Keep your e-mails pouring in, it's good to know that there are lots of you out there with views and opinions.
To help you work out what is what, are now little icons to help you see biscuit related themes. And now you can see at a glance which are the most contested subjects via this graph (requires Flash 6.0 plugin).
Please keep your mails coming in to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you like, you can use this search thingy to find stuff that matches with any of the icons you pick, or use the fantastic free text search, Yay!
With the talk of North Americans and some of the horrible tea-making habits, I thought you might enjoy taking a look at the "new Steeped Tea" at Tim Hortons. Tim's is not normally known for its tea - more the coffee and donuts.
As for the "do they or do they not have kettles" question, I don't know many people who don't have a kettle here in Canada. I do remember being shocked with I saw a friend (kettle-less) boiling water on the stove for coffee and tea. Soon after, this friend got a coffeemaker of the drip variety, and instead of coffee, he'd put several teabags in the basket and let the water run through. Strong enough to trot a mouse, as Robertson Davies said.
Looking forward to the book,
Liz Loree - Canuck with a kettle
I loved the fig article, but was mildly disappointed to see that there was no clear conclusion. I have largely allowed fig rolls to slip out of my life since I was weaned on them up to the age of 8 or 9. Occasionally I am reminded of their figgy goodness by caring friends and family who seem to buy them sporadically. Without these people I might, sadly, have all but forgotten them. Your article has inspired me to fully rediscover my lost love, but I am having trouble working out the panel's consensus on the best fig roll to buy (I believe we used to have Jacob's). Anyway, I would be interested to hear not only that but your own personal preference so that I can waste no time in introducing them back into my routine.
Very best regards,
|Nicey replies: Oh we frequently don't like to draw clear conclusions and prefer people to make up their own minds. I would simply say stump up the cash and try a few different ones, certainly a Jacobs and a good Burtons (or one of the store own labels) that is 27% or higher fig. The Crawfords ones are hard to find and the others are all fairly exotic.|
||Dear Nicey and Wifey,|
We've just come back from a wet week in the lake district. One of the highlights of each day was popping into local establishments for teas or lunches. It was noted by us that on the menu in several of these places, as well as having a headed section for cakes, there were headed sections for tray-bakes which included such treats as tiffin, fruit flapjacks and caramel slices. Obviously this took on great significance to us, especially as we couldn't get out and about much due to the inclement weather and a particularly young new member of staff.
Maybe if the cult of the tray bake continues to rise, the old Venn diagram will have to be updated.
Keep up the good work,
|Nicey replies: Oh yes the old Venn diagram is very dated now. There is a splendid big new one in our book but I fear that its too late now to amend it with this new theory of slices. Still it proves that this is a vital and expanding field of knowledge.|
||I have recently had the great pleasure of using a NEW kettle! Joy! The old kettle (a nice, sensible Philips cordless) was showing its age a bit, and cups of tea and sit downs weren’t all that nice since the tea seemed a bit weak and took ages to brew; we thought it might be the tea bags, but Ty-phoo are normally reliable, so we purchased (actually got it free with our Boots Advantage Card) a new kettle – a Morphy Richards Silver Style Mirror Jug Kettle - what a revelation! The kettle itself is a sort of brushed silver affair, is cordless and boils a litre of water (from cold) in less than thirty seconds, as a bonus, the outside walls stay cool (so you can cuddle it if you’re that way inclined) and it has a ‘keep the water hot’ button. Our tea is now made with water at the correct temperature and it brews really quickly and is no longer the insipid brew it once was. Our taste buds have been revitalised and we’re drinking more tea than we used to so a big ‘hurrah’ for a decent kettle.|
I liked your new kettle icon so much that I had to write in and tell you all about my kettle. It was given to me by a friend, who no longer needed it because "it's rubbish". It's one of these cordless jobbies and handily it's got a level indicator on both sides, thus catering for both normal people and kack-handed pourers like myself. My mum hates it though because it's an odd shape, all futuristic curves; she's happier with her traditional round effort with the scald-o-matic handle.
The main reason for its alleged rubbishness is the filter under a flap in the lid that you're supposed to fill it through, and which prevents you putting water in at more than half a pint an hour. Luckily, though, my sheer laziness found a solution; I don't even open the flap and simply fill it through the spout.
I propose that manufacturers should establish a standard minimum speed at which a kettle must be able to be filled. Then we could modulate our taps appropriately and avoid the embarrassing crotch-level splash back that happens when you try to get too much water through too small a spout.
Interestingly the friend who donated this kettle met his partner over a cup of tea at a party many years ago. They had both escaped the noise and drunken party shenanigans by heading to the kitchen for a nice cup of tea and a sit-down. Here they met and discovered their mutual interest in tea and sitting down, and their mutual disinterest in the general noise and drunkenness of parties. And people say romance is dead, whoever these people are they obviously aren't sitting down and drinking tea enough.