• 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.

Catharsis in Crumbs

My Nana died too soon. She had cancer and was only 76, I was 18 and was just starting to get to know her. I cleaned the upstairs of her house every week and our relationship was changing from one of Grandmother and Grandchild to Margaret and Carrie – real people. My heart aches for her daily. She fought a viliant battle, with humour and was ever the lady until the end.

On May day past Andrew and I visited the gardens of Glenarm Castle, they were having a Tulip Festival and we happily stumbled upon it. My lust for the Tulip has erupted this year, we are having a scandalous love affair.

As with all these large estates there was also a cafe and as usual we Gaults can’t pass up the opportunity to have a coffee and a wee biscuit. So Monday was no different; though the queue was long and cramped we waited quite patiently (we Gaults love a good orderily queue as well). When we got our table it was simple to order, Andrew needed fruit loaf, Ineeded a fakemeal biscuit. They arrived in moments, freshly baked and utterly scrumptious looking.

I took a bite. From nowhere tears welled in my eyes and embarassed though I was I couldn’t help but choke and make a sound of child like pain in the packed cafe. The biscuit, from that moment transported me to my Nana’s home and she was there and I was small and feeling loved by her prescence and this treat she had made for me. I don’t even remember exactly everything she baked but she was an excellent cook and loved to make biscuits and treats for her grandchildren, children and husband; I don’t remember her eating them herself.

This flakey, crumbly square was delicious and I savoured every moment, longing for it to last forever. I couldn’t even speak, Andrew just heard the words ‘my Nana’. My heart was breaking with each small bite but at the same time I was completely at ease and, is happy the right word? I even licked my finger and ate the crumbs from the plate, smiling as I did so – she thought that bad manners, hehe.

I’ve never experienced that before, smells yes, certain places or gestures, they remind me of her but this was so unexpected, I tasted our love. I have very few childhood memories, I guess I’ve blocked out a lot of stuff so this was like a dream for me a deep seeded emotional impression.

Biscuits may well be frivilious treats but in the rarest of cases they are port-holes to another time and I will treasure that feeling and that simple flakemeal biscuit for a long time.

Carrie Gault.plain

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4 Responses

  1. lovely story.

  2. Thank you Mark xx

  3. Memories to treasure – though no longer here, we can still cherish those in our hearts and minds x

  4. oh thank you sarah-jane, that is a lovely phrase x

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