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||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.
||I seem to remember a childrens tv show featuring Mr and Mrs Spoon (and Tina teaspoon) who went to Button Moon. Happy New Year to you all at NCOTAASD|
|Nicey replies: I wonder if any the big Hollywood studios have bought up the film rights to Button Moon. Given what is possible with today's CGI based technology behind such movies as King Kong maybe we have advanced to the state where a truly lifelike and convincing wooden spoon people being waved around through a hole in a black cloth could be achieved. I would happily watch nearly three hours of that, especially as the younger members of staff have toughend me up to such an extent that I can even cope with back to back episodes of the Tweenies with out visible signs of mental anguish.|
Biscato Spicy and Plain Digesta Review
I write to you midway through a two week business trip to Egypt. The lack of teaspoons is alarming. In fact, given that I'm in one of the fanciest hotels in Cairo (just next to the pyramids) their ability to produce a suitable spoon for any task is a worry. This morning at breakfast I was presented with a soup spoon to eat my little pot of yoghurt. Teaspoons are only allocated when the waiter comes to pour your coffee, and it is likely to be whisked away should you leave your table to replenish your plate from the breakfast buffet.
I would have trousered a set of eating irons by now to carry around with me however one is frequently required to pass through metal detectors to get to the simplest of objectives and I do not wish to be frisked every time I pass through the hotel reception area.
I am planning to try the breakfast tea tomorrow although I have resisted it thus far as the coffee served is so far removed from any other cup of coffee I have tried that I cannot contemplate what the tea might be like and may be disinclined to give it an honest appraisal. Also the milk served with such beverages is of the hot frothy variety which also makes me somewhat hesitant to see what it would do to the tea.
However, this in no way detracts from my overall enjoyment of the country which, like many places across the world, has it own distinctive charms and idiosyncracies. A word to your readers - bring your own supply of (plastic) teaspoons if planning to visit.
|Nicey replies: Hello again Nick,
You have of course reminded us of Wifey's trip to Cairo the other year. She didn't report any problems with the the supply of teaspoons in Egypt so maybe this is a recent and troubling issue. Anyhow thanks for the tip off.
||Good afternoon--I was just reading your feedback page and found a complaint from "Marge" to the effect that the iced tea she had in Paris was vile and bitter. Quite possibly true, but it's a really bad idea to drink iced tea in France anyway, where, I am told, they have neither hot-tea experts (Britain) nor iced-tea experts (southern U.S.).|
As a Northerner transplanted to Virginia, I have never been able to develop a fondness for the classic Southern iced tea, a.k.a. "the table wine of the South". Some might describe it as vile, but certainly not bitter, as the amount of sugar dissolved in it makes it very nearly thick enough to pour on your pancakes--but my in-laws drink the stuff by the gallon. However, without the sugar (my personal preference) or at least without quite so much sugar, it does make a very refreshing cold drink in this weather. Perhaps the reason you think of it as "muck" is that you haven't tried it when it was properly prepared.
My favorite method is Sun Tea. Take a clear glass gallon jar with a lid, fill it with fresh cold water, and add an appropriate number of your favorite variety of tea bags (if one tea bag makes one 10-oz. cup, that should be 12 or 13 bags). Then put on the lid and set the jar outside in a sunny spot for at least three hours, but no longer than four. Bring it inside, squeeze out the bags, stir in sugar to taste (none, for me) and serve in a tall glass over ice. Refrigerate the leftovers. And Marge, please do try it this way before you take Nicey's word for its being muck.
You'll be glad to know that I do drink hot tea also--and lots of it, here at work where the air-conditioning gets positively Arctic sometimes. With sugar, and my favorite is Earl Grey. As for spoons, there are some coffee-flavored tablespoons lying around in the break room, but I prefer my own iced-tea spoon (like an ordinary teaspoon, stainless steel and tough enough to resist a good squeeze, except that it has a long handle) which I carry on my person at all times, as our local eateries can't be depended upon to provide a good one. Plastic spoons and plastic or wooden stirring sticks are for the birds. How are you supposed to pick up a spoonful of the tea on a stirring stick, when you want to see if all the sugar has dissolved?
I've been enjoying your website very much, and your biscuit descriptions are making me salivate like mad. How about e-mailing me some? (the biscuits, not the descriptions)--Margaret
|Nicey replies: Margret,
You have covered a lot of ground there. Thanks for the description on how to make gallons of tea using sunshine and ice cubes. Of course we remain resolutely unconvinced but good on you for having a go at dissuading us.
||Following recent spoon-related discussions, I'd like to put forward my theory. We live in an environment where teaspoons, like socks and biros, just disappear. When I moved into my first flat I bought six teaspoons and a packet of twenty biros. Within three months I was stirring my tea with the handle of a knife and writing in pencil.|
But as Sir Isaac Newton tells us, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I have never bought a coat-hanger in my life, but my wardrobe is now full of them. Where do they come from?
I believe we're in some kind of Dr Who-esque temporal field which sucks the teaspoons out of our lives and deposits them somewhere else. I like to think that on a small purple planet somewhere in the cosmos a race of two-headed little green aliens sit surrounded by teaspoons, socks and biros, wondering where all their coat hangers go.
Kind regards to Wifey and the younger members of staff,