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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.
||Hi Nicey and Wifey,|
I bought the book from Ottokars and keep randomly dipping into it for my amusement. I did not see the name of Gray Dunn with caramel wafers but my reading method might have skipped over it. I think they did a popular advertising campaign on TV at least ten years ago. Not that I like them any more than cardboard/Rivita. I endorse the assessment of the fig biscuits, they are some kind of perfection but they can go rock hard if not kept properly in a sealed biscuit tin. They don't normally last long enough to find that out.
It would be interesting to know what your readers use for biscuit tins. I have an old round one with a flower pattern on the lid but I also keep them in a modern sealable plastic container. I hear you screaming the word 'sacrilege'. I also have an old chromed biscuit barrel that I think goes back to my parents' wedding day in 1947. It has an inner container, like a little bucket, but does not hold a sufficient quantity of biscuits and it does not feel right to separate them into two places.
I hope that you don't mind but I have attached a photo of our workplace brewing area, exactly as it is every day, with its industrial teapot and messy fridge below. Mine is the KitKat mug. Note the rusty spoon and build-up of tannin in the teapot. The cleaning lady is under very strict instructions NEVER to clean the insides of the teapot. We always think it keeps the tea away from the metal and, anyway, it is probably bad luck if someone cleans it out. Out of the picture, there is a box of 100 Tetley teabags from the 'pound shop'.
The custard picture from your website is now my computer background picture. Yum!
Keep up the good work. I am enjoying the book.
|Nicey replies: Hello Jack,
That's a wonderful photo of tea making equipment, just the sort of thing I was after when I took the photos for the book. I like the brown tray underneath it all too and the reflections in the kettle. The teapot is glorious, I'm particularly impressed with the black wire handle over the spout to aid pouring. I'm also enjoying the old 10Base2 networking points behind the fridge.
Sadly we were informed a while back that Grey Dunn ceased trading in 2001 so I suppose I should really put an entry up or them in the missing in action section.