When I was a kid, a lazy Sunday morning would often begin with the biscuit tin. My brother and I woke up, as kids do, long before my parents wanted to get out of bed. And we were hungry, but obviously not yet at an age when we could get our own breakfast. Or maybe it was a ploy on our behalf – because being hungry on a lazy Sunday morning meant I was sent downstairs for the biscuit tin and we would start the day munching biscuits in bed with mum and dad.
My personal favourite at the time was the Custard Cream, a mainstay of British life in the 70s (and since, for some) that’s two rectangles of biscuit sandwiched together with vanilla cream. Since the cream is the best bit, I would separate the two halves and eat the one with least cream stuck to it first.
Sometimes there would be no Custard Creams but there would be Jammy Dodgers – the original ones with both jam and cream in the middle. The jam glues them together quite firmly, so they had to be eaten in one piece.
If it was a bad week, biscuit-wise, then I might be left with the Bourbons. Cocoa-brown biscuits with chocolatey cream were far from being my favourite, but they did meet the cream filling requirement.
On rare occasions there was a biscuit disaster and we were left with the dregs of the biscuit tin. Nice biscuits, which are fondly remembered in our house for being anything but nice, or Rich Tea biscuits, which are completely useless without a cuppa (and even then are only recommended for Extreme Dunkers, due to their tendency to disintegrate if soaked for a second too long. Clumps of soggy biscuit at the bottom completely ruin a cup of tea).
Quite often my return trip to the kitchen was via the garden, leaving out for the birds the crumbs and the less-than-crunchy remains of anything past its munch-by-date. But the shops didn’t open on Sundays back then, so a biscuit tin refill would have to wait.