• The Tenuous Purpose

    This Blog is built - not, as some might expect, on a flimsy whim but on a strong and single minded principle.

    That principle concerns Biscuits and their position in the world.

    We are really very keen on biscuits.
    As are many of you out there.
    We think.

    We wish to create an archive of Arrowroot, a backlog of Bourbons and a catalogue of Chocolate Fingers. Anybody can contribute an entry - or dispute somebody else's - provided they are not dull.
    Even Americans who perhaps don't really have the heritage of biscuitry that we are fortunate to have here.

    Or maybe they do and we are unaware of the full glory of the cookie.

    We realise that this whole subject is admirably and concisely dealt with by that excellent and unbeatable website A Nice Cup of Tea and a Sit Down. Our feeble efforts will be as the kicking of a gadfly in the face of their wisdom and experience but we hope that we may have a small contribution to make.

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  • The Synod of Biscuitry

    James Alexander-Sinclair of Blackpitts
    Gardener, Blogger, Journalist, Lecturer etc, etc. Much of his life is spent loafing around other people’s gardens issuing directives and generally cluttering up the place. However, like the great Mr Kipling, he does (occasionally) make exceptionally good gardens. (Although even Mr Kipling messed up a bit with the Carrot and Walnut Mini Classics.)

    Mark Diacono of Otter Farm
    He does sterling work growing many inappropriate plants in Devon. He dedicates a great deal of time and effort nurturing a plethora of plants that are (mostly) totally unsuited to our climate. His is a life of such extreme eccentric dedication that to start a Blog about Biscuits seems perfectly normal. He treads gently in the footsteps of people like the great William Buckland,a professor of Geology who claimed that he could tell location by tasting the local topsoil.

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Ginger Monkey

As a child I hated ginger nuts. They were too hard for my little teeth, and I loathed them only slightly more than malted milk, which always tasted to me like they had gone stale. We used to call them manky milks. Needless to say we ate both types of biscuit anyway, but only as a last result.

But my aversion wasn’t just down to the fact that they were like eating small rounds of concrete, I used to be decidedly unfond of ginger. I did not like it or anything that contained anything other than a tiny amount of it.

But things have changed dramatically. And changed in the last six months too. Which is probably symptomatic of something. I’m using a lot of fresh ginger in cooking and have found a passion for ginger beer (no sniggering at the back) For the record, exhaustive tasting has shown that Barr’s Original Ginger Beer is the best (availble in Waitrose in glass “Corona” bottles).

So where is this leading? To a newfound passion for ginger nuts?

You must be joking. They are still awful, awful awful

But Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference  Chocolate Ginger Cookies? They are absolutely divine.

The Garden Monkey


17 Responses

  1. Ginger Nuts are a wonderful thing, but undoubtedly too hard. I buy a packet then leave them out for at least a day or two until they go soft. Works a treat.

    You can of course also dip them in tea to soften up, but my timing is a little off and although soft is good, soggy is not, and completely dissolved in a cuppa is an absolute no no.

  2. I loved Ginger Nuts, have a huge passion for anything with Ginger in it. Sadly my biscuit eating days are over.

    As kids we had a Ginger Beer ‘plant’ which we fed regularly and it would offer us up copious glasses of lip smacking refreshment. That is until one day it made a bid for world domination, and escaped the wardrobe in my brother’s room and rampaged unfettered.

    For some reason not fathomable at that tender age, my parents were not amused, especially when it began dripping through the sitting room ceiling onto the wood floors below. Brilliant as a polish stripper too!

  3. Isn’t that odd; I had a similar childhood hate of ginger nuts, but unlike GM they are now the biscuit of choice. And “yes” ginger now features more frequently in our culinary concoctions (I would like to call them ‘recipes’ but that is stretching the point somewhat).

    Maybeas we mature, along with failing hearing, eyesight & joints our tastebuds must take a hammering and it takes that little extra piquancy to waken them.

  4. Oh Mr Blackpitts, how can you not love a ginger nut? Timing, as Dawns says, is everything, but a ginger nut dipped briefly in hot tea and eaten while the the inside is still a little chewy will heal all manner of ills.
    A blog after my own heart – and hips.

  5. Maybe you’re pregnant, GM…x

  6. Good use of ginger biscuits is to sandwich them together with cream into a long sausage which you put on a plate and then cover the outside with more whipped cream and maybe some flaked almonds for decoration. Leave in fridge for a few hours and then eat – lovely the biscuits are soft and everything yummy

  7. Helen, I’d forgotten that. My mother used to make it. The ginger biscuits were also sloshed with brandy.
    For some inexplicable (and rather bad taste) reason it was called Dead Baby.

    • We used chocolate chip cookies and sherry with the whipped cream – it was named something unpleasant – it had ‘log’ in the title – but compared to ‘Dead Baby’ it’s almost pleasant.

    • Oh I forgot the brandy – probably whiskey in our house. Never called Dead Baby though!!!!!

  8. I used to make a dessert that was similar to patientgardener’s but the gingerbiscuits were sandwiched together with cream and the whole thing was soaked in sherry to make it all a bit gooey. Hmmm.. in the unlikely event my mother didn’t polish off the sherry (specially bought for her) when she stayed I could try that again!

    As for ginger beer – I love it. I once went round to a school friends and her mother had been making ginger beer. We drank loads nobody realising it was actually alcoholic. My parents had to be phoned to come and cart me home screeching with laughter as everything seemed to be terribly funny.

  9. I too love everything ginger, yum! But Ginger Nuts – yuck. I just can’t seem to enjoy them in any guise. Yes too hard, but then too soft and quick to dissipate when ‘dunked’ and I feel I wasted some of my valuable calories allocated for the day. Though come to think about it, my Husband is ginger and I adore him (think about it….snigger).

  10. For what it’s worth, t’other half has reminded me that the queen of all ginger biscuits can only be found in Grasmere in the Lakes.
    Although strictly a gingerbread and therefore on the margins of biscuithood, I for one am not going to argue.

  11. Ms Sock – thats exactly my mums out-to-impress-the-neighbours-at-the-bbq pud. has to be sherry. she makes that while derek (her bloke for 30 years) cooks meat and gets quitely hammered at the coals. he’s always having birthday bbqs, to such a degree that my friends think he might be the undead, so many birthdays has he seemingly had to celebrate. He became known as Count Derekula for a while. Then, given his propensity for mispronounciation, Count Dyslexia. The last time we ate that dessert was at his retirement bbq (coming fast on the heels of his birthday bbq) about a month after he’d finished work. A classic mum and derek bbq – much food, fabulous sherry/ginger nuts pud and derek mispronouncing.
    Me: How’s it not being at work then? Derek: Im not missing it one hiotuth.

  12. Humph! I am terribly easily influenced but have a bad memory so in Sainsos today I have bought the wrong Taste The Difference cookies – All butter stem ginger and oatflake cookies. These are quite nice but I rather thought that a cookie was slightly gooey and chewy whereas these are more biscuity crisp and crumbly.

    More excitingly, whilst I was there guess what I saw? Well, you won’t guess so I will tell you…… Jaffa Cake Pudding!! I didn’t even feel vaguely tempted to buy this. It was like an enormous Jaffa Cake had been dropped from an aeroplane and the resulting splatted mess been scooped up and put in an oven dish with a smattering more orange goop and some extra chocolate sauce splodged over the top!

    Do you think you would have custard with this?

  13. I am looking for a recipe that is as close to Spicy Stem Ginger Oatflake Biscuits from harrods. I have tried to come up with my own but no luck. I can’t afford to keep buying them and having them shipped to th USA. I hope someone out there has something for me.

    • I, too, am looking for a recipe to duplicate the Spicy Stem Ginger Oatflake Biscuits from Harrods. Did you have any luck? Thank you–MJ

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