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Lu Mikado Review
|Hey Mr Nicey,|
Just a note to say that for those of you intrigued by the Pocky, there is no need to visit the Far East or indeed get Japanese friends to bring them over with them. At the weekend I spotted some in a local Chinese supermarket in Bristol. Only noticed them becasue I recognised their name from recently having read NCOTAASD. Jolly little things they are too, especially stirred/dunked in a cup of vending machine chocolate. My girlfriend was also very pleased that she could hold the pencil like biscuit without getting chocolate on her fingers. Mind you 'chocolate' is an ambiguous term when it comes to these little treats. Its certainly not Bournville.
I've just found a website on the side of my box of Pocky's. It's a funny looking, typically cutesy Eastern style, Flash website. It has tinkly music, so I had to turn it off as that sort of thing is not allowed in our office. Do you know, we aren't even allowed to use kettles? I think they don't trust us not to burn ourselves. Mind you, when I was a bit tipsy in a hotel once, I did manage to pour still bubbling water from a kettle over my hand. It really hurt and I had massive juicy blisters for a week, which as I was a waiter at the time was not very pleasant for the customers. But the flex on the kettle was unexpectedly short. Is that standard for hotels in your experience?
|Nicey replies: Indeed many oriental type grocery stores sell them. It looks like yours were built by the Thai arm of Glico, the Japanese company behind Pocky. What did impress me the most were the ads for a product called Collon. Mmmm. Indeed they do look like little sections from the lower bowel. The Collon page on the Thai site is particularly off putting as it has small heaps of something next to the pieces of 'Collon'. I wonder why they haven't caught on here yet?
Oh yes Hotel kettles are their own entire sub species, a bit like those strange little Hobbit people they've been digging up in Indonesia only the're kettles.
Just wanted to drop you a line to say how much I am enjoying your book. I am reading it at two hour intervals at work, accompanied by you only know too well what!
I have also had an idea that may go well on your website and wondered what you might think of it. Having recently enjoyed the film Vera Drake (thought it is very harrowing, so enjoy might not be the best word), and despite its serious intent, it is so glorious in its Britishness and period feel. Tea features heavily in Vera Drake and it got me thinking about other great tea moments in films. It struck me how interesting and amusing it might be for people to suggest a 'Top Ten Tea Films.' Like the interrupted farewell over tea in Brief Encounter (with sugar served in the spoon), or Tom Courtenay's wonderful rendering of 'I like a nice cup of tea in the morning...' in The Dresser. Not to mention Wallace and Gromit and their huge brown teapots! What do you think?
(Shortbread/Milk Chocolate Digestive top choice at present)
|Nicey replies: Hello Nick,
Oh yes, that's a good plan. I think my favourite has to be Donald Pleasence in the Great Escape offering James Garner (I think) a cup of tea and complaining that he had been reusing the same tea leafs about ten times now.
Ringtons Ginger Snap Review
My 85 year old mum buys huge quantities of a caramel wafer, similar to Tunnocks', from Ringtons.
Frankly, I find them inferior, being less chewy and sometimes rather dry.
However, if I start to buy the Tunnocks ones, I will be in the unenviable dilemma of refusing my mums kind offer of yet another packet of 'those biscuits you like, pet'.
And I don't want to overload the biscuit barrel.
Does anyone else find the lookie-likie Ringtons version not as nice? And do others have a generous biscuit-giver in the family?
|Nicey replies: Yes a dilemma indeed. Presumably your Mum takes advantage of Rington's home delivery service. Perhaps the way forward is to suggest that you might want to give some of their other stuff a go to see what its like, could be a win win situation if you find a new favourite. Lots of people rave about their Gingernuts for instance.|
Dad's Cookies Review
|Just an addition to the information about Dad's Cookies, the flavour and taste of which I can almost recall. (I had a sudden flash-back and came to the Internet and just stuck in the name, so here I am.)|
I left the bakery trade in the 1960's, having been for six years with my father in the company of which he was a director and, at that time we were coming to the end of the era of loose biscuit sales. Dad's Cookies in those days - and I think I can recall them before World War 2 - were kept in our twenty-odd shops in a very large glass jar and served therefrom into bags. They were large and very toothsome. All "commercial"biscuits to-day are but a pale shadow of their former selves, both in size and quality.
||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.