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My Gram was born in Hastings in the 1880’s, moved to London as a young wife, then brought her two young daughters to California after losing her husband in WWI. We always had proper English tea at holiday dinners, but I didn’t much care for it. To entice me, Gram used to call to my attention the bubbles in my cup. “Ooooo-o-o-o—loook, you’re going to have lots of money coming your way….” I still didn’t like tea, much to Gram’s chagrin. But I do have Gram’s biscuit tin. I use it every Christmas when I load it up with homemade cookies—err, biscuits.
|Nicey replies: Hello Sue,
We have a special icon for tea bubbles and their associated wealth, and one for biscuit tins too. I think it's lovely that your Gram's old biscuit tin gets an outing at Christmas time.
As for Hastings I seem to remember from my trip there as a child that it has very tall wooden sheds covered in tar, which were something to do with fishing.
||Lemon juice is very good at removing tea stains from mugs, and leaves a slightly more pleasant aftertaste than bleach or washing powder. Although you may well disagree.|
Our household was overwhelmed with gifts of biscuit selection boxes this Christmas and New Year: we have several to get through before their expiry dates (which all seem to be in March). I may have to sacrifice my biscuits to a higher cause and bring them into work for my colleagues to polish off. If I do, should I admit they are leftovers do you think, or just bask in the fact that they'll think me extremely generous?
|Nicey replies: Nicky,
I think you are in danger of projecting overly complex physiological states for the people who will ploughing through your free biscuits.
||Hi Nicey and Wifey,|
I bought the book from Ottokars and keep randomly dipping into it for my amusement. I did not see the name of Gray Dunn with caramel wafers but my reading method might have skipped over it. I think they did a popular advertising campaign on TV at least ten years ago. Not that I like them any more than cardboard/Rivita. I endorse the assessment of the fig biscuits, they are some kind of perfection but they can go rock hard if not kept properly in a sealed biscuit tin. They don't normally last long enough to find that out.
It would be interesting to know what your readers use for biscuit tins. I have an old round one with a flower pattern on the lid but I also keep them in a modern sealable plastic container. I hear you screaming the word 'sacrilege'. I also have an old chromed biscuit barrel that I think goes back to my parents' wedding day in 1947. It has an inner container, like a little bucket, but does not hold a sufficient quantity of biscuits and it does not feel right to separate them into two places.
I hope that you don't mind but I have attached a photo of our workplace brewing area, exactly as it is every day, with its industrial teapot and messy fridge below. Mine is the KitKat mug. Note the rusty spoon and build-up of tannin in the teapot. The cleaning lady is under very strict instructions NEVER to clean the insides of the teapot. We always think it keeps the tea away from the metal and, anyway, it is probably bad luck if someone cleans it out. Out of the picture, there is a box of 100 Tetley teabags from the 'pound shop'.
The custard picture from your website is now my computer background picture. Yum!
Keep up the good work. I am enjoying the book.
|Nicey replies: Hello Jack,
That's a wonderful photo of tea making equipment, just the sort of thing I was after when I took the photos for the book. I like the brown tray underneath it all too and the reflections in the kettle. The teapot is glorious, I'm particularly impressed with the black wire handle over the spout to aid pouring. I'm also enjoying the old 10Base2 networking points behind the fridge.
Sadly we were informed a while back that Grey Dunn ceased trading in 2001 so I suppose I should really put an entry up or them in the missing in action section.
Now you know where I live, you must tell me when you are next in town for faggots and peas in the market. I live 5 minutes from the market and have the kitchen (See attachment) voted as the best in Ponty for a cup of tea and a sit down by the dozen or so people that drop in every day. And you can see my collection of tarty CUPS. And you can have tea from a pot. And biscuits from the barrel you can see on the mantlepiece in the photo. And my homemade bara brith and welshcakes (made daily). And a cake stand with doileys.
|Nicey replies: That really is a lovely kitchen, and so well equipped for sit downs, as well as the tempting homemade Welsh produce. I think the Wife has got a bad case kitchen envy as she is setting about ours with all sorts of machines and chemicals, as I type this.
We'll definitely look you up on our next trip to Ponty, and do a special report on your kitchen.
Thanks for your speedy reply, I attach a picture of us ( Enjoying a well deserved stand up) - I would also like to add that we all agree that sitting down would be the optimal way to enjoy tea and obviously outside the workplace this is how it is nearly always taken.
|Nicey replies: Woo,
Is that a Foxs Creations tin that you are using in your tea-club there??