Goodie, Goodie, Yum, Yum!

Today was “Goodies” Day!

We were awoken to the sound of a pummel on the door. The parcel postie had arrived with a box of goodies sent to us by my mum. A rude awakening, but a welcome one!

And WHAT a treasure trove!

Full of lovely surprises as well.

The list is:

4 x Cheese Twisties

4 x Chicken Twisties

3 x Soya Chips

2 x Cadbuy Snack block

2 x Cadbury Caramello block

2 x Cadbury Marble block

1 x Cadbury Top Deck block

1 x Cadbury Dream block

2 x Whittaker’s Dark Chocolate 50% cocoa Rum ‘n’ Raisin

1 x Whittaker’s bite size coconut slab bag

1 x Whittaker’s bite size Almond Gold bag

2 x Twix share bags

2 x Snickers share bag

2 x Bounty share bags

1 x Raspberry liquorice bag

I have been particularly hankering after some raspberry liquorice of late, so to see a bag in the box was brilliant. The raspberry flavour of liquorice is harder to source over here than the standard aniseed flavour for some reason.

The goodies didn’t end there. My mum had sent a second, smaller box over. It arrived later in the afternoon. It contained a book I had bought on my last visit to Oz back in 2007 – which I had desperately wanted to bring back home with me – but I just had NO room to pack it in my luggage.

My Oz booky wook 🙂

 

 

But wait, there’s more! (as Tim Shaw from the Demtel  ads used to say).

My mother-in-law Mozzy (real name Rita, but family call her Mozzy, a nickname) knows I’m a Whovian and collects things for me from the papers and stuff and had got these for me…

Mr T Goodiness 🙂

 


Goodies!!! Goodies!!!! Goodie, Goodie, yum, yum!!!

Our Local Chippy

Our local chippy is in the Guardian newspaper’s list of the 50 best fish and chip shops. You can get fish bites (for the Aussies amongst you – fish cocktails) and chips before 4pm for £2.50 a serve!

Wigmore

View the rest of the list HERE

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I Am In Love

Peanut butter just hasn’t tasted like peanut butter should for me for some time.

In recent times I hadn’t been so concerned as ASDA had been selling an ‘Extra Special’ variety made with cashew nuts which was SUPERB!

But earlier this year ASDA stopped selling the ES chashew nut version. Damn you ASDA!!!

So then my search began for an appropriate peanut butter replacement. There just isn’t one!! Due to FSA regulations or some other inherent crap, I am no longer allowed to buy sweet peanut butter! Most to me taste like (for want of a better description) peanutty butter – bland, not sweet and just…nutty. To compensate this I would spread a thin vaneer of honey onto my toast/muffin before adding the dour peanut butter.

On a recent visit to a Morrisons supermarket I discovered Reese’s Pieces. I knew of the Peanut Cups and had had them several times but the pieces sounded like fun! Like peanut butter filled Smarties or M&Ms!

I bought a packet and LOVED them! Next Morrisons shop I bought several more.

Then during our last trip to Morrisons I couldn’t find them. Not ONE pack! I came away forlorn and heartbroken.

Not to worry, there are plenty of online specialty shops selling U.S. sweets, I’ll track some down!

Morrisons sold a 43gm bag of pieces for 27p. The cheapest I found a bag from a specialty shop? EIGHTY NINE PENCE, my friends!!!!

I found an online shop that did larger bags so I got the price of a 43gm serve down to about 67p – the best I could find. While at this shop I saw they sold several other Reese’s products, including variations of the peanut cups, nutrageous bars, etc. On the list were jars of Reese’s peanut butter. I thought “Hang on a minute! If the peanut butter tastes the same as what’s in the chocolates, it’ll be deliciously sweet!” Squee!!!

I took a gamble and ordered two jars. And oh my word! What a great choice I made! Reese’s have saved me from unsweet peanut butter hell! Now having peanut butter on an English muffin or toast once again feels like the treat it should be! No more adding honey – it just isn’t the same.

Hershey’s maybe poo but Reese’s are the BOMB (irony is Reese’s is MADE by Hershey’s, WTF?!)!

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Hershey Kisses – Choc Vomit?

Hershey’s Kisses come to Britain

For those that love them, they’re a halcyon taste of childhood. But that’s not everyone. Will you be making a special trip to buy Hershey’s Kisses?

Hershey chocolate Kisses
Hershey chocolate Kisses. Photograph: Alamy

New chocolate is one of those things (like new cheese, new restaurants and, I am told, new shoes) which cannot fail to pique the interest. However cheap, sweet or low in cocoa solids it may be, a frisson of curiosity accompanies each innovation. New shapes and variations must be tasted, if only to be tossed, barely chewed, over one’s shoulder on the way to Paul A Young’s. Until now. Hershey’s Kisses are coming to the UK and that is something I absolutely cannot get in bed with.

The fact that the diddy conical filth-bombs are on a list (as yet unconfirmed) of Hershey’s products expected to be sold exclusively by Asda next year may explain, finally, why Mum’s gone to Iceland. They have a distinctive character, described by Paul Richardson in his history of chocolate as “a piquant background flavour of something faintly sour, cheesy, or overripe, what chocolate experts call a ‘barnyard’ taste.”

As anyone who has plunged their hand excitedly into a crackling bagful brought back from America (or a posh UK food shop with a penchant for kitsch) will know, there is nothing like the disappointment of discovering that a food which boasts an impressive amount of cultural glamour has all the flavour notes of regurgitated milk.

It’s not just the taste of ming, though powerful, which is objectionable. Given its innocent moniker, the Hershey’s Kiss, introduced in 1907 and trademarked in 1924, can pose a surprising threat to our physical and emotional wellbeing. They are the source, of course, of some NSFW innuendo. But more importantly, as a child our own Lucy Glennon drew blood at the sharp end of one. And there is an episode of Supernanny US in which a family, ripped apart by grief, misguidedly offer the children “candy” if they kiss a picture of their recently-departed grandpappy. I have a distinct feeling that that candy was a Kiss.

Richardson also notes that tastes in confectionery set up cultural barriers as rigid as religion, and we wouldn’t argue with that. Homesick Brits eager for a taste of home have been disgusted to find that our own Cadbury’s Dairy Milk has a foreign taste and texture in Ireland, America and elsewhere (the betrayal is compounded, of course, by the fact that Hershey makes Cadbury’s products in the US). But just as many of us struggle to see what is wrong with a Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Americans (even gourmet ones) brought up with Hershey’s Kisses seem unable to know the taste that dominated every Valentine’s Day mini-gift and Halloween treat for what it is.

Iron Chef Judy Joo, erstwhile of the Saveur magazine test kitchen and the Gordon Ramsay empire, was brought up in New Jersey, where she fell in love with Hershey’s Kisses. “They’re totally an American nostalgia thing for me,” she says. “When I was little we used to let them melt in our mouths and lick our lips with the chocolate and give everyone chocolate kisses. I love them. I used to make peanut butter and kisses cookies with a little Hershey’s Kiss snuggled in the middle.” She doesn’t know when she last ate one, but remembers, “I had a special way of eating them.  I used to rub the pointy top against my tongue in a circle until it was gone and then eat the round sphere that was left in one bite. Maybe you’ll like them more if you eat them that way!”

Nice try, Judy, but in a chocolate-based game of snog, marry, avoid, Hershey’s ain’t getting no kisses from me. Is anyone prepared to defend these tapering terrors?

The story bore this comment which gave me the giggles. Many refered to Hershey Kisses tasting of sick/vomit but this one was the best!

Hkiss

Post Inspiration?

Hello Peeps 🙂

Since it has been some three weeks since my last post, I thought I’d better post something new up. Only problem is that I haven’t really had anything to post!

I have been holed up in the house since New Year due to the snow and “treacherous” icy conditions. I haven’t been outside since about Dec 28/29. That is until yesterday.

We went out with our friend Stan (well, Em’s friend and subsequently, mine). We had a lovely bite to eat at a pub in Luton that sells Thai food. VERY nice! Then we went and saw a movie. It was a biopic on Ian Dury called (appropriately enough) Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Andy Serkis plays Dury and is quite good. There’s mocked up concert footage and Andy actually does all the singing! If the acting work dries up for some reason he can always make a living as a very good Ian Dury tribute act!

It was quite non-linear and didn’t sort of tell the story from go to woe. But it was enjoyable. LOTS of swearing and even a few c**ts! The music was fab as well, especially (obviously) if you are a Blockheads fan.

The things that made us laugh? Some being attributed in the credits as “make-up artist to MacKenzie Crook”! and a middle-aged punk in the cinema, complete with pink dyed mohican! Aah, those were the days!

Anyway, that’s me for now. Just wanted to post to say that I’m alive and I’d even managed to go outdoors and escape the rabbit hutch for a while!

I will leave you with some Mr Dury.

Weymouth Pics and Goodies!

Sorry for the delay. Here is a link to all the Weymouth pics (just click the words).

Also, I am a VERY happy bunny! We received a box of lovely Oz goodies from my mum this morning. LOADS and LOADS of chocolates, soya chips, some licorice bullets, spearmint leaves, and a big jar of Promite. Yum yum yum!!

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The Soya King chips, the Whittiker’s Rum n Raisin and the Old Jamaica are Em’s really. I’ll have a few soya chips, but the dark choc is definitely HERS. All the rest is to share. And there are several blocks of each! In total, 24 blocks of chocolate. OH MY WORD!

You should have seen the postage cost! I’d bought my mum some clothes and she was paying me back (and sending me my birthday present). But I owe HER now. Big time! I love my mum.

The Weymouth Way.

Hmm. What an interesting (if only) adventure that was!

The night before, we were doing some last minute packing, etc, when I could feel my left heel starting to play up really badly. It’s been like it for weeks. The ball of my left heel gets PAINFULLY sore, like I’ve got an Achilles tendon or gout or something. After a while I can hardly walk and look like a hobbling old invalid. Obviously, the longer I’m on my feet, the worse it gets. It can even be painful when I’m sitting if I have no way of keeping my leg elevated or manoeuvrable. I think it was brought on by compensating so much for my right leg when my knee was at it’s most painful.

Anyway, I could feel the pain coming on and went to bed with a dull thud in my left heel. Unsurprisingly I woke early next morning to put my foot on the floor and feel instant pain. “Oh fabulous! Thanks! We’re off to Weymouth today!” I was thinking.

We were up before the crack of dawn at 5am. We were like zombies. We had barely four hours sleep. Well I did anyway. Em might have got an extra hour. We had a cup of tea, got changed, fed the fish, made sure Chris’ food was plentiful and her water clean, then we called a cab.

I was really nervous and apprehensive, partly because I was worried things (the coach, the tube, the train to Weymouth) wouldn’t match, but mostly because my foot was already aching. We were on the coach and leaving Luton airport at 7am. It all looked smooth on the motorway (small mercies) and we ended up at Victoria station in plenty of time. Luckily, as Victoria was HEAVING with rush-hour commuters. We had to wait for the 3rd train to come by before we could even board! We had to change lines to get to Waterloo at Westminster, which was a *little* quieter, thankfully.

We were at Waterloo by 9.10am and the train to Weymouth was leaving at 10.05, so we refueled. We had a strawberry yoghurt each, and Em had an apple (she was extra peckish) and I had a lovely M&S vanilla and maple syrup smoothie.

We were on the train by 9.53 waiting to go!

It was a surprisingly pleasant journey down. The train was really lovely. Comfy, roomy seats, nice staff, a good, clean toilet. A nice quiet carriage, apart from a bloke directly behind us wheeling and dealing on TWO mobile phones. All you could hear when he called someone was him saying “can you hear, can you hear me?” and then him hang up and try his OTHER mobile! God knows what network he was on. A crap one by all accounts! He finally left the train at Bournemouth. Peace, at last!

We arrived in Weymouth at 1pm and the sun was shining. We headed straight for beach front. It was nice. Not as shingled as Brighton, but not entirely sandy like I thought it would be. There was quite a number of people around on the beach for a Thursday and for October 1st. It was a bit mild, around 20 degrees. There were even a few men with their shirts off (all over 50, so there wasn’t really anything worth gawking at!)!

We slowly (we had to, my foot was stuffed by now) made our way to the Premier Inn we were staying at. Em kept thinking we had to be on the road and kept worrying we’d overshoot or go too far, despite my reassurances. And despite me forgetting to take a map to show the way from the station to the motel, we found it easy enough. It was amazingly close to the beach front. No sea views, which I wasn’t expecting anyway, but the beach was only a few minutes walk away. Luckily for me, as I wouldn’t have got to enjoy any of the beach front at all otherwise.

We settled into our room, had a cup of tea and then went to the restaurant next door to eat. It’s a pub food chain called Brewer’s Fayre. We used to go there a lot when we had a car. Our nearest one is not really accessible via public transport, so we haven’t been to one in years.

We filled up our bellies and went back to the room. I was knackered by now. I was tired, bloated from eating, and my foot was at its worst. I stayed in the motel while Em went back off to the town centre for a gander, take some shots and find a few provisions for later.

Having been so knackered sleep eluded me until late in the evening, around midnight. I read from about 10.30pm onwards in the hope it would help me drift off. I didn’t fully wake the next morning until around 9.45am. Once I’d gone to sleep, I’d slept like a log.

With my foot the way it was, I had no plans to do anything that day other than eat! We eventually moved our butts out about midday. Well, I moved mine. Em had already been off and into the town centre again in the mean time. We spent an hour or so on the beach (well, more accurately, on a bench BY the beach), then we went to the Brewer’s Fayre again. Last time Em had a cheese and onion pasty with mash and baked beans, and I had gammon, eggs, chips and peas. This time, Em was going to have the only meal she normally has when we go to Brewer’s Fayre (they’re not normally fab with the vegie meals Em likes, they’ve had the odd thing she likes – like the cheese and onion pasty for example), fish and chips, and I had the most GORGEOUS liver and onions, with bacon, mash and peas, in a giant square Yorkshire pudding! And afters, Em had an caramel apple crumble cake with ice cream, and I had a banoffee waffle with pouring cream. Divine! We were so stuffed (again), we spent the afternoon (and the rest of day, admittedly) in the motel room.

Em was starting to feel the effects of a head cold. I was hoping we could go to the Sea Life centre next door as a last day treat, but of course Miss Tight-wad almost went into cardiac arrest when she heard adult tickets were £17 each. A Sea Life visit was looking VERY unlikely. I felt rested, but my foot was not any better. Miss Cardiac-Arrest had a horrible nights sleep trying to breathe with her head cold.

Last day we had to be out of the motel by midday. We were out by 10.30am and my foot was feeling better initially. We walked along the beach front into the town centre. Looked through some of the shops, realised we had HOURS to kill before our 5pm train, so decided to see a film. The weather wasn’t conducive to being on the beach. It had gotten chilly in 48 hours, and was now 15 degrees and blowing a gale! It was also overcast and drizzling with rain on and off.

We had a fish and chip lunch, then went and saw Creation, the film about Darwin completing The Origin of Species. It was a good film. The plot wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It was quite sad, but wonderfully done. There was a kleenex moment for both of us. Nice bit of irony when we paid for the tickets, little vouchers offering 2 for 1 tickets to Sea Life with a cinema ticket! Oh how I laughed – not!

After we came out of the cinema, there was STILL time to kill, so we wandered a bit. Sat in the local library before it shut, then went to the station just after 4pm. The train was already on the platform, so by 4.25 we were already seated, waiting to get back to Waterloo. Not as nice a journey home. The carriage was quite full, and there were a few Saturday night revellers getting on and off, and the toilet was small and there was urine on the floor – always nice!

We got to Waterloo at 7.50pm and the fun hadn’t quite finished yet. Of course we had to get back Victoria. We were going to go back the way we came, which meant a trip on the Jubilee line to Westminster, and then from there on the District and Circle line to Victoria. Only problem was, the Jubilee line was closed!!! Flipping hell! So we had to change our route. We had to go on the Bakerloo line to Embankment (which is MILES further underground than Jubilee – it’s like a mile just to get to the Bakerloo platforms FFS!) and then from there on the District and Circle back to Victoria!

I was about ready to collapse when we got to Victoria. We had some food there, then got on the coach back to Luton. From there, a quick cab ride back home. We were back at home around 10.45pm and as we were scrabbling for the keys I was saying to Em “I can hear something that sounds scarily like one of our fire alarms.” Lo and behold when we opened the front door, the wailing became louder. Sure enough, it was one of ours! Fig! It took Em a minute or so to turn the damn thing off. Chris was nowhere to be seen. God knows how long the flipping thing had been activated. Hopefully not 15 minutes after we left.

We eventually found Chris cowered under the sofa. Poor sweetheart, she was as jumpy as anything for the next few hours, poor baby girl 😦

A fitting crescendo. Still, it was time away. I was hoping to see a few different birds down there, but all I saw were gulls. Gulls, gulls and even more flippin’ gulls!

Pictures will be put online soon.