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As I wandered around Asda the other week and having successfully chosen a number of packets of "traditional" biscuits, I was walking down the freezer aisle, when my eyes were drawn to one of the ice cream cabinets. I was in shock. There amongst the Fabs and Cornettos and Calypo's was what I first thought was a packet of biscuits. "How could anyone be so cruel?, I thought. "Imagine putting a packet of Bourbon Creams into the freezer cabinet. Is nothing sacred?". When I opened the freezer door to rescue the biscuits from their peculiar resting place, I found them to be "ICE CREAM Bourbons". There was also a packet of "ICE CREAM CUSTARD CREAMS". After the initial shock, I pondered my predicament. Should I buy these tasty morsels just to try them, or would they spoil my enjoyment of their original parent biscuits. After much deliberation, I placed the Ice Cream Bourbons into my trolley and proceeded to the checkout. Once home and all the shopping was put away, I decided to try the Ice Cream Bourbon. It is larger than a traditional Bourbon, about two and a half times the size in fact, with a chocolate ice cream filling. Whilst the overall effect was quite pleasant, my nearest and dearest hit the nail on the head when he complained that the biscuit was a bit soft. In short I would say that the Ice Cream/Biscuit combination is not the best way to eat a Bourbon. Give me traditional Bourbons any day.
|Nicey replies: Oh dear its all so undignified like getting your granny up to sing rap numbers.
congratulations on the book. i do hope you play yourself in the film.
when the book come out, are there any plans in the works for making "autographed copies" available? i am sure that many primates would be thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy, possibly with a few biscuit crumbs and a tea stain for those special few.
if you plan to come to texas as part of an extensive book tour, do drop by. i've always got the kettle ready!
|Nicey replies: Hello Monkey,
Yes apparently they are planning to lock me in the warehouse for a day or two signing them so they can be sold under a different ISBN or something. If I'm ever in Texas I'll be sure to pop over to you for a cuppa, especially if its cycling distance.
Wifey has already decided that she is playing herself in the film, and I'm going to be played by Bradd Pitt. I wonder if he has the range to play a bloke who likes fig rolls washed down with a couple mugs of tea.
||Dear Nicey and the Wife,|
Just recently stumbled across your inspirational website (where have I been for the last 3 years?)
I have a long affiliation with tea - originally being from Yorkshire it has been a staple part of my diet since I were knee-high to a grasshopper! I also briefly worked at Twinings tea shop in London (no PG Tips there though)
Although the subject of dunking is covered in magnificent depth on your site, I can find absolutely no refernce to the actual biscuits named "Dunkers" (I have no idea if they are still in production and can't remember which company manufactured them)
They were almond-shaped, roughly 10cm long and and 5cm at their widest mid-point. Obviously some research types decided that these are the ideal dunking dimensions and indeed, they fitted neatly into one's mug. They also managed to retain an unsurpassable amount of tea without crumbling.
I vaguely remember a rather dodgy TV ad for them involving a car with steamed up windows...
However, their fundamental flaw was that they tasted minging. The dominating flavour was malt - in fact it was basically Horlicks disguised as a biscuit and who in their right mind would pollute their cuppa with a hefty teaspoon of Horlicks? I'm sure even the custard cream-in-port lady dunker would have difficulty in stomaching aforementioned.
However, on the subject of bizarre dunking, the strangest by far - and not altogether unpleasant - that I have sampled is cheese.
Let me explain - as there are extenuating circumstances. It was many years ago before my tastebuds developed the refinement they now posess. I was on an aeroplane, so not a particularly nice sit down and also an environment not wholly familiar with the nuances of tea preparation. In fact, let's face it, aeroplane tea is absolutely diabolical (Although not quite as appalling as that which I encountered on a GNER train last summer - in First Class no less!).
Anyhow, we encountered a spot of turbulence during which I was unfortunate enough to drop a piece of cheese in my cuppa. Now I forget why, but instead of quickly retrieving said solid dairy mass, I let it lie. Then, (once again, inexplicably - although in my defence I was very young) I continued to sup my beverage. And then - yes, you guessed it folks - I ate the cheese (I was quite a piggy-jack porker of a kid). And you know what - it was surprisingly palatable.
Can I blame altitude sickness?
|Nicey replies: Fiona,
First congratulations on getting the dunking, cheese and airplane icons altogether, well done. Yes, those Dunkers have been mentioned to me once before, I never had them and as you elude to it doesn't appear that they are sorely missed. As for melting cheese in your tea, that is something that you have obviously come to terms with, and if by sharing it with the world it helps you work through it then we are glad to help.
As we are now officially in book plugging mode, I would like to point out that I discuss trains and planes in our sitdown section.
I read with great interest the piece on banjo biscuits and can confirm Dominic's ingredient suspicions
I was lucky enough as a young lad, in the very late 70's, to work on a tv commercial for the snack and still find myself singing their jingle to this day. And if that wasn't interesting enough,the lyrics hold a clue to the delightful ingredients
To the tune of "Banjo on my knee" (of course)
"banjo,banjo,the one for me and you
light and crispy wafer and roast nut flavour too"
hope this is of some use
Your newsletter arrived today, which was timely as I was today pondering the issue of biscuit packet length in the local co-op where I saw some packs of McVities plain digestives that seemed to be about 14-15 inches long. For me, this is, however, strangely untempting. I prefer the very short packets of choc digestives which, though vastly more expensive per biscuit, seem somehow more desirable.
This makes we wonder what is theoretically now achievable in terms of biscuit pack length given current packing technology? What is the longest packet anyone else has seen?
I enjoyed your newsletter as usual, and your continued uncompromising commitment to dictionary-free spelling!!
|Nicey replies: Carol,
You raise a very thought provoking point about biscuit pack length. I think perhaps one of the longest packs I've seen is Burton's chocolate biscuits which are called something a bit naughty like 'homeblest' or something, they must of been getting on for 18 inches, maybe. Wouldn't be great if somebody took up the challenge and made packs that were right on the edge of what was possible, I'm guessing that's about 4'6", or 1.5m. You could take them home on your roof rack.
As for the spelling guilty as charged, which is why I put the apology at the end of every newsletter. Two spell checkers and a literate Wife are still not enough. For the book they had four people proofing it, just to be safe. Of course what people who can spell well don't realise is that its very difficult to use a dictionary if you can't spell very well, as you only have a very dim idea of how to look up the word your after. In fact the bigger the dictionary the worse it gets it can take ten minutes to find what you're looking for. Also they seem to think we do it out of lazyness, but of course we don't realise we are doing it, which is why we never use the dictionary in the first place. Its also a good reason not to use Word as it hates everything I write, throwing itself into dementia as it underlines everything trying to think of a different way of putting it. I get twisted pleasure if it actually crashes due to my lousy spelling. I think they should animate the paper clip throwing itself under a bus or something at this point.