carrying around.
|Is it a controversial view (maybe even blasphemous) to suggest that digestive biscuits, like a fine wine, improve with age, especially when stored outside a biscuit tin. This allows them to become moist (a kind of a half way house between eating them "neat" and dipping them in "tea"). This is my firm belief, but was wondering what the accepted wisdom on this matter was?|
|Nicey replies: The accepted wisdom is that the Digestive has been rendered stale and nasty through neglect. I've not encountered anybody before who enjoys stale digestives, however, the Irish Kimberley biscuit tastes a bit stale and odd like a digestive that has been left out overnight in the garden. It is widely believed by me, that you need a special gene to enjoy Kimberleys which only the Irish or their descendents have. Perhaps this could be the explanation.
James replied "Mccaul is an Irish name and my family were originally Irish! I am thourghly impressed by your deductions and all round biscuit/genealogy knowledge."
I've been looking for a container specifically designed for housing biscuits. I remember as a child my Mum had a biscuit tin with a desiccant in the lid which stopped the biscuits going soggy. The desiccant could be removed and dried out in the oven to maintain it's usefulness for many years. I have so far been unable to find such a container in the shops on Manchester only non-specialist containers that simply proclaim themselves to be biscuit tins by having the marking "Biscuits" on the side. Can you help me please, do you know a supplier of specialist biscuit containers?
|Nicey replies: We have one of those, (see our Biscuit Tin Awareness Week item) but it was a Christmas selection tin for crackers from Sainburys or maybe M&S. Some people can't cope with the effects of the little drying out thing and I've heard tales of people removing them from the lids of their tins.|
||Dear Nicey, |
John Doyle mentioned the 'snap tin' - snap is a local word for packed lunch, or packing-up as certain people in Kent call it. I think 'snap' for packed lunch is more widespread than just Yorkshire, where interestingly a 'pot' of tea can be both a pot in the conventional sense (spout and handle) as well as meaning a big mug.