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|Dr Alice Gorman
My best regards to you, Wifey, and the younger members of staff. I feel like I have been out of contact for too long. Academic life, it must be said, is not always conducive to engaging with the broader world.
Last week, as you know, was a momentous anniversary in the history of space exploration. To celebrate the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957 my colleague Dr Lynley Wallis spent all night in the kitchen making special sputnik cakes. We offered them to our graduate students in a masterclass on the day itself. The presence of cake brought home to them how significant this day was in the creation of the modern world. I knew you would enjoy seeing the results of our efforts and attach a (only slightly blurry) picture of the special sputnik cakes.
I remain your most humble devotee,
|Nicey replies: Its always good to hear from NCOTAASD's favourite space archaeologist. We too were excited about the 50th anniversary of Sputnik, which for good reason is the artificial satellite that I most often think of. Despite all the hundreds of other ones up there routing our phone calls, guiding our transport and keeping an eye on the weather, Sputnik is the only one with its own vegetable. The Kohl-Rabis that turn up in our weekly delivered veggi-box are the spit of it, and very nice in a stir fry it is.
I'm impressed that each cake seems to be unique in its design and colour scheme and I note that Dr Wallis didn't spare the food colouring. I hope this didn't render all your students hyper-active with attention deficit issues. Granted the latter is always difficult to diagnose in students although working in such a stimulating field I'm sure you don't suffer from such things.
Weston's Wagon Wheels Review
|Hello again nicey and family,|
Just perused an email on your site about WWs and realised that here in the Great Southern Land you can buy lots of different types of wagon wheels viz standard WWs - one to a packet in regulation size (largest in the world now? - gotta love it) biscuit sized in packs of 12 in standard WW flavour, strawberry choc (ie they are pink on the outside and taste like it) and vanilla choc (they are white - what IS the purpose of white chocolate?) mini sized in double choc and jaffa
You can also buy Korean 'moon pies" by Lotte - they look like pregnant WWs and taste stange - no jam, funny oriental marsh mallow and a VW bug kind of profile.
Choc bikkies are out of control in this country - saw some Kahlua flavoured slices (a mint slice with Kahlua cream) and a Black Forest gateau flavoured slice as well. Too much
Wish I could get eccles cakes out here....sigh
|Nicey replies: Hi Monika,
Wow sounds like the WagonWheel has really wigged out since joining Arnotts.
|Julie Marlow and Mal Bryning
||Dear Nicey and Wifey.|
We’re in serious trouble. I’m working in Jamaica for six months, from Australia, and loose leaf standard issue tea can’t be bought for love nor money. There’s tea bags, good old Tetley’s (normal and British Blend), which is a relief, and we took the precaution of bringing a stock of Twinings Irish Breakfast tea bags, imagining these would tide us over till we got a packet of good small tipped leaf. Alas, there’s plenty of other kinds of leaf here, but NO TEA. Or not so as we’ve found, but we’ve scoured the malls and supermarkets of Kingston to no avail. Can any kind Jamaican soul out there please advise??
I must say though that a nice cup of Blue Mountain coffee and a slice of rum cake goes down very nicely at teatime as a substitute.
Looking forward to your book,
Yours, Julie Marlow and Mal Bryning
Frustrated tea drinkers of Jamaica
||The item Karl 'Two Lunches' Hughes describes is clearly what is known in Australia as a 'slice'. I'd wondered about the lack of representation of slice on this site before, and come to the conclusion that it must exist only in Australia - though the Kiwi 'tray bake' sounds like the same thing. |
Slice was very popular when I was growing up (the 70s). It can be made from a selection of diverse ingredients mixed and pressed into a tray (and often iced), or from a biscuit recipe cooked in a tray (and often subsequently iced). Sometimed slices are fancy three-layer creations, eg caramel slice (shortbread base, a thick layer of caramel, layer of actual chocolate on top) or peppermint slice (shortbread or chocolate biscuit base, peppermint filling, chocolate layer), or raspberry coconut slice (very crumbly delicious base, raspberry jam, sticky coconut topping). And there are very delicious plainer versions like chocolate slice (chocolate biscuit base, chocolate icing, coconut sprinkled on top) and ginger slice (ginger shortbready biscuit base, plus ginger icing that you cook in a saucepan and which has the unusual quality of making your mouth feel cool when you eat it).
Slice is always made in a shallow, often rectangular tray (a slice tray). You don't see it as often as you used to, though you can often still buy it in cafes and old-fashioned cake shops.
Needless to say, a good accompaniment to tea, though not ideal for dunking.
|Nicey replies: I was going to say 'slice' too but then I didn't. I feel this information is probably of immense importance in helping finally working out phylogeny of such items as flapjack. I'm actually quite excited.|
||Dear Mr Nicey,|
If Monika Duhig lives in Melbourne, she'll find lovely hand-made Eccles cakes, made by a pastrycook from Lancashire, at JT's Bakery, Pinewood Shopping Centre, Mount Waverley.
Can't eat 'em meself, now, because of diet restrictions.