It is "SALE" time in most shops ... and these rows of teacakes were far too tempting. Of course, I could have resisted and walked on by ... but then ... the 365Project theme this week is "blue" so the answer to my problem was staring me in the face. I simply HAD to buy a packet.
Now, normally, the only teacakes I buy are made by Tunnock's. They're an old Scottish family firm with a reputation for high quality baked goods. Their teacakes are legendary.
One of the useless pieces of information from their website states that three million teacakes stacked one on top of the other would measure 312,500 feet - or ten times higher than Mount Everest. There is no indication as to why three million was the figure chosen.
These "blue" teacakes are much the same size as Tunnock's, but I have no idea how many are in all the M&S stores ... Anyhow ... home they came and the photography session began.
It took only about three shots to get the picture that I wanted - the teacakes stacked on an embroidered poinsettia - originally I wanted just the tray but it lacked friction and the teacakes slid all over the place. So the photograph was posted while I waited for dinner to cook.
That's when I discovered that teacakes aren't a familiar item in the US. Folk said that they sounded good but had never tasted them. It's a pity that interactive TV doesn't give the facility for smell or taste ... but here's the inside ...
Once the wrapper is removed it reveals a chocolate dome into which you bite with a satisfying crunch. Sometimes folk 'peel' them to expose the marshmallow core sitting on top of the biscuit. This is a messy operation - but most enjoyable. I'd be a peel-er rather than a cruncher ... though that's not done in polite society! The contrast between the crisp coating, the soft (but not terribly sweet) marshmallow and the crumbly biscuit base is just about perfect. The marshmallow is soft, melting in the mouth, rather than the chewy variety that you buy separately.
(Tunnock's put a dab of jam on the centre of the biscuit base which gives a further flavour sensation.)
They are not to be confused with English teacakes or toasted teacakes - they're light yeast bread buns with dried fruit. These are toasted, served with butter and eaten at afternoon tea. An altogether different but equally delicious experience.
You'll have realised that this blog is written to explain, as best one can, a taste sensation to an audience who have not access to these particular temptations. Tunock's appear to have an overseas market so maybe if you live in the US you need to look out for their distinctive red and silver wrappers. They produce a dark chocolate variety as well as the milk chocolate which is the more common.
Meanwhile, back in the rectory, peace and harmony reigns and the dogs have settled into a happy partnership, both asleep on my bed as I write! If tomorrow is a fine day we'll do a bit of a walk somewhere before beginning the Epiphany task of taking down the decorations!
who knowest us to be set
in the midst of so many and great dangers,
that by reason of the frailty of our nature
we cannot always stand upright;
Grant to us such strength and protection,
as may support us in all dangers,
and carry us through all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer