• 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

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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.

Secret Stash

There is a special place here, a secret place, to hide food from others in the household. The hiding of food began long ago, when there were four always hungry young’uns looking for treats beyond their allotted snack time and after dinner desserts. Appetites would be spoiled, not to mention the rationing system of fair equal shares for each would be sent into a chaotic free for all if cookies and such were openly displayed. It was for their own good.

Of the most treasured items hidden, Mother’s Little Helpers, chocolate Cadbury eggs, available only during Easter were the number one treat, squirreled away for a stolen moment of pleasure while children were napping or at school. Ah, special times indeed. And funny too, for sometimes those chocolate, creamy yolk and white filled confections were forgotten, only to be stumbled upon during the search for a special cup or bowl at the back of the cupboard. No matter how many months had passed, the foil wrapper would be gently peeled, oftentimes sticking to the chocolate, and the egg shoved into the whetted mouth when one of these delicacies was discovered. Ah, those were the days.

Now the children are all gone, we are the pathetic empty nesters, without the pitter patter of little feet unless one counts the fur covered padding of Kitty and Hazel, our two cats. Now there is no legitimate reason to hide goodies. Or is there?

What does this have to do with the topic of biscuit/cookie encounters you might be asking yourself? It started at Christmas, when our large family descends here, each bearing gifts and baked goods. The dining table is spread with plastic ware, cardboard shoes boxes lined with waxed paper and metal round tins, all filled with cookies. It is our tradition, the baking of enormous amounts of cookies for the holiday noshing. We eat and eat and eat until we are sick to death of looking at these cookies, and besides, they are getting stale. The guests leave, each packing a goodie bag to take home. Still there are scads of cookies, although they have been condensed into fewer and fewer containers. We cannot go into the kitchen without eating a cookie, and we seem to have to go into the kitchen way more times in one day than previously thought. The solution is to package the cookies into plastic freezer bags and stow them in the freezer. Somehow putting things into the freezer is like sending them through a gateway to another dimension as far as our housemate is concerned, irretrievable and invisible. Only I, the Lady of Larder hold the key that can unlock this fortress of foods, in his mind anyway.

Time passes. There have been additions and subtractions in the freezer compartment of the fridge since the holidays ended. Sliced turkey and ham, bags of peas and corn, frozen puff pastry, blueberries, small bits of home made pesto from the basil harvest and home made ice cream from The Hop all have hidden the bags of cookies. Let’s move things around and have a look see at what is available: powdered sugar covered Russian tea cookies, minty chocolate cookies dipped in melted chocolate with sprinkles, peanut butter fudge and peanut butter chocolate meltaways make up the inventory.

One of each set on a plate will quickly thaw at room temperature, given the high fat content. A guilty pleasure to help make the winter more bearable, perfect with a warm, steaming beverage. All the sweeter for having been secreted away.

The Orange. Frances Garrison

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4 Responses

  1. It is only fairly recently we have been able to give up on the secret stash of biscuits. My problem was that the secret was always being found & so the stash had to be moved. As a consequence of this I frequently forgot where the stashes were. The up-side, obviously, was the excitemement of unexpectedly finding the mislaid secret biscuit stash.

    For all I know there could be several packets of biscuits lurking in the dark recesses of my kitchen cupboards. Perhaps there is a positive side to that spring-cleaning business!

    • So true, Ms. B. The downside to the hidey business is forgetting where things have been stashed, sometimes for years. Petrified Cadbury eggs are not tasty after that long a period, the center solidifies, sadly.

  2. Prepare to be shocked – maybe even to death, don’t say I didn’t warn you, I hold no responsibility for what may happen……

    I hide 75% chocolate, NOT biscuits. I don’t care about biscuits as much as chocolate. There I said it. Flog me if you will for blaspheming.. In fact, again I warn you, we rarely have biscuits in the house.

    • That is indeed shocking, Carrie. I thought all UK people, that does include Ireland, right? were bananas for biscuits. We can certainly live without cookies very well, but chocolate, on the other hand is non negotiable. Must Have. So looking forward to meeting you! 🙂

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