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||Dear Nicey (and Wife of course!),|
I recently bought your book, having seen a copy in my son's shared student house and not having time to read it properly before it was time to go back home after delivering all his Stuff for him. I don't really do the web thing as access isn't easy but books ... well, I really love books! The students in his house are all tea freaks and have a wonderful collection of pots which they use for communal drinking sessions.
At home, the Man prefers Earl Grey and I like Darjeeling. Sometimes we drink the same and use a pot but it's just one of those standard steel ones - but it pours so well we keep using it. (We drink it the best way of course, ie black and not too strong, so you get the fragrance and flavour just right. *grin*)
Anyway, the point of this is to share with you something about pouring and spouts, which I learnt from my Dad only this morning. He's rather old and only drinks horrible instant coffee with lots of milk and sugar when he's at home, but a while ago he had to spend quite a lot of time in hospital and there he got used to drinking tea (also horrible with lots of milk and sugar!). The lady with the tea wagon used to pour out a whole trayful at once and Dad was at leisure to watch this activity and observe the results. He still has an enquiring mind and noticed that the giant teapot poured badly when it was full but better later on. The results of the study indicated that the angle of the spout is critical, and further occasional study by him at home involving watering cans and milk jugs supported this theory. If the liquid coming out of the spout is already pointing downwards when it leaves the spout (ie if you have a nice curvy tipped spout) then it pours tidily; however, if your spout points upwards so the liquid has to struggle to achieve downward motion then it invariably gives up and sneaks down the side of the pot/jug/watering can. This is where the end-of-the-pot bit works - when it's nearly empty the spout is pointing much more down than when it's full.
I haven't tested this for myself but it does sound like a good excuse for a few more cups of tea to be made ....
|Nicey replies: Thank you for passing your father's sage learning. I fear that entire sum of human knowledge and enquiry to date has failed to properly quantify and explain the forces and mechanisms at work when tea is poured from a pot. The design of such important things being left to the creative whimsey of artisans rather than the directed research of physicists and mathematicians.
Perhaps if we roped in Mr Dyson he could come up with something sure fire, given his successes in getting 'hoovers' to pick up fluff off of carpets.
As we crossed the Irish sea on our way back from this years tea tour I was treated to an unusual scene in the men's toilets. An elderly American chap, properly attired in comfortable chequered clothing was raving about the hand dryer. It was another one Mr Dyson's inventions.
The old fella was so impressed, his words were "that's the first goddamn one of those that I've used that's ever worked", and he promptly took a photo of it with his digital camera.
I rushed back and immediately told Nanny Nicey, who prides herself on taking offbeat and tedious holiday photos with which to stupefy her rambling circle. Her pictures of unusually shaped collecting containers at French recycling points were in danger of being eclipsed by this old boys pictures of maritime toilet fixtures.
Club Milk Review
|The cutaway profile of the legendary Club Milk does look like the biscuits I remember from Days of Yore|
But your review fails to mention whether it is still possible to nibble away at the chocolate and “Free the Biscuit” I recall that freeing the biscuit from its chocolatey coffin was the sole purpose of Club biscuits perhaps you can enlighten us on the viability of this technique today.
|Nicey replies: Indeed as I mentioned the biscuit is moulded differently from the old Liverpool built Clubs. Old style biscuits had round edge implying that they had been moulded on both faces, the new ones seem to be moulded on one side then scraped thus giving the flat bottom. This does mean that the chocolate seems to bond a bit tighter on the new ones but I still managed to bite off chunks as I mentioned. I didn't have enough of them under ideal circumstances to attempt the complete de-chocolating, but I would think it is possible.
Also the one in cross section was one of the few to make it out of Ireland. We had to leave in quite a hurry due to the weather, in fact there were floods in central Dublin the day we left. This meant that my strategic and comprehensive last big biscuit buy up didn't happen. The rather lob-sided one here made it out in the top pocket of my ruck-sack.
Your review of Lincoln biscuits stirred a almost lost memory which involved summer days a long time ago, a tent in the garden and super hero comics. Lincoln biscuits played a large part in this as they seemed to be the only buscuit that my mother ever bought. She must have secured a job lot of them. The key element to all this was that orange juice was the liquid companion to the Lincolns and I seem to remember that we used to dunk the buscuits in the juice. They were delicious.. I often wonder if this started me on the road to serious dunking in later life.
Love the site and all the best to Wifey
|Nicey replies: A bit of good news on the Lincoln front, despite McVities discontinuing them we have just spotted Jacob's Lincolns in Ireland. The Jacob's Lincoln's I've had in the past have been very nice indeed and are a little bit more golden than the pale McVities ones were.|
||Dear Nicey, |
I was forced to stop drinking tea for a few months and switch to instant coffee, not through choice, but because of a drop in tea quality. I am able to drink any kind of vile coffee but I am very particular about my tea. It has to be strong, with a dash of milk, no sugar. Builder's brew if you like.
I have noticed that bog standard teabags such as Tetley, PG tips and Red Label have got weaker, so weak that I have not been able to brew a satisfactory cuppa. I suspect they are mixing the tea in the bags with dark coloured sawdust. Either that or I have become more impatient.
Fortunately I have found a solution to my problem. I have switched to Assam tea which always seems to come out strong enough and satisfies my craving for tea. I wonder if anyone else has noticed tea becoming weaker? If so may I suggest a switch to assam or kenyan.
PS the milk chocolate Hob Nob is the King of Biscuits IMO. Chocolate digestive a close second.
|Nicey replies: I wonder if it's your water? We noticed that our trick of using one tea bag for two mugs which works well enough here for Wifey and I failed when on holiday in Ireland with softer water. This could also explain why the local blends over there were very much stronger.
Have you moved house to one with a water softening system, new kettle or something?
Our cake trolley at EDS Swansea raised £212.28. The company was kind enough donate some cash to ensure that all staff got a free Welsh cake to celebrate St David's Day. Meant I was huddling over the bakestone for a good few hours, but it was worthwhile. My fellow bakers helped me out and we had a great showing with bara brith, lemon drizzle cake, loads of nice things like caramel slices and rocky road, fairy and butterfly cakes, and the best jam and cream scones I've ever tasted. I had intended to take a photo for you, but the gannets descended as soon as the cakes appeared. We all had a good time, but by the end of the day some of us were feeling poorer and ever so slightly queasy.
I went along to the Saint David's Day parade in Cardiff on the Saturday and I though it was really good. Not up to St. Patrick's Day in Dublin yet, but certainly enough to make your heart swell with pride.
|Nicey replies: Sue,
Glad to hear you made lots of tea and cake propelled dosh for your Charity. Well done to all your baking colleagues too.
Team NCOTAASD are just back from a week in the Alps, where the YMOS did very good impressions of small helmet wearing projectiles re-entering the earth's atmosphere. Wifey can officially now no longer keep up with them and is adapting her skiing style accordingly to a more sitting down with a hot chocolate whilst I go off and find ever steeper things for the YMOS to tackle.
On the way back yesterday morning we found ourselves on Paris's Gare du Nord at 6:00 am where I was forced to drink Liptons Yellow label tea in a paper cup of hot water and milk, for 2.40 Euros. Wifey has always wanted a romantic weekend in Paris, and arriving at 5:30 am after a night spent trying to sleep and a vinyl covered shelf surrounded by ski socks didn't seem to count. Not even one little tiny bit, although we did spot the odd glimpse of the Eiffel Tower on the way out.
So I better go and get that Guinness and see if we can celebrate St Patrick's Day in some style