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Malted Milk Review
With a new baby due imminently, we've been making all the necessary preparations for the birth (rusks etc). At an ante-natal class we were given a list of things to take to hospital. This included the item: "favourite biscuits." I'm sure like most of your readers, we have different favorites for different situations. I wonder if you have any suggestions what would be suitable? Presumably it's got to be good biscuit in a crisis -- something that offers plenty of energy in case of a long labour, but not one that will melt all over the bed sheets in the warmth of a hospital.
|Nicey replies: Hello Barry,
Well it sounds like you are already on top of most of the important aspects of biscuit selection, although I would say crumbs are another aspect to keep in mind. What ever you bring along will probably be very welcome. To be honest I seem to remember that it was me who ate all the biscuits as Wifey wasn't really in a biscuit mood. I also seem to recall that I went out on a limb and brought Cadbury's Chocolate fingers, a very non-standard biscuit for us.
Thinking about it rationally and with hindsight I would have probably gone for some fig rolls, malted milks and possibly a small pack of digestives, although modern post-hydogenated fat Digestives are very crumbly. However, something that shouldn't be overlooked was the on tap supply of NHS tea and toasted sliced white with Golden Shred marmalade that was available when the YMOS made their debut.
I recent years we have taken to baking large NCOTAASD fruitcakes for our friends when the have their own younger members of staff. In fact Mr ad Mrs T are due YMOS No 2 in about 6 weeks time and Mrs T is already making space in her cake tin.
Another thing to watch out for is that fact that post birth you'll be all over the show and may well not be entirely capable of making rational biscuit choices due to excitement, warm fuzzy feelings, lack of sleep and confusion as the Wife sends you out to buy all sorts of strange things you've never heard of before down aisles of the supermarket you didn't even know existed.
i was horrified to see that 84/137 of responses - that's over 60%! - to your current poll claim that the best topping for "fairy cakes" is buttercream icing and bits cut off the top of the cake. Surely everyone knows that those are butterfly cakes? Look, a quick google reveals that not only are they called butterfly cakes, but that they are amongst the "best of british" food:
and they are so-called because, obviously, they look like butterflies.
whereas fairy cakes are small cakes in paper cases topped with glace icing (of any colour - pink or white is irrelevant) and decorated in some way - half a glace cherry stuck on top, or sprinkled with hundreds and thousands, or, as Nigella Lawson herself suggests, small sweets like dolly mixtures. So, enough of this butterfly cake nonsense - they are something else entirely (albeit, i admit, closely related). I hate to have to suggest this, but perhaps you should stick to tea and biscuits, which is surely enough for any right thinking person, and stop these occasional forays into what is apparently unknown territory (toast and cake)?
Best wishes - and hello to Wifey!
ps. maybe third time lucky and i'll get onto the feedback page. would it help if i added that, apart from this mistake (perhaps it was a trick question and you knew all along?) your site is fabulous
|Nicey replies: Oi Victoria,
Actually I'm completely with you on the icing thing, Butterfly or Angel cakes what ever, but it was the Wife who put the cat amongst the pigeons saying that's what she considered to be a Fairy cake. So I thought I would do a poll to prove her wrong and so far its not going too well on the side of reason. Now I know that people are going to point our that fairies have wings also hence the name, but I still personally think its icing and something else on top, sometimes even those little edible bicycle wheel ball bearings.
||Dear Nicey and the wife,|
Having looked through your feedback, I notice that there are many items relating to various cakes and biscuits but very little correspondence on the subject of toast.
I imagine that for most people, the phrase "A nice cup of tea and a sit down" evokes an image of afternoon tea. This is perfectly understandable as the 3 o'clock cuppa or a freshly brewed pot on arriving home after work are the most anticipated and well deserved breaks in the average day. On these occasions, a biscuit or a nice piece of cake is exactly the right accompaniment.
There are, however, other tea drinking opportunities, particularly breakfast and supper time, when a slice of toast is more appealing. As a child, one of my favourite culinary treats was hot, buttered toast with a sprinkling of sugar. The toast has to be hot to allow the sugar to melt into the butter. Nowadays, I enjoy toast with butter or marmalade for breakfast. Speciality jams are also provided for the younger members of the household.
For supper, I will occasionally top my toast with peanut butter or something more exotic such as cheese (with a dash of Lea & Perrin's), pilchards, plum tomatoes or mushrooms with cream.
Perhaps you could provide a survey on the best "toast topper", including butter, jam, marmalade, peanut butter, marmite (yuck!), mashed banana etc.
As you can see from this short list of options, toast is extremely versatile and should note be ignored.
p.s. Possibe new icon alert.
|Nicey replies: Kieth,
Our mate Nick Parker wrote a splendid book on toast, he also ran the London marathon last Sunday.
Of course Toast falls within the gamut of tea and sitting down activity. Wifey likes tea before, during and after Toast in the morning. Wifey sticks rigidly to Marmite or cheese. I like Bovril, Marmalade, sometimes a spot of jam occasionally Peanut Butter with sweet pickle or fresh ground black pepper. A spot of Heinz Tomato Ketchup is very good also. The whole team enjoys Sardines on toast and we feel strongly that more people should eat Sardines on toast.
I'll try a sweet toppings poll first, but I think I know the outcome already.
Big Woos for the icon fest nature of this message