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All this spoon chat has let me to throw my tuppence'orth in - I have long wondered - why do we still use tea spoons now that we have teabags and not loose tea? Presumably tea spoons were designed for a more delicate population to measure the necessary amount of loose leaves to make the perfect cuppa? However, now that we have the meaty heft of a roasting hot, stainy-liquid spatterbag to contend with, are they not obsolete? It is somewhat like attempting to balance an unconscious Bernard Manning on a bar stool ( I shall leave the resultant damge to the linoleum around the bin to the reader's imagination).
Although, it should be admitted that a hot teaspoon is a formidable weapon in any pitched sibling kitchen battle (a rolled up teatowel and a spider in a cup being other favourites in our house). Okay, they may not be fit for their intended purpose but they have a place as household armoury.
|Nicey replies: Its my understanding that tea spoons were conceived for the stirring of tea to disperse the milk. Also should you wish the addition of sugar and its stirring in especially in the case of sugar lumps. The sugar bowl should ideally have its own spoon to prevent issues with damp lumps.
The tea caddy would typically have some form of dedicated measuring spoon or scoop with its own story to tell.
You are quite right to highlight the important role played by spoons in the enjoyment of a good cuppa. Too often they are regarded as mere implements, instead of being acknowledged for the highly refined tools that they are. What else could do the job better?
It's a simple fact that a really good spoon makes your tea taste better. And better tea means happier people.
I recently bought some shiny new ones for use in the office and productivity is up by several percentage points. For return on investment, a good set of tea spoons can't be beaten. I estimate that if every business in Britian were to buy new tea spoons the nation's GDP would increase by £1.4 billion.
|Nicey replies: You don't happen to make spoons do you?|
Just thought I'd tell you about the tea and sit down facilities at the Glastonbury festival (which I was lucky enough to attend this year). There are many more opportunities at Glastonbury to find a decent cup of tea than at any other festival that I've been to. The best one is the 'Tiny Tea Tent'. For £1.10 & 50p mug deposit you get the choice of 'normal' tea, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong etc, with a tea bag each and real milk out of a jug. This is a very busy place, probably due to the high caliber of tea making, but somehow a seat is always available, thus completing the tea break experience. Also, they have a varied collection of mugs - I was lucky enough to get one with a picture of a Volkswagen Beetle on it (my favourite car - spooky).
There's nothing quite like a cup of tea and a sit down in the Green Fields of Glastonbury whilst watching a vampire with dreadlocks on stilts chasing a child dressed as a fairy.
Wishing you good tea and festival health
|Nicey replies: On Saturday we met the former Tory Defense Minister John Nott, whilst we were guests on Radio 4's Loose Ends. He had just got back from Glastonbury the day before where he had managed to blag his way in. The Portacabin which held his press ticket had been washed away in the flooding, and given that he is 71 the chap on the gate believed his story.
It also turns out he had a hand in the introduction of VAT and remembers the classification of the Jaffa Cake as one of the thorny issues they grappled with over thirty years ago.
Spoons. Where would we be without them? Many, many moons ago when I was a mere slip of a lad I started work at a local paper mill. Good tea facilities and is probably the place where i became a serious tea drinker! We brought our own mugs to work and i brought a spoon as well. As I was still living at home at the time this spoon was taken from the family cutlery drawer and was part of a cutlery set referred to as the 'Danish' stuff due, no doubt, to the fact that my parents had bought it when my
father worked in Denmark in 1963.
Anyway, the spoon itself was of extremely rugged construction with a decent sized bowl and, most importantly, a rib around the handle which offered the sort of rigidity required to give the tea-bag a really good squeeze! And it was comfortable to handle.
This spoon sort of followed me when I joined the RAF and journeyed the world with me as the Government invited me to participate in their latest war (the full range, mind you, from the Falklands to Iraq, with most of the others in between). As you can imagine I grew quite fond of said spoon and when it came to moving house in early 2003 I duly put aside the requisites for tea for us and the removal men. Imagine my horror when, at the end of the day, spoon could not be found!
What to do when you can't trust someone with your spoon?
I may have to resort to raiding my parents cutlery drawer (again!) when I next go and visit.
By the way, the best fruit shortbread biccies were made by NAAFI.
Trev the biscuit boy
Tunnocks Tea Cake Review
|Hello Nicey and Wifey|
It was very of Andy Ley to ask after me. I am delighted to report that the Tunnocks Tea Cake Fountain Experiment was an enormous success. I carefully chose the correct time of day and atmospheric conditions and asked a doctor to be present. I pierced two small holes in the teacake exactly 180 degrees apart. I used a straightened paperclip. This gives exactly the right amount of control over the size of the hole you are making. I also have lots of paperclips on my desk, which is handy. I then carefully raised the teacake, with the holes correctly aligned, to my lips. I blew. I then carefully lowered the teacake and turned it round to examine the hole opposite to the one I had blown in. The medical man and I were enormously gratified to see that a stream of white foamy gooey stuff had emerged from the hole and was snaking down the teacake.
Sadly I have stopped being a high powered lawyer in that particular PLC kind of place and have come to be one in another PLC kind of place where, would you believe it, they stopped giving staff free biscuits and started giving them fruit instead.