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||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,
I've been doodling doodles of what biscuits get up to when we aren't looking and I thought you might like to see... one of them features a biscuit in coffee, I hope this doesn't upset you too much :)
|Nicey replies: I think the picture of the Zombie Teddy on your site is actually more worrying.
Fox's Classic Review
Like others, I am a great fan of your biscuit devotional portal who had wondered as to the lacuna confronting lovers of the Fox's Classic.
I enjoyed the Classic, along with many other Fox's creations during a period of biscuit binging of around 1 year or more from 1991-1992. This was during my time at Sheffield University when I would frequently munch through a packet of biscuits whilst losing a game of chess on Tuesday night at the University chess club, Great times!
I started off as a vegetarian, enjoying the multifarious pleasures of the biscuit world, but after converting to veganism, I found that amongst Fox's biscuits, only the original Classic seemed to fit the bill-I say original, because at that time the Classic did not have any cream and was a circular, slightly golden brown, biscuit with a really freshly baked taste. Also, that hint of coconut you mentioned was deliciously apparent. I seem to remember that at the same time a creamy variant was evolving and perhaps in terms of survival of the fittest in the biscuit Universe, the original Classic died out, like a baked Neanderthal, lamented by just a few palaeontologists of the biscuit world. Perhaps one day, during a dig in the Neander valley, vast seams of Fox's Classics will be enearthed in fossilized packs or maybe frozen packs will be dug out from the ice in Siberia, or have gone unnoticed in the stomachs of mammoths?
Along with the Fox's classic I used to love a kind of Co-op wholemeal digestive from my Sheffield days and last year I returned to the city. Imagine my joy when I returned to the co-op in Crookes and found it's packets still evident in their natural environment ! It was like finding a fly trapped in the amber of the Co-op!
I read your section on a couple of Indian biscuits as I am in the sub-continent at the moment. Actually a considerably wider variety of biscuits exist here and I hope on my return to UK (possibly in December if my visa extension is successful). That I can bring back a wider range of these product for your perusal.
I would like to thank you once again for maintaining such a great website.
||My husband will not have a bulbous kettle in the house, no matter how nice a cup of tea it makes. Is this normal?|
Hi there, mister husband here. Here is a classic example of a bulbous kettle Although you can see the water boiling, which is nice, the kettle is still very bulbous. Bulbosity is worsened by opaque, often garish greenish sides.
Googling for this I notice there are a lot of kettles about which are triangular, which is also bad. Some are both bulbous and triangular.
When we bought our last kettle, we were able to find only 1 kettle in some 7 or so shops that was not either a) bulbous or b) triangular, or c) otherwise overdesigned. And even this is IMO a bit flash. Also our first one electrocuted me because water kept leaking into the handle, but that is by the by.
My parents recently bought which is neither bulbous nor flash. I wish it were mine.
I think my wife just wanted to tell someone she thought I was weird, but I would like to propose a poll:
I am not sure if there is any technical merit in bulbous or triangular kettles (maybe they boil faster). When I ask google "is a triangular kettle better" I get "The Beaver Fur Hat" & "Corn Chip Review". I'd be interested to hear if there is any engineering reason for bulbosity, but it will not induce me to buy one.
|Nicey replies: Sarah,
Please pass along to your husband our compliments on some excellent kettle links, and for his efforts with Google and the splendid poll idea.