When I was little, my grandmother used to make a delicacy known – in our household at any rate – as Thunder and Lightning. This was a plain digestive biscuit* (McVities, of course) spread with butter and jam.
I suppose you could use any jam, but in our house, it was usually blackcurrant for some reason. I still hate blackcurrant jam, but I still like Thunder and Lightning. Today, I make it with strawberry or raspberry jam.
Someone once told me that instead of butter, one should really use cream cheese, or even clotted cream. We never had cream, clotted or otherwise, when we were children. My mother and grandmother still had a wartime mentality when it came to treats and the closest we came to cream was Carnation milk (the evaporated kind, not the condensed version). It accompanied, almost inevitably, tinned peaches.
As for cheese, I was quite prepared to believe that the 11th commandment stated: “Thou shalt have no other cheese but Cheddar.” Because that’s all there ever was.
It’s funny how one’s childhood experiences shape one’s palate. I was once sick after a party where I’d been eating Dairylea cheese spread and cucumber sandwiches. For years, I couldn’t look at a nice healthy cucumber without feeling ill, but Dairylea – which is truly disgusting – remained a favourite until I was old enough to know better.
Although I can’t stand blackcurrant jam, I love Carnation milk. And although cream (even clotted cream) is readily available in supermarkets, I still prefer butter on my Thunder and Lightning, rather than anything more sybaritic.
Does anyone else know about Thunder and Lightning? Do tell.
*For American readers, digestive biscuits (or as my children call them, dig. bix.) are similar to Graham crackers.