It’s been ages and so much has happened. But the most important thing I have to say today is:
Rich tea biscuits are round. Point finale! (That’s ‘full stop’ in French)
Unless they are Rich Tea Fingers, which have their own special shape, are a little thinner, and officially Allowed.
Why am I talking about this? Because you can’t get Rich Tea biscuits in France and they are my favourites. Miss 8 is also partial. The French do biscuits but they are somewhat fussy, in my opinion. There’s nothing wrong with a good plain biscuit. Overdoing biscuits is like fiddling too much with ice cream until there are so many things in it that you can’t enjoy the ice cream any more. Quote Cornetto’s ‘No boring bits’. What’s boring about good ice cream? I suppose when the ice cream is cheap you need to add ‘bits’ so that people don’t notice that the fundamental makeup of it is actually tasteless…
Anyway, I’m a plain kind of person. I like simple clothes, on the whole (okay yes, the odd pair of fancy gold shoes doesn’t go amiss, but…), I like food that’s not too fussy, I like mono colour walls, simple wooden furniture (retro please), plain sponge cake, good vanilla ice cream, plain biscuits. And French biscuits, at their plainest, tend to be still somewhat buttery. A bit rich. Too crumbly. Likely quite nice (not ‘Nice’. like the slightly coco-nutty, lightly sugar-sprinkled famous British relatively plain biscuit, but ‘nice’ as in, it’s okay), but not perfect, like a Rich Tea.
When we unpacked some of our kitchen boxes that came from our UK storage unit I found a box of English Breakfast Tea bags. Always seems a bit odd to call it that since, although the first UK-grown tea is now being manufactured, the tea in my tea bags definitely wasn’t grown there. Point is, I’ve drunk about one cup of ‘English’ tea since we moved away from Bristol in March 2017. My English tea consumption has dwindled away since I got into coffee in New Zealand. My double shot flat white in the morning is enough caffeine for me – more and I usually find I’m tweaking! So English tea slipped out of use in our house, and I haven’t missed it at all. But yesterday I found myself thinking about an afternoon coffee, which I do every once in a blue moon. Then I remembered the tea and decided to open the packet of Rich Tea Fingers I’ve been saving from my holiday hoard, make an English cuppa in my lovely, special, Hornsea Pottery mug , and have a very English moment.
This caused me to lament the lack of Rich Tea biscuits in France and it struck me that there must be a recipe or two online to make your own. Conflicted as I am about our large house, it is nice to have a bit more room to cook, and a proper oven, and a little more space to keep things. I’ve made a big batch of my home made muesli, cup cakes with the girls (which they made decorations for and iced), and as soon as we get a freezer I’ll be rustling up batches of other favourites for efficient term-time meals and snack times. So the idea of making my own Rich Tea biscuits felt exciting.
Sure enough, recipes abound. Miss 8 – my Rich Tea Biscuit Buddy – got very excited about the prospect. As did Miss 10 who enthused:
“We can cut them in interesting shapes.”
“’Interesting shapes?’” I stuttered, eyes a-bulging. “’INTERESTING SHAPES’? I think not, young lady. Rich Tea Biscuits are round. Always round. Only round. They DO NOT come in ‘interesting shapes’. How can you de-sanctify the sanctity of a Rich Tea Biscuit with the suggestion of ‘interesting shapes’? Rich Tea Biscuits do not need to be anything other than perfectly round. Unless it’s a Rich Tea Finger – the only allowable variant…. ‘Interesting shapes….’” And I mumbled off into the bathroom while she and her sister tried to control their giggles.
So watch this space for some Englishness in a French meadow (because we kind of live in a meadow now… Mind you, our apartment block was surrounded by meadow too I suppose…and a whole lot of mountain… But this feels more rurally rural since we can’t walk to a shop quite as easily, or a café.)
Biscuits are flat
Er, no, America, that is NOT a Rich Tea Biscuit. *Sighs*
I have some cooking boards on my Pinterest. This is the board where you’ll find the Rich Tea Biscuit recipe I’m going to try.
Please do share any great biscuit recipes you have. I’m on the lookout for a good chocolate chip cookie one – for the children and the Mr. Not too sweet, not too chewy but not too crumbly either, please!
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