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Fox's Mint Echo Review
|Hello Nicey & Wifey,|
I've been addicted to your site for quite some time now - it's fab!
I work in a very nice office where the attitude to nice cups of tea and sit downs is pretty relaxed. In particular, the biscuit-providing arrangement is interestingly unregulated: basically, everyone just brings in some biccies whenever the tin looks a bit empty. So far this has proved entirely sustainable, with the only biscuit-drought occurring immediately after New Year when I think everyone felt that they'd overindulged somewhat so ought to give the biccies a brief miss.
Anyhoo, the biccy of choice at the moment, courtesy of a "2fer" at some supermarket or other, is the Fox's Echo. We've had both plain and mint varieties but there's only minty ones left now. It'd be interesting to know how you felt about these biccies but that's not why I'm writing. I'm really wanting to see how widespread the incidence of illicit TimTam Slamming was...
I was reading Murray James' letter detailing his difficulties with The Slam (you've got to suck it up quick and slam the second the tea hits your tongue, mate) when it occurred to me that the Echo was of a similar construction to the TimTam - biscuit + filiingy bit enclosed in a choccy coating. Being a bit bored now with the minty taste, but still wanting the choccy and biscuit I threw caution to the wind, made sure no-one was looking and proceeded to Slam my Echo. And you know, even with the minty bit, it really was not bad at all. The choccy at the end that got dunked went very melty so I wouldn't recommend this for younger members of staff (well, not without a suitable amount of plastic sheeting laid out to a 2m radius anyway) but overall it was a good mix of choccy biscuity meltyness. Bit too much mint filling for my taste but I'd spotted that before I started and was ready for it when it came. I really do think you ought to give it a go.
So, I'm now inspired to experiment with other biscuits. Is this rash? Foolhardy, even? Does anyone else do this? I can't imagine I'm the only person to have spotted this potential in other biscuits. And, most importantly, would you have any particular recommendations?
|Nicey replies: Yes the Cadbury's Finger comes in for a fair bit of this treatment, so I'm told.|
||Dear Mr Nicey and Mrs Wifey,|
Tomorrow and Friday, my wife and I will be entertaining electrical engineers while they do some work to our house.
Of course we are concerned that we give them the right tea and biscuits for the occasion. We plan to give them Sainsbury Red Label tea (from tea bags) as we find this to be a good reliable brew. You can easily get two mugs out of one tea bag and the taste seems to suit most people.
However, we are not sure what would be the best biscuit: my immediate thought was the Rich Tea (although we do only have digestives in the house at present). In your experience, is there a biscuit that you would recommend for feeding electrical engineers whilst they are at work? Would they be disappointed by a Rich Tea or a Digestive as these bisuits are non chocolate and a bit traditional?
|Nicey replies: Alan,
I think you have it all under control, of course you might need to have the sugar handy as they could require up to three spoonfuls per mug although two is more common. I would normally serve Rich Teas to any trades people who are working outside, as they are optimised for high speed dunking in rapidly cooling tea. Presumably your electrical work is inside in which case the Digestives should work well, or maybe some nice Fruit Shortcake, or Custard Creams. You should always be aiming to offer a biscuit that is humble yet tasty, in this way your 'guest' will feel quite comfortable tucking away as many as they fancy. If the biscuits are too fancy then people can feel inhibited, and not take as many biscuits as they should. If you feel their work has been of exceptional quality and their manner courteous and thoughtful then you might wish to serve them a Penguin with their last cuppa.
Custard Cream Review
|Firstly, good job on the custard cream slot yesterday. It's encouraging that such important things as how to eat a custard cream are brought to the television watching masses.|
Secondly, I witnessed a concerning event at work today. As you can tell from my appreciation of your programme yesterday, and from the fact that I appear to be a sensible chap, I'm perfectly happy with dunking. When the dunking is biscuits in tea, that is. I don't have a problem with dunking certain biscuits in, say, hot chocolate either, though I wouldn't do it myself. However, this morning I saw someone in my office dunking a weetabix into a mug of milk. While on a surface level this is no different to a nice bowl of weetabix, it just seemed wrong. It makes me uncomfortable to even think of it.
|Nicey replies: Hi Tim,
Yes the Custard Cream thing went well. Mind you I was alarmed that completely out of the blue Linda Barker interjected in that way she does, just when I was apparently getting into my stride. I hope they pay that poor girl from Curry's who does all the work in the adverts telling you how much the tellies and dvd players cost and so on, more money than the Barker woman who just comes on and does something annoying with her fingers. Plus she's started sending us junk mail trying to convince us to buy her settees.
Any how most mornings I have to scrape a goodly sized amount of Weetabix of the facilities here at NCOTAASD HQ thanks to the younger members of staffs dubious spoon handling. Failure to do so and it sets into a hard implacable lump, which requires a pair of pliers to detach. Dunking them into milk with out protective plastic sheeting every where seems foolhardy.
||Hello Mr and Mrs Nicey,|
Firstly, if I may, a nice big thank you for a refreshingly brewed web site; it doesn't get much better than this.
Secondly, I would like to be a bit contentious, and put my two pence of input into the raging debate that is pink wafers.
Simply: they are great, should be compulsory in schools and must be included in any decent biscuit selection; or what kind of selection is it?
I would, however, concede that they do have a fundamental flaw, and, as much as I hate to draw attention to it, it is only fair if we are to undertake a true discourse on the subject that it be mentioned. So, here goes: you can't dunk them without ruining the drink (preferably a nice refreshing cup of tea) that they are being dunked into.
Now, while I can sympathise with those that do not like them for that reason, I feel we must stand back and look at the bigger picture, or selection if you will, because there are obviously many biscuits that can also ruin a perfectly good cup of tea if dunked into it.
I myself have been prone to the odd "hidden fault line" problem of digestive biscuits on many occasions; and we all know that a soggy quarter of a digestive in the bottom of our favourite brew will have a tendency to ruin the brew entirely, despite our frantic efforts with a tea-spoon to the contrary.
After much research, however, I have devised a cunning and dastardly plan to "solve" this situation, and in the interest of international biscuit relations, I feel I should share it here, with your wonderful readers at nicecupofteaandasitdown.com (not to be confused with that roguish pretender with the co.uk domain name!) And the solution is this: Don't dunk them.
Now, I know what you're thinking: he started that sentence with an "And." I'm sorry, I know it's wrong, as are contractions, but sometimes we have to do and say the radical so that we can get through these biscuit problems together.
So, in conclusion: don't deride the humble, if ever so tasty pink wafer. It's had a place in my heart, and in my assortment collections for all these years, and it would be a sad, sad situation were it to be allowed to disappear forever.
I know it has problems with dunking; but occasionally so do all biscuits, and that shouldn't be a reason for biscuits to be excluded from an assortment, especially one that has served us so long and well.
OK, that's me done. I wish you all, even you non-pink wafer loving biscuit eaters, a very merry festive season and a very happy, pink wafer filled, new year.
|Nicey replies: That's all right Justin you stand up and be counted. As for for biscuits with hidden flaws a few taps on the side of the biscuit barrel should sort the wheat from the chaff. Actually Nanny Nicey is at NCOTAASD for Christmas and has asked me to point out that she likes Pink Wafers. I'm scared it might skip a generation and that the younger members of staff might force us to start buying them.|
||Hi there, |
As a novice to the world of biscuits I am in urgent need of some guidance.
Yesterday at work I availed myself of a cup of coffee and pack of biscuits (Cadbury snack shortcakes to be precise) from our vending machine. Upon retuning to my desk I proceeded to unwrap the biscuits, dunk and taste. Very satisfying.... or so I thought. Little did I realise that I was under the ever watchful eye of my collegues who, upon seeing my actions gave a gasp of shock and disbelief.
What could be wrong with my quite normal biscuit behaviour you may well ask as indeed I did myself. It seems that the schoolboy error lay in the fact that my biscuits were chocolate covered.
Please do not be too hasty to judge. In view of this incident I would be most obliged for some advice. Is dunking chocolate covered biscuits breaking some kind of tea break etiquette or unspoken biscuit rule?
|Nicey replies: Rob,
The dunking of chocolate biscuits has long been frowned upon as poor manners, however, in recent years it has begun to become more socially acceptable. Just recently as reported in our last newsletter the McVitie's Chocolate Caramel came tops in poll of over 350,000 people. Personally I think its messy and a bit futile in the case of entirely coated biscuits.
In you specific case I would think your colleague would be better advised to direct his energies to worrying about the fact that you to have to drink stuff made by a vending machine.