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Fruit Shortcake Review
|My friend Andy and I constructed a deck at the rear of a trailer in a lorry park in West Drayton so that we could enjoy a nice mug if tea and a sit down in between fixing broken down Trucks. I attach a couple of photos of us enjoying hot teas and the luke warm sun earlier this year. As you can see my favourite mug is stainless steel. Andy's favourite is a black 'Snap-on' tools mug. I like Earl Grey and get complaints from Andy if I stir his tea with the spoon after I have stirred my Earl Grey. As for biscuits, well, we take what we can get, but I particularly like Tesco's Fruit Shortcake.|
Keep up the good work.
|Nicey replies: Mike,
Your tea drinking and sitting down facilities are an inspiration. I love the round table made out of decking. Also the attention to detail in the decor evokes a wonderful lorry park ambience like the two huge concrete slabs and the use of different sized skips, cable reels and a distant ladder. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Linda Barker didn't pick up on this and start passing it off as her ideas.
||My heavy handed teenage sons bend my teaspoons by over-enthusiastic bag squeezing. Although my attempts to force them back into shape usually end in disaster, my major worry is that visitors might glance into the cutlery drawer and be led to believe that I'm sharing a brew with that mad Geller bloke. It's a worry.|
Just started on a new packet of hobnobs and noticed they tasted different. They seem more airy and less dense, which is the same thing really. Inspecting one closer it seems slightly fatter, I haven't got a previous one to compare it to but I'm sure you record this kind of data. I needed backup on this so got one out for the Mrs, who had to finish off her chocolate magnum first. She said they seem more airy and dense, in no way influenced by my observations of a few minutes earlier. They also taste less sweet and had fewer oats in them, and definitely more brittle on the bite.
More air, fatter, different taste, glad I'm not cynical. I checked your website and there doesn't seem to be any other comments on this. Can McVities do this without explaining it on the packet. Or have I become nostalgic in the 2 months since my last pack of hobnobs, like rapid old age. Can you get your experts onto this [I don't need an opinion on the old age bit].
|Nicey replies: Hi Steve,
All manufacturers reserve the right to change their recipes, however, they don't do such things lightly as it can drive away loyal customers. Hobnobs cut out their hydrogenated fat content a good while back now, using just vegetable oil which is something that McVities can be rightly proud of. This made them a bit crumblier and crispier, and subtly altered the flavour although most people will not have noticed. I haven't had one recently, although of course I now fancy one.
||Good Morning Nicey, |
Just though I'd pass on a tea related episode from this weekend.
My daughter has just reached the grand old age of 12 and has decided that she's old enough to go to town with just her friends. However, she's still quite keen to have a parent within easy reach. This led to me being stuck in Swansea this Saturday wandering around like a real Johnny no mates. I'm not great shopper and after a very short while I'd had more that enough. In the end I bought myself an Ordnance Survey map of this year's holiday destination and sneaked off to the new TTotal tea shop up stairs in Waterstones (the old Carlton cinema).
The shop takes up the window side of the second floor. You can chose from high barstools in the window, which allow you to watch the comings an goings at Woolworths across the way, chunky wooden tables and chairs, or squidgy leather sofas. There were a few people about, but still plenty of room, despite it being just after lunchtime. Being a fresh air fiend I plumped for one of the bar stools by an open window. (This my not have been the best move to preserve my elegance(??) as being only 5 foot one and a bit, getting on and off the thing involved a fair bit of clambering.)
Then it was off to the counter to survey the wares available. There were at least 8 different teas, coffee for those who like that sort of thing, and enough juices and soft drinks to keep the youngsters happy too. The cakes, biscuits and gingerbread men looked lovely, and for those in need of a bit more sustenance there was soup and toasted sandwiches. I plumped for a small pot of Assam and a slice of carrot cake, which came to a little over £3. You also get a loyalty card which is stamped for every pot of tea you buy. Every 6th pot is free, Hooray! The staff were really pleasant, but the girl was a little embarrassed at having to explain the timer that came with my pot of tea. They have worked out the optimum brewing time for each type of tea. The tea is put inside the pot in a sort of cylindrical strainer, and the moment that the hot water is applied they start the timer. When the alarm goes off you whip out the strainer thingy and put it in the little beaker that's provided and your perfectly brewed tea will never stew. Now, I was a bit sceptical about this, after all I've been making tea for myself for quite a while now. But I must confess that aside from a mild feeling of embarrassment when my tea alarm started bleeping, the system does seem to produce a very good cuppa. I managed to get 3 reasonably sized cups out of the small pot, which washed down the very nice carrot cake in a thoroughly acceptable manner. I also became pretty familiar with the topological features of the Perranporth area before I receive the call to retrieve my shopped out offspring.
If it wasn't for the fact that it would fill the place up and there wouldn't be a seat for me, I would toughly recommend TTotal to any tea lover looking for an oasis of calm in the centre of Swansea.
|Nicey replies: Thanks Sue for that in depth review of the tea making at Swansea Waterstones, it sounds all very nice, but I think the timers may be a bit intimidating. Waterstones have been doing great work selling our book and are going to be running a special offer on it when it comes out as a paperback in September.
Hope you have some nice Cornish Cream Teas on holiday in Perranporth.
||Well, I've not been on your site for a while, but must write about the great spoon debate. It's not that I have a favourtie, it's the state of the spoons in the office cutlery drawer that narks me the most. I'm not sure why people seem to think a quick rinse under the tap is enough to clean it before it's used again. If you look at the underside of spoons cleaned like that you notice dark stains round them, which can only be shifted by hot water, pan scrubber and washing up liquid. It's no use complaining your tea tastes funny, it's not me making horrible tea, it's your fault for not cleaning your spoons. Great cups of tea deserve decent spoons, and besides, if you're in the kitchen cleaning spoons and keeping everything all hygenic for the tea making, then you are getting a break from answering the 'phone which is no bad thing.|
|Nicey replies: Good speech Paul. I can't be doing with a filthy spoon, and your quite right that cleaning teaspoons isn't too tricky. As with dirty mugs, dishwashers are often to blame for this horrible state of affairs. Many deluded employers seem to think that a dishwasher will make their companies more productive as people will spend less time washing up and more time working. Of course the precise opposite is true. Much time is wasted by people scratching around for clean mugs and spoons as they are now willfully incapable of washing their own. Very few people ever load or even switch on the dishwasher, which although it should go on at the very end or the very start of the day tends to quickly get out of sync with daily office tea drinking rhythms.
A green nylon scrubber some hot water and a spot of washing liquid and 30 seconds later everything is spick and span. Personal responsibility versus some energy burning, chemical gobbling machine that incarcerates all the tea making kit for 45 minutes.
Plus what is the story with those people that half fill a mug with water and put all the teaspoons in there? It's a bit like those tall jars of disinfectant that hairdressers chuck combs in, except it's stagnating tap water laced with tea and coffee, milk and sugar. Having studied Microbiology and been given lectures at one point by a very senior public health Microbiologist on bacterial food poisoning, to say nothing of epidemiology, when ever I see one of these I have to empty it out wash up everything concerned in really hot soapy water then find the person concerned and strongly suggest that they desist.