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There is nothing on earth to compare with Bird's Custard Powder! Home-made apple tart or plum crumble just does not taste the same without it. I have been living in Germany for over 30 years now and every year when I go back to my home town in Hampshire, I stock up on Bird's Custard Powder. There is a similar powder in Germany, made by Dr. Oetker, but it just doesn't taste the same. We love it over bananas, stewed rhubarb, mincemeat tarts and of course, over Christmas pudding. If there's any left over, it gets eaten cold the next day, or heated up in the microwave. My German friend makes her custard using the German powder mixed with half milk and half cream. I tried this with Bird's Custard Powder, but it just didn't seem right somehow. I suppose it's what you get used to over the years. My German children (adults now), won't touch the German stuff, as they have been brought up on Bird's. So keep the flag flying for the original Bird's Custard Powder!!
As a representant of the French in GB, I would like to add my view on the "proper custard made from powder" Vs "nonsence custard made with eggs and other fresh ingredients".
First of all: " Apparently classically trained French chefs refuse to acknowledge the existence of custard"
Well, I disagree! We have "Creme Anglaise", it is the receipe of the traditional custard (i.e. the noncense one as it appear to be).... For the "Proper Custard", one should look under "Bechamel Sauce" and simply replace the salt and pepper by some vanilla flavouring and sugar.... and here you go, custard as you know it... (using corn flour to have that nice creamy texture). :P
So, here you go, simply a difference in the naming convention for "proper custard". Call that "vanilla flavoured bechamel sauce", and you French Chef will imediately answer "Ah, mais bien sure!" (Ah, of course!) before grabbing his butcher knife and start chassing after you :) (just kidding... I think)
Have a nice day
Tunnocks Wafer Review
|Ahh....I have found your website and it's a joy to behold.|
Eagerly searching through the comprehensive pages of biscuit scripture herein I find the mighty Tunnocks Wafer; immediately I am forced to wipe away the litttle tear that rolls down my cheek as I recall the day my mother found the Tunnocks wafer wrapper collection my sister and me had accumulated.
Neatly ironed with the heel of my sister's "fancy shoes", each wrapper was carefully prepared for it's further and ongoing pressing between the two leaves of our fold out/extendable coffee table.
Our Mother had no knowledge of the importance of a neatly pressed Tunnocks Wafer wrapper to her offspring and we would watch in horror as she screwed her wrapper into the tightest little ball and throw it in the bin. These were quickly retrieved and secretly restored, the careful unfolding process would sometimes take hours so as not to rip the shiney red and gold paper.
This went on for years, I even remember the day when the Tunnocks peeps could proudly boast 4,000,000 made and sold instead of the meagre 3,500,000 and we were blessed with the Mk2 wrapper and a piece of biscuit history. We had around 100 wrappers when the day came....
Whilst in the company of guests we were all sitting enjoying some tea and biscuits, when due to said guests the need for the table to be extended arose. My sister and myself exchanged nervous glances knowing that years worth of secret careful unfolding,smoothing and pressing, were about to be discovered by our unwitting Mum and her friends.
Mum wasn't aware of the collection and she failed to lift the top of the table with the care required, in one swift action the air was full of Tunnocks wrappers; spinning, floating and dancing. It was like a biscuity crystal maze. My sister and me never collected any more from then on as it wasn't the same.
This is why I love Tunnocks Wafers, the fond memories of how truly bizarre my childhood was bizarre, move over Charlie Brown Me and my Sister have got loads of Golden Tickets!.
I will go in the loft tomorrow as I'm sure they're up there in a pencil case!
Thank you for listening,
Robin Warren (24 3/4)
|Nicey replies: Robin,
You have enriched all our lives with your Tunnock's wrapper memories.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
I haven't been on the site for a while as I have changed jobs and my new employers aren't so keen on casual surfing in the workplace. I also struggle to get on t'internet at home as by the time I've managed to fight the kids off, I've forgotten why I wanted to use it in the first place.
Anyway, to stave off NCOTAASD withdrawal, I have been re-reading your book which I bought last Christmas.
This has done the trick as I had forgotten how good it was. I took it in to work today and left it on my desk so that my colleagues could start to appreciate the importance of tea during a sit down (the local preferance is for capucino from the coffee shop, or 'single shot Americano' which is a poncey name for black coffee).
Anyway, I just thought I'd mention an omission in your chapter concerning work based kitchens, this being the strategies employed to avoid conversation when you are trapped in the kitchen with someone you don't know or like particularly well.
My personal strategies are
- Pretend to be reading the notice board.
- Pick up a magazine from the table (if there are any). If you're lucky, there may be some cheap books for sale from a book club (fill out an order form and pay the girl on reception, that kind of thing).
- Walk out assertively as if you have something important to do and will be back when the kettle has boiled.
- Avoid making eye contact until the kettle has boiled and hope that someone else arrives in the meantime.
Perhaps you could post a survey?
|Nicey replies: Hello Keith,
Yet another excellent idea for a poll.
As a techie sort of bloke we could always pretend to be talking about something really dull by actually talking about something really dull, but obviously this requires you to go to the kettle in pairs.
Failing that a short rant about the lack of teaspoons / lack of mugs / unpleasant milk bottle etiquette / kettle etiquette etc will either drive off the interloper or engage them in conversation about an important topic. I say engage, but as you'll be ranting they'll not really get a word in, plus they may also give you a wide birth from there on in avoiding a reoccurrence of the problem.
||My Northern partner thought she didn't like custard - "disgusting custard" in a W Yorks accent - and sure enough, when I had apple pie and custard in Harrogate, it was a pale, watery concoction.|
She was converted by southern custard, Bird's, made from powder, but now, we're hooked on the stuff in cardboard bricks (Ambrosia) which cuts out the faffing around factor, and tastes not bad really.
Could there be a regional divide in custard, similar to the regional differences over "buns"?
|Nicey replies: That's a slice of my homemade Apple Pie and Custard of course. As for Ambrosia their parent company Premier foods according to press reports acquired the Birds custard brand from Kraft at the end of 2004 and promised to invest literally millions in the brand reviving it. However, last year there were stories about the brand being in crisis. On top of this the Custard Powder I bought in Asda only two weeks ago was still branded Kraft and is good till 2007. So all fairly mysterious as we look deeply into custard.|