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||Dear Nicey |
I'd just like to put my oar in regarding the supply of tea and biscuits at blood donation sessions. I am a regular donor and strongly advocate the practice, however something radical has happened lately. No longer does a large plate of assorted biccies await the parched donor, from which there is always a silent fight for the rare chocolate ones, but now you are greeted by little sellophane packs of dull digestives (apologies to staunch digestive fans). After losing a pint (sorry, half litre) of blood, the last thing I want to do is have to battle my way through impregnable plastic. Bring back the pleasantly arranged plate and the chocolate ones and say humbug to health and safety rules. By the way, the quality of tea is always high, served by extremely nice little old ladies. This makes up for the biscuit coup.
P.S As a Cornish girl, the jam ALWAYS goes on the scone first, followed by suitably substantial lashings of clotted cream. I was at the Eden Project myself last week and found quality cream teas and excellant Fair Trade tea to quench our thirst from our simulated trek around South America, Africa, Asia, Italy etc etc etc.
Just have to lend my support to Nicola's point here. I can't say I've grown up with cream teas (though never say no if I get the chance to indulge) but in my limited experience, and preference, it's got to be cream first!
Surely this is just practical as well as more aesthetically pleasing? Think about it, jam, while fresh, can be pretty slick stuff. If you try to spread something rougher over it (i.e. clotted cream, surely the stiffest off all creams?), the whole topping ends up sliding all over the place. This is bad news, as evidenced by the mixed up pale pink creamy jammy goo (and worst of all with scone crumbs worked into it) that one could so eaily end up with in this kind of practice. However, treating the cream as one would butter on the scone and then dressing it up with runny jam ensures that all three compents retain their individual contiguity until they are devoured. Mixing is then allowed.
|Nicey replies: I understand what you are getting perfectly only the cream we had in Cornwall was quite runny and the jam quite stiff. Perhaps rather than hard and fast rules this is really a case by case judgment. Why can't one simply apply jam to one half and cream to the other in which ever orientation pleases you, no confusing mechanical issues.|
I am a regular reader but first time contributor to yours, the best website in the world.
On seeing your picture of a "typical" cream tea I felt the need to comment on the disastrous placement of clotted cream.
Originally from Devon (and therefore highly qualified on the subject of cream teas) I was always taught that the cream goes on first, then a small blob of strawberry jam is place atop (certain heathens may use raspberry jam but the least said about those people the better!). You're picture clearly puts jam first, then cream! Quelle horreur!
Despite this comment I am pleased that your horizons have broadened during your trip.
Keep up the difficult work!
|Nicey replies: My Auntie Edna who has local knowledge of the issue did warn me that I might be inciting unrest. However, yours is the first mail I've had advocating cream first so it would appear you're in the minority. If you are right then my reply should really lead to widespread unrest.|
Bodam Carlsbad Spa Wafers Review
I've just read your biscuit of the week. David and I got married in Prague last year! We bought these biscuit / wafers fresh and they were truly fantastic. They take about two seconds to make and are still hot when you eat them as they are made to order. If I recall correctly they cost about 2p each.
I do hate to be a pedant though but I thought I would point this out before someone else did. It's not Czechoslovakia any more. In in the early 90's the Czech republic became a country in this own right. As did the Slovak Republic. So it's the Czech republic now.
|Nicey replies: Hello Mrs InABin,
No go ahead pick us up on it, as you know I make everything up as I go along including my dodgy grasp of political geography. Woo.
I'm off to our holiday house now for a big pot of tea and clotted cream scones, with Jam, Yum.
Jammie Dodger Review
|Dear Nicey -|
Thank you for your lovely website. I have been very much enjoying it on a semi-regular basis.
I wonder if you have been doing any research into the 'raspberry-flavoured plum jam' problem which currently afflicts Jammie Dodgers and other biscuit/jam compounds.
Raspberry jam is certainly a top jam, so I don't understand why Jammie Dodger manufacturers have to resort to this silly simulacrum. Maybe they are worried about the presence of those little raspberry bits - like minature embryonic raspberrys. If you reduce raspberries to a puree then these bits are certainly distracting, but in the context of jam, they present no difficulties. Equally, I am worried at the thought that raspberry flavoured plum jam might retain some taint of former pluminess. For indisputably, plum jam does not belong in the folio of classic jams. But by what method is the plum flavour eradicated? What would happen if this process was to backfire?
Or maybe it is only a question of simple economics. In which case, my response would be to wait a moment, and then to breathe softly: 'oh dear'. I have seen Jurassic Park (one and two) and I know you cannot toy with nature for mere financial gain.
I hope you can shed some light on this for me, and many of my concerned friends.
|Nicey replies: Tom,
I covered this one in the review. Its to do with the amount of pectin which is the complex polysaccharide in plant cell walls that sets the jam. Plums and Apples are very rich in it soft fruits such as raspberries don't have so much and strawberries are notoriously low in it. Hence to get really stiff jam capable of holding the two sides of the jamie dodger together Burton's have gone for a plum based jam. However the flavours that people respond to are those of the of soft fruit jams, hence subterfuge.