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Iced Gems Review
|I was in the depths of despair today, missing my son and his wife and my tiny grandson, who live in TimTam land in Sydney. I was wondering how I could make it through Christmas without them. I was in tears of abject misery. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. It was the postman with a parcel from Amazon containing your book and a message from my family with love and the wish,'may your tin be always full!'. Well, because I have been trying to lose weight, so I will be able better to fit into the airplane seat the next time I fly to Oz, my biscuit tin has languished empty for many months. But buoyant with the joy this present brought and cheered by the loving wishes from my family, I rushed off to Sainsbury's and splashed out on virtually every biscuit variety available, including pink wafers, to which I am unaccountably addicted (chacun a son gout and de gustibus non disputandum, as they say!). I just wanted you to know that I feel a hundred times better than I did before the postman's knock. And I think the book is pure genius.|
Thank you so much.
PS I once had to perform the Heimlich manouevre on an adult at a school Christmas party in order to dislodge a stubborn iced gem from her windpipe. Truth is stranger than fiction. GT.
|Nicey replies: Gill,
So glad that we have cheered you up with our ramblings. Hope you get to do some biscuit research with your family down in Oz soon.
||Esteemed Mr Nicey:|
Yesterday I had a nice cup of coffee at a small place called The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf ®. First of all, though, I had to explain to the nice young lady what "black coffee" is.
It was served in a not-nice styrofoam sort of cup thingy, on which was printed a message about how one could recycle the cardboard thingy which surrounded the cup thingy, to protect one's hands from the heat. And a lot of information about how they brought the finest coffee and tea to the USA (a foreign country on the other side of the Pacific Ocean) in 1963.
I'm not interested in how they brought the finest tea and coffee to the USA in 1963, and I'd rather drink my coffee (and tea) from a proper cup and saucer or mug. You know, the ceramic containers we use in civilized countries.
Nicely printed leaflets told me about buying coffee and tea in pounds, and ounces, and measuring it in fluid ounces, too. Alongside that, we have another nice American chain offering "footlong" and six inch long food. In this country, we haven't used pounds, ounces, fluid ounces, feet or inches since last century.
It seems that they also rush their fresh roasted coffee to their stores in a fleet of trucks. As the "store" I visited is in Australia, I wonder what sort of trucks can navigate the Pacific Ocean on a daily basis?
Perhaps these people think Australia is a colony of the USA? Do you have the same problem in Britain?
I remain, dear Sir, ever your 'umble
|Nicey replies: A Merry Christmas to you Mr Barratt,
Yes we too are treated to much the same sort of level of localisation. I think its terrific that the Americans still use feet and inches and pounds and pints etc. Imagine just how far the western world could have advanced if American scientists were allowed to work out their sums using nice sensible metric units which all behave themselves well in sums. Instead they are trying to work out how to send spaceships to Mars using a system of units based on the distance between Henry I's nose and his thumb. You have to admire them for that as it makes all their sums much more difficult and fiendishly complex. Perhaps the French could lend them their reference meter, a platinum/iridium bar exactly 1 meter long, and the Americans could try it out for a few days and see if they liked it. Actually maybe it's best if we got it off the French first and then lent it to the Americans. We could tell them that whilst it wasn't strictly ours we are allowed to have it at weekends, on account of inventing the word 'weekend'. Of course the French have borrowed that word off of us for years with out so much as a thank you. Still c'est la vie.
Apparently when the metric unit of length was described as the number of wavelengths of light from a coherent source the American's were delighted as now they could properly measure how long an inch really was. To be fair the Americans resolved to adopting the metric system in 1972 at some point in the future when they get round to it.
When visiting San Francisco a few years ago I thought it was odd how people were going out to buy coffee and then wandering around the streets with it in paper cups. What sort of place was it where people seemed unable to make coffee in their own home, and having bought it why wander around instead of drinking it? Compare this to France where in a farmhouse in deepest Perigord I was treated to black coffee made using a saucepan and a filter pot by a lovely old French lady Mdm Mouliner, and slices of homemade Walnut Gâteaux. The walnuts were from her own tree and the eggs from her chickens. A single small cup of the coffee provided about three days worth of caffeine. I maybe trying to make a point here, but given the late hour I'm not sure what it is.
||Hello Mr and Mrs Nicey,|
Firstly, if I may, a nice big thank you for a refreshingly brewed web site; it doesn't get much better than this.
Secondly, I would like to be a bit contentious, and put my two pence of input into the raging debate that is pink wafers.
Simply: they are great, should be compulsory in schools and must be included in any decent biscuit selection; or what kind of selection is it?
I would, however, concede that they do have a fundamental flaw, and, as much as I hate to draw attention to it, it is only fair if we are to undertake a true discourse on the subject that it be mentioned. So, here goes: you can't dunk them without ruining the drink (preferably a nice refreshing cup of tea) that they are being dunked into.
Now, while I can sympathise with those that do not like them for that reason, I feel we must stand back and look at the bigger picture, or selection if you will, because there are obviously many biscuits that can also ruin a perfectly good cup of tea if dunked into it.
I myself have been prone to the odd "hidden fault line" problem of digestive biscuits on many occasions; and we all know that a soggy quarter of a digestive in the bottom of our favourite brew will have a tendency to ruin the brew entirely, despite our frantic efforts with a tea-spoon to the contrary.
After much research, however, I have devised a cunning and dastardly plan to "solve" this situation, and in the interest of international biscuit relations, I feel I should share it here, with your wonderful readers at nicecupofteaandasitdown.com (not to be confused with that roguish pretender with the co.uk domain name!) And the solution is this: Don't dunk them.
Now, I know what you're thinking: he started that sentence with an "And." I'm sorry, I know it's wrong, as are contractions, but sometimes we have to do and say the radical so that we can get through these biscuit problems together.
So, in conclusion: don't deride the humble, if ever so tasty pink wafer. It's had a place in my heart, and in my assortment collections for all these years, and it would be a sad, sad situation were it to be allowed to disappear forever.
I know it has problems with dunking; but occasionally so do all biscuits, and that shouldn't be a reason for biscuits to be excluded from an assortment, especially one that has served us so long and well.
OK, that's me done. I wish you all, even you non-pink wafer loving biscuit eaters, a very merry festive season and a very happy, pink wafer filled, new year.
|Nicey replies: That's all right Justin you stand up and be counted. As for for biscuits with hidden flaws a few taps on the side of the biscuit barrel should sort the wheat from the chaff. Actually Nanny Nicey is at NCOTAASD for Christmas and has asked me to point out that she likes Pink Wafers. I'm scared it might skip a generation and that the younger members of staff might force us to start buying them.|
I'm slightly disturbed by the fact that nearly half of the population in your poll claim to be missing the pink wafers, yet surely no one in their right mind liked them anyway? Is the elusiveness of the pink wafer all part of some sneaky advertising scam by the people who make Rover tins- I'm thinking back to Heinz's 'threat' to get rid of salad cream, which seemed to encourage people to start eating stupid amounts of it just in case it was their last chance and starting petitions and campaigns (personally I was never that fussed about it anyway)- and they didn't exactly miss the opportunity that arose from the threats of a Christmas shortage of Branston pickle either. (Since when has it been a traditional Christmas food anyway?! It doesn't contain alcohol, chocolate, brazil nuts or brussels sprouts!) Hmmmm...I'm probably ranting because I feel threatened and paranoid on behalf of the humble coconut biscuit. I won't let any of the bigger biscuits pick on it!! And certainly not the Evil Pink Wafer. Which is evil just because it's pink (food that pink is wrong).
Hope you have a well earned nice cup of tea and a sit down over Christmas!
|Nicey replies: That's a fairly well thought out rant. However, Strawberry blancmange, Taramasalata and Salmon must be feeling a bit aggrieved.
||Hi there, |
As a novice to the world of biscuits I am in urgent need of some guidance.
Yesterday at work I availed myself of a cup of coffee and pack of biscuits (Cadbury snack shortcakes to be precise) from our vending machine. Upon retuning to my desk I proceeded to unwrap the biscuits, dunk and taste. Very satisfying.... or so I thought. Little did I realise that I was under the ever watchful eye of my collegues who, upon seeing my actions gave a gasp of shock and disbelief.
What could be wrong with my quite normal biscuit behaviour you may well ask as indeed I did myself. It seems that the schoolboy error lay in the fact that my biscuits were chocolate covered.
Please do not be too hasty to judge. In view of this incident I would be most obliged for some advice. Is dunking chocolate covered biscuits breaking some kind of tea break etiquette or unspoken biscuit rule?
|Nicey replies: Rob,
The dunking of chocolate biscuits has long been frowned upon as poor manners, however, in recent years it has begun to become more socially acceptable. Just recently as reported in our last newsletter the McVitie's Chocolate Caramel came tops in poll of over 350,000 people. Personally I think its messy and a bit futile in the case of entirely coated biscuits.
In you specific case I would think your colleague would be better advised to direct his energies to worrying about the fact that you to have to drink stuff made by a vending machine.