• 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.

The Remarkably Muscular Jammie Dodger

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A Halloween Special

Courtesy of The Orange. Michelle Chapman

Sing-a-Long A Biscuit

A link to this Blog was sent to me by the excellent and efficient Helen Johnstone.plain back in August and I lost it. Sorry.

The author, a Mr Ben Griffiths, has – inspired by a camping trip – written biscuit based singalong lyrics to various songs. I reproduce the first part of his version of American Pie as a taster. The original is here with more Biscuit based songs. Sadly, it never seems to have got much further than this one page written in 2005.

To the tune of American Pie:

A long, long time ago I can still remember how those biscuits used to make me smile

and I knew if I had my chance that I could make those biscuits and maybe I’d be happy for a while.

But February made me shiver with every biscuit they delivered, good news on the door step, I could always take one more step,

I can’t remember if I cried when I read about Baker who died but something touched me deep inside, the day, the Biscuit maker died, died.
So…

CHORUS

Bye, bye Biscuit maker guy,

made his biscuits kinda heavy and they always was high

an them good ol’ boys were eating biscuits of rye singin if this’ll be the day that they’re dry, then this’ll be the day that I’ll die.

Did you write the recipe of love and do you have faith in God above,

to bake them biscuits so,

and do you believe in biscuits n’ rolls, can they save your mortal soul and can you teach me how to bake em real slow?

Well I know that you’re in love with him cuz I saw you bakin them with him, you both threw off your shoes and I love those biscuits and blues.

I was a lonely teenage cookin punk with a white apron and a pick up truck but I knew I was out of luck, the day, the biscuit maker, died. I started singin…

A Pome…..

A poem with a tenuous connection…

A Woman’s Worry

He didn’t like the casserole

And he didn’t like my cake

He said my biscuits were to hard

Not like his mother used to make

I didn’t perk the coffee right

He didn’t like the stew

I didn’t mend his socks

Like his mother used to do

I pondered for an answer

I was looking for a clue

Then I turned around and smacked the s*** out of him…

Like his mother used to do.

Anon.

Contributed by The Orange.Michelle Chapman (who is not, I believe the author but filched the poem from GardenersClick)

And Now The News…….

A newsflash from our equivalent of Fiona Bruce:

Breaking News: Head for the shops!

All is not well at Tunnocks , home of the illustrious Teacake and Caramel wafer . Workers are unhappy at the firm’s 2% pay offer and have been staging a series of one-day strikes and working to rule over the past week or so. Ginger Baker, EWRB’s indefatigable Consumer Correspondent reports that supplies are continuing to hold up across all retail outlets, but fears unless the dispute is settled soon, it is only a matter of time before bunfights break out in supermarkets and tea shops across the land as housewives race to get their hands on dwindling stocks.

Report ends.

The Orange.Michelle Chapman

Custard Cream of Doom

I’d awoken in one of those Disney styles, where you spring out of bed as the sunshine fills your room. Birds were singing at my window. Neighbours were waving at me to put some pants on.

Yes, it was a going to be a great day.

Breakfast consisted of a glass of orange juice (with bits) followed by a plate of bacon and eggs, a round of toast and large mug of coffee. Wonderful.

Postie arrived early and delivered a package of shiny new books. Marvellous.

I showered and got dressed and found £1 in my pocket. Amazing.

The rest of the day was to be spent with my Dad doing a spot of bird watching. As usual there were sandwiches and as we were going a little farther afield, there was also a flask of soup. What a treat. And the treats kept coming as we spotted a number of “firsts” for our birding list. There were Marsh Tits and a Little Egret spotted by Dad. Various ducks were bobbing around and there was even a Seagull.

All in all, it was a great day.

We made our way home and upon arriving back at Uku Mansions I got the first clue that my wonderful day was about to end. I went to unlock my door and used the wrong key. This momentary lapse in time caused me to be delayed in my entrance and Old Lady Downstairs appeared at her door. Her TV had started playing up again and would I have a look at it?

An hour later, I emerged victorious and, once again, made for my own front door; this time making sure to find the right key. I was exhausted having spent my day wandering around a nature reserve and just wanted to have a nice sit down with a cup of coffee and a biscuit – who wouldn’t?

I made some coffee with my stove-top mocha pot, and I heated some milk to whisk into froth. The resulting “mochacino” was just about the most perfect cup of coffee I had ever made. It’s freshly frothed hot milky top was just begging for a sprinkling of chocolate and so I obliged.

But, as if to remind me that my perfect day was at an end, I stubbed my toe on the door as I was carrying my drink into the living room, spilling some of the froth onto the carpet. I decided to leave it and make for the couch, desperate as I was for a nice sit down.

But, I’d forgotten my biscuit.

Up I got and back to the kitchen, stepping in the spilt milk on my way and now having to hop with my wet sock held aloft. But I was instantly cheered at the site of my beloved Custard Creams smiling at me from the biscuit barrel.

I whipped off the soggy sock and threw it in the washing machine, picked up a custard cream and made my way back to the couch and the perfect cup of coffee. Stepping in the wet patch of carpet again as I passed…dammit.

At this point I no longer cared and flopped onto the couch, sodden footed, but biscuit in hand.

In hindsight, burning my tongue and lips as I took the first sip of my coffee should have been an enormous clue as to what was about to transpire. However, at this stage, I’d just about had enough and the universe could go to hell. The only thing that could cheer me up was a nicely dunked Custard Cream. I pinched the corner of the biscuit quite near the edge – I wanted a full dunk, but didn’t want to risk burning my fingers in the hot coffee.

In went the custard sandwich and then two things happened in such quick succession that there was no time to prepare myself for it.

The corner of one side of the top biscuit snapped. The feeling of dread this imparts cannot be described, it’s something you need to experience and I pray you never do. The moment is heart stopping and as with any moment like this, I flinched. Some may say that was a cowardly thing to do but there isn’t a man (or woman) alive who would not flinch at the thought of losing his Custard Cream to a hot cup of coffee. But it was only the top biscuit of the sandwich that had snapped.

A small wave of relief swept through my mind. Had the perfect day been saved at the last by my own quick reflexes?

It had not.

For as I pulled my Custard Cream from the steaming perfection of my mochacino, I realised that I was only holding the corner. I had lost my biscuit to the dark depths of the mug. I rushed to the kitchen to try and spoon it out but it was too late, the biscuit had not simply fallen into the coffee, it had dissolved into it. My attempts at scooping were merely stirring the Custard Cream into the steaming drink, defiling both forever.

I had lost my biscuit.

I had ruined my coffee.

I had a soggy foot.

The horror.

The horror.

The Stacker

They were in a small plastic bag and I guarded them with my life. Breaktime ­ or feast as it was known ­was a bunfight and keeping hold of your mid-morning snack was vital.Get your own feast, the four-year-old me would say to any pushy boy and wheedling girl who tried to get me to part with my precious treasure.

I wonder if it’s because I had to guard them so fiercely that my love for Rich Tea biscuits has remained for my whole life. They’re not a glamorous biscuit. They have nothing of the unctuous silkiness of an orange Club or the indulgent tang of a Jaffa Cake. Eaten alone they are pedestrian, dry, the sort of biscuit you would pass over in the tin for a chocolate digestive or, at the very least, a shortbread finger.

I’m not sure what possessed my mother back in the early 70s to first reach for the butter knife before handing me and my brother our biscuit elevenses, but who knows how genius begins? Because when you spread a Rich Tea biscuit with butter and add another Rich Tea on top, then you enter completely different territory. The mundane becomes heavenly ­ your teeth crunching through a crisp layer to find a cool, salty creaminess lurking inside. This, my friends, is the Rich Tea Stacker.

Since those early days in the playground, I’ve tried to bring bit of myself to the Rich Tea Stacker, to make it my own. There was a brief flirtation at university with the Triple Stacker ­ de trop, I decided in the end ­ and then that regrettable Digestive Stacker episode in my mid 20s ­ too buttery. I soon came to my senses: you can’t improve on the Rich Tea Stacker. Don’t mess with perfection.

Kindly submitted by Alex Mitchell (@alexmitchelleg)