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I found your site whilst looking for information on the Chiltonian Biscuit Factory in Hither Green, London. I worked there in the mid 1970's and I can assure (your correspondent) Kevin Sowerby, that I packed many, many garibaldi biscuits while I worked there.
They were just delicious and I have never tasted a garabaldi biscuit as good as them since those days...
We packed biscuits for Sainsburys, Peak Frean and many others at Chiltonian - there was also a broken biscuit shop where customers and staff could buy a huge bag of broken biscuits for 10p!...
I am sad to learn that the Chiltonian factory is to be converted into housing development.....
God bless all,
|Nicey replies: That's great to have the location of Sainsbury's wonderful 1970s Garibaldis tracked down. Presumably the much missed Chocolate version was made there too. I certainly remember a time when Garibaldis were a softer and the raisins a bit plumper, perhaps they were Chiltonian ones. Still it would be good to see if they could whack a bit of chocolate on a modern Gariabldi just to see what they came out like.|
Being an ex-pat living in New Jersey, I can offer some perspective on the kettle situation here - there are options - just not what you're used to.
I have purchased or received no less than 4 distinct types of kettle since I've been here.
- Aluminum (sorry for the spelling, when in Rome and all that) kettle that sits on the stove top (Dirt cheap at around $5) in just about any supermarket, in a variety of inoffensive painted colours. It has black plastic handle and whistle. This is on the stubby spout, and is spring loaded to be retracted with the thumb as you pour. Simultaneous blowing and pouring is required to avoid a scalded thumb - a skill that is soon mastered. Boils in < 9 minutes (that's how long it takes me to have a shower in the morning). All in all this is the workhorse of american kettles, and not bad for what you pay.
- Chrome plated steel behemoth - with olde worlde spout and wooden handle - given to us as a house warming gift (by a very nice american lady, of the southern variety). A number of innovations were present here. First the whistle appears to be some sort of ball-like device housed inside the spout, that moves out of the way as the kettle is tipped. While this appears to be a rather clever idea in principle, the whistle itself is much more of a whisper, and may not be heard at all during a rerun of Seinfeld. Unfortunately just a little too clever. The second innovation seems a somewhat curious at first. There's a mass of horizontal wire coils on which the body of the kettle rests. It is tempting to ridicule the poor object. However this tangled mass of wire happens to do a marvellous job of extracting every last bit of heat from your gas flame, so that the water boils before you know it. This manages to compensate for the deficiency of the whistle somewhat, since the water is usually boiling by the time you've got your teacup and biscuits prepared, and are thus still in earshot.
- A very nasty, flimsy looking chrome plated, kettle-like object that was probably the progeny of an electric water heater. Purchased in Macy's for $20. Hopeless thing. I never used it - probably gave it away to someone who would never use it (fortunately no shortage here)
- Krups automatic upright jug - a nice white plastic jobbie. Cost me a FORTUNE ($90, 10 yrs ago - at the time 30 quid was as much as I had paid - I'm sure inflation makes this sum seem small now). I could only find this in a specialty kitchen appliance store in Princeton - a University town with a real english tea shop, indicating a ready supply of suckers to be ripped off in such outrageous fashion (myself included). Essential office equipment, owing to the complete absence of water boiling equipment at the coffee stations, and the lack of understanding that would be shown should a non-automatic (see Item 3) be employed and inevitably left to fill an empty room with clouds of steam. Because, of course, it's never happened to anyone here before, so no sympathy, plus there's no doubt that the only Briton in the building who blathers on about the lack of boiling water is the one responsible. The only problem with this (and any) electric kettle, is that on 120 V it takes forever to boil. None of this spur-of-the moment, "I just fancy a cuppa" - advance planning required.
The only other comment I can make on the local infrastructure as it relates to tea preparation, is the totally unreasonable water pressure here. Taps (or "faucets") are generally of the "one nudge and they're full on" variety - this apparently is of particular benefit for the disabled. While this might be fine if the most your plumbing was designed for water trickling into the bath - only to be full in 20 minutes, here the plumbing serves the needs of hearty, chest pummelling showers - which is all well and good as a morning stimulant BUT it requires your full (I repeat FULL) attention and considerable skill when filling a kettle (or anything else). I suffer water splatter in some form on a daily basis. The danger lurks at every sink, and is particularly embarassing when visiting some new establishment, where the taps are unfamiliar. Emerging from the bathroom with wet splashes down the front of my trousers, in front of strange company - well enough said, except that if an able bodied person such as myself can't dodge the jet in time, what about the poor disabled chaps ? My sympathy is with them - having struggled long and hard for fair treatment, it must rankle.
Rob in America
Glad to hear others are as keen on jam making as me. This year I have put up a couple of pots of greengage plus six of cranberry jam, made using bags of fruit frozen at Christmas. Needless to say this will propel me into a frenzy of jam tart making which is always a good thing. I still have a stash of last year's jams, including victoria plum, damson and mirabelle so I need to get baking sharpish.
|Nicey replies: The younger members of staff tell me that 'Big cook little cook' just made some Jam tarts so I have tart making tension now. We took the end of the last batch round to Biscuit Enthusiast Mandy, who managed to have a couple of them before the younger members of staff saw them off.|
Fruit Shortcake Review
I think its important to warn people of the danger that crumbs can bring. If you bring your elbow down on one (particularly on a vinyl or pvc tablecloth) and the crumb is at the right (or indeed more accurately wrong) angle it don’t arf hurt! Worst injuries are from a ginger nut so take care! Next thing you know MVities will be getting a raft of legal actions to deal with in todays sueing culture…. what about on packet warnings?
Another thing, I have a mild complaint, I,like pretty much everyone else, enjoy a really lovely cup of tea, sit down and biscuit or cake. BUT what about a cuppa with beans on toast or cheese on toast, or indeed with a lovely fry up? I mean any site that really knows its teas should cover the savoury side of tea enjoyment! Come on what do you think?Its a whole area of tea based pleasure that is simply being neglected by you and the faithful site regulars in my humble opinion. Personally I recommend ASSAM with any savoury comestibles.
Warmest tea loving regards
PS – I do agree with your opinion that fruit shortcake does give you more than you ask of it. I still think gingers are king mind!
|Nicey replies: Maybe McVities should inject some gritty realism into their 'Crumbs' TV campaign to show people flicking crumbs about then suffering terrible elbow lesions as the lean on them.
As for the role of tea with toast and fry ups we often discuss such matters, behold the might of our toast icon, which can also be accompanied by the cheese icon.
||Oh my god!|
how could you miss the ONLY way to eat Jaffa's, you of course have to eat the orangey middle bit first, then devour the rest whole.....what are you people thinking of....