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|Mrs Ann Day
||Good afternoon Nicey,|
Love the site. Anything that keeps me off of eBay is a good thing!
Where do you sit on the subject of date slice? Is it a biscuit or a cake or something else? I have made loads of these as they go well at a cricket tea along with the jam and cream scones, chocolate cake and strong tea. I always know when to start brewing the tea....it's when my husband goes in to bat.
As an addition to my extensive cake repetoire I have invented the bakewell slice and the mincemeat and marzipan slice. Basically the same constrution as the date slice but filled with marzipan and mincemeat/jam of your choice. I especially like making them as my husband hates marzipan and I get to eat them all ;-)
On the subject of tea I have been to India on a number of occasions and they can't make tea worth a damn. what with the hot milk and boiling everything up together in a saucepan. What is it with Lipton's Yellow label tea? It seems to be all you can get in hotels. I've travelled extensively and the only hotel where it wasn't on the breakfast table was in The Dominican Republic where they served proper Twinings Breakfast tea.
|Nicey replies: Ann,
We had a discussion on this very topic not so long ago and agreed that 'slice' should be a recognised term deserving of its own circle in our mighty Venn Diagram of the baked goods world. It has the significant advantage of neatly solving the 'Flapjack dilemma' that has plagued cake biscuit taxonomy theory for years.
Of course the only problem in all of this is that I had just got the diagram looking very nice for the book and I'll have to redo it.
||Dear Mr Nicey and Mrs Wifey,|
Tomorrow and Friday, my wife and I will be entertaining electrical engineers while they do some work to our house.
Of course we are concerned that we give them the right tea and biscuits for the occasion. We plan to give them Sainsbury Red Label tea (from tea bags) as we find this to be a good reliable brew. You can easily get two mugs out of one tea bag and the taste seems to suit most people.
However, we are not sure what would be the best biscuit: my immediate thought was the Rich Tea (although we do only have digestives in the house at present). In your experience, is there a biscuit that you would recommend for feeding electrical engineers whilst they are at work? Would they be disappointed by a Rich Tea or a Digestive as these bisuits are non chocolate and a bit traditional?
|Nicey replies: Alan,
I think you have it all under control, of course you might need to have the sugar handy as they could require up to three spoonfuls per mug although two is more common. I would normally serve Rich Teas to any trades people who are working outside, as they are optimised for high speed dunking in rapidly cooling tea. Presumably your electrical work is inside in which case the Digestives should work well, or maybe some nice Fruit Shortcake, or Custard Creams. You should always be aiming to offer a biscuit that is humble yet tasty, in this way your 'guest' will feel quite comfortable tucking away as many as they fancy. If the biscuits are too fancy then people can feel inhibited, and not take as many biscuits as they should. If you feel their work has been of exceptional quality and their manner courteous and thoughtful then you might wish to serve them a Penguin with their last cuppa.
Thought you might be interested in this story about police officers getting free cups of tea from an unnamed motorway service station.
What do you reckon, is it outrageous or does it prove that the police are human too? I live in Cheshire, so do you think I should investigate which one it is, and see if they could perhaps extend the service to NCOTAASD 'members' travelling on the M6? Maybe some of those little packets of biscuits too? I had a nice little packet of Fruit Shrewsburys on a course in Liverpool the other day.
|Nicey replies: Well in Balamory PC Plum finishes off a plate of Miss Hoolie's Custard Creams whilst on his rounds, as well as a cuppa. This evidently means he is a bad-un, on the take and up there with the likes of Don Beeche of the Bill (although he seems to be in Eastenders now).|
On the subject of fruit and herb 'teas'. The French have a separate words for them - they are "tisane"s - pronounced "tizan".
Why don't we adopt this? It'll save all the argy bargey from us real tea drinkers.
Now, decaff. is quite another problem.
|Nicey replies: Morning Sue,
Yes I've seen that written on French Herbal teas but due to lack of interest, hadn't taken it onboard. It sounds like an excellent plan, not only does it give them their own rather daft name but it associates them with the French which historically has is always handy if you are looking to blame somebody for something.
Reading some of Wifey's thoughts (in the book) regarding her attempts to drink some weird fruity stuff when she was pregnant it reminded me of something I get really wound up about. "Fruit tea drinkers". Calling something that does not contain any actual tea leaves, tea. It's been covered before I know (handy search feature), but it's gotten worse. The other day a work colleague brought in some root ginger. You may not want to read on at this point. He then crushed the ginger added hot water and called it Ginger Tea. You know me, I didn't duck the issue and confronted him head on. It turns out that these "Fruit Tea" people are not so passionate in their defence of tea slander as I am in trying to eliminate it. I let it lie after we'd agreed on the term "Hot Drink Infusion". A very wishy washy generic term but importantly for me lacking in the word tea. So i'd just like to make a plea to anyone who encounters this issue. Don't ignore the problem, it is already way out of hand. Confront and educate.
|Nicey replies: Jim,
Very timely, as I suspect I might get asked about that on the Paul O'Grady show this afternoon. I'm with you, if it hasn't got tea in it then what's it doing calling its self tea. I'm a reasonable man if there is some tea in there then thats OK, otherwise 'hot drink infusion' as you suggest would seem fine.