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Jacob's Orange Club Review
Nicholas Bryan writes that the sugar-free Farley's Rusks were delicious.
I'm not so sure.
Back in 1989 I worked in the Quality Assurance labs at Farley's factory in Plymouth (it is now the site of a Morrisons supermarket). Apart from all the microbiological, chemical and physical (for packaging) testing which was required, one of my tasks was tasting the rusks.
I dreaded sugar-free rusks. They were revolting - like eating sawdust. In reverse order, my favourites were sugar-free, original, banana and (yum!) orange. Still, the sugar-free rusks weren't as bad as the Breakfast Timers - a slurry which passed for baby food.
Another of my jobs was to empty the contents of the Insectocutors (those blue lamp insect traps). Each set of dead insects was bagged and labelled, then I would go back to the lab and look for any pest organisms (e.g. flour beetles) amongst the corpses, using a binocular microscope.
|Nicey replies: I used to use one of those binocular microscopes as a student to do insect dissections. I remember a fairly gross incident with a cockroach where its head, which I had been instructed to remove, crawled back into my field of view using its antennae. As I recall I spent the rest of the practical in the tea room dissecting a Jacob's Orange Club biscuit instead.
Anyhow sounds like you had a dream job there, although I'm not sure whose dream it was.
McVities Milk Chocolate Digestive Review
|Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
I am new to your website, but i'm glad i was directed to it by my obvioulsly in the know brother.
I have what i consider a problem. My job often becomes boring and to break the day up, i do enjoy a nice cup of tea, as i spend all day sitting down i cannot experience that part of the process, but i have taken to standing to drink my cups of splosh (i am aware you will find this unacceptable and i shall punish myself accordingly).
Anyway my problem:
I seem to be consuming large amounts of tea (in mug form) and am becoming concerned as to the effects this will have upon me. It's just the tea making process is worked on a rota type basis each person taking their 'turn' to make for the rest of us etc, but some peoples tea skills seem to be poor at best. One lady must leave or squeeze the bag (not PG) until it can take no more as when it arrives to quench my thirst it seems to be orange almost glowing in a David Dickinson kind of fashion. This i find unacceptable and undrinkable i have attempted to drink this stew and the result of it was me needing to rehydrate my self with 2 pints of water. Is this harming me. Should i try and get this lady the sack just to stop her inflicting pain on us. Whats more as if this wasn't enough i'm the only one to buy biscuits (choc digestives) oh yeah they all like eating them. I feel my good nature is being taken for granted and these halflings with impaired taste should be removed from my day to day life. So i guess the question is are these people harming me, do i have a case?
Hope you can help
|Nicey replies: Mr Rew,
These are common problems faced by most office workers. The problem is the basic conflict between peoples individual preferences in tea and the need some people seem to have for their tea to be made for them. Personally I've always found large tea rotas to be a pain. As you point out the tea is often made by people with odd and unpalatable personal tea habits. Sometimes there is a tendency for too many cups of tea to made if the rota is large as people just like the excuse to slope off for a while on the pretence of performing the altruistic task of tea making.
I've always suspected that those who most vocally insist that everybody makes cups of tea for everybody else are in-fact missing the attention of their parents who probably waited on them hand and foot for years.
I've always preferred making my own tea, rather than having some teabag squeezer or too-much-milk type forcing some dreadful brew upon me. A small select micro-rota of no more than three people with those who I actually like and have trained to make tea correctly to my specifications is about as for it goes for me.
As for the biscuits this too is sadly inevitable. You'll need to tell everyone in no uncertain terms that they either take turns buying the biscuits or they can take a hike. They should respect your position on this one, and you'll have set the stage for you to dish out withering remarks about pinching biscuits to the transgressors, which should cheer you up.
|Revd. Stephen Day
Cornish Fairings Review
Just got back from Cornwall, and I'm sorry to report that your "missing in action" section may soon have to include the Cornish Fairing
An intensive search in Truro this morning discovered only one shop (a patisserie) selling the biscuits, and the proprietor said that they weren't going to be available any more as Furniss were in receivership.
On the other hand, the Camborne and Redruth Packet has potentially better news
One for NCOTAASD HQ to keep an eye on...
Hope your summer holiday was at least as good as mine, and with fewer blisters !
|Nicey replies: Hi Steve,
Thanks for the on the spot reporting on important Cornish biscuit matters. Lets hope they can sort it out.
We had a lovely time in France, no blisters although it may take some time to erase the psychological scaring of having to play mini-golf in torrential rain.
Here is a rousing picture of some cakes with France in the background, taken on the same day as the mini-golf incident.
Jam Sandwich Creams Review
|Dear Nicey, |
We are attending a rather boring seminar for 2 days next week and need something to keep us occupied. Do you have any suggestions for "interesting" biscuits that would both entertain us in the boring parts of the seminar and provide a nourishing snack to keep the brain active. These biscuits would also have to travel well (Birmingham to Slough) as there may be no guarantee of their supply at the venue.
Thanks in anticipation,
|Nicey replies: Good advance planning skills. Of course depending on how deadly the seminar is depends on how carefully you'll have to think about the biscuits. If its really really dull then almost anything fancier than a Rich Tea will lift your spirits. You probably want to keep things within in reason as truly inspiring biscuits might cause you to rise up the shackles of your oppressive seminar and slope off for an early lunch, there by getting you into trouble.
I'm thinking Jam and Cream sandwiches, as they have those little protective plastic trays. Also there is a lot of action in the Burtons Cadburys range right now and you should find something there that has been unexpectedly half coated in chocolate, and in need of investigation.
Lu Petit Dejeuner Review
|Dear Honourable Biscuit gentleman;|
In two weeks time i will be moving to France to study (it's ok though, i saw that the Auchan across the road stocks McVities Digestives). I had been intrigued by the various breakfast biscuits that i saw on display last week and thank you most heartily for this analysis- it's like thor himself urged you to write that review in order to facilitate my living and make breakfasts a little more pleasurable. Perhaps i will have to become a cake woman for the next three years? (if you're ever in Finland, by the way, i recommend the Korvapuusti [lit: ear rolls- never let it be said that those Fins don't like to mix up the controversy] ).
You didn't happen to see any gingernuts over in France-land, did you?
p.s. if you ever get stuck for language in France, remember that an 'alors' and a 'd'accord' will always get you far
|Nicey replies: Good luck in France - a couple of crates of Tea Bags, proper biscuits, Marmite, Marmalade, Baked Beans, Branston Pickle, Custard Powder, Mint Sauce, Horse Radish Sauce, assorted Curry paraphernalia and some proper fruitcake should get you through the first couple of months with your sanity intact. You'll just have to live on your wits if you want to find sensible bacon for a sandwich.
As for Gingernuts not a sign of them (refer to above!).
The Rev Stephen Day has extensive experience of Finland, as he was on a deep undercover mission out there for a couple of years as a telecomms type bloke. Being suitably clever he even claims to be able to read some of their biscuit packets too. Largely but not entirely unrelated, he reports back from a recent walking holiday in Cornwall that the Cornish Fairing is in big trouble once again.
As for 'Alors' I usually use that followed by a deep intake of breath when commencing any cake business in France. It sets the the tone nicely.