• 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.

  • Biscuit Encounters on Twitter

  • 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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Ooo something smells good…

Biscuits conjure a universe of emotion with just their aroma – the spiciness of ginger nuts reminiscent of hotter climes; the cosiness of malted milk bringing forth my earliest memories of biscuity-ness (the inexperienced drip of milk down the arm after “first dunking”).

But the biscuit smell I miss and have never smelt since that first time, that first blessed meeting with biscuit perfection, was the simplest of simple home-made affairs. I wasn’t even present for the baking but the smell billowed throughout the house; only a small house, in Bodfari, as exotic to me as ginger nuts. The church and the post office were at the bottom of the hill and the house right at the top. The Biscuit Maker walked it every day.

She was the oldest person I’d ever met. She was 96. I must’ve been about eight. To me she was a conundrum, all paper-thin skin and hair in the wrong places, but she smelt wonderful. Her fingers were still damp from the baking and I saw, for the very first time outside of fairy tale picture books, a pie and a plate of biscuits cooling on the window-sill. I was breathless.

I don’t remember the taste.

Incidentally, I met a man today who is 97. He took great pains to make sure I understood it was June 16th “NINETEEN TWELVE… AND TWO MONTHS LATER TITANIC SANK”. They blamed him. At the risk of sounding clichéd-football-commentator, it’s a funny old game. Pass the biscuits.

by wildelycreative

6 Responses

  1. magical story. made me hungry too. now, where the hecks Bodfari *googles*

  2. Ahh, the inexperienced drip of milk down the arm.
    And the futile attempt at licking it off your arm before it reaches your elbow where it hangs,tantalisingly close, but so far away. Then you do the strange sticky out tongue, chicken arm thing where you dance in a circle until you fall over and I spill my milk and… I’ve said too much.

  3. I too had to Google Bodfari.
    A very un-Welsh name, I thought but then maybe I was just mixing it up with Daktari.
    Which is a different thing entirely.
    Clarence the Cross Eyed lion probably would not have felt as comfortable in Bodfari.
    Too rainy.
    Although the biscuits would be a definite plus.

  4. Mr JA-S, posting in rhyme? Maybe you are a poet, and you didn’t know…

  5. I’m Welsh and didn’t even get a small hint that Bodfari was in Wales. Sounds so exotic. I must visit now to prove the opposite is in fact the case!

    Could it be that the old lady was making Welsh Cakes? Just a thought. They smell amazing when cooked on a traditional bakestone!

    Thanks again for an evocative and educational (re: Bodfari) post.


  6. ‘Tis a tiny place. One small road as far as I remember. The house at the top of the hill wasn’t quite at the top. The garden was higher, you went upstairs to the garden. Upstairs…to the garden…here be magic!

    I haven’t been back since but the place has embedded a firm sense of fairyland in my mind.

    There are pictures. Wind-whipped and in a green wool coat that smelt funny at playtime when it rained. Must dig it out and stick it on Flickr.

    Me…eight. Almost bearable.

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