Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Figs and the dangers of biscuits

It has been some time since my last confession. I don’t know why this should be. Is it blog fatigue? Now that I have been here for over a year, things begin to repeat themselves, namely the calendar of town events. Can I really write about the same thing again? Should I go off in search of things that I have not yet seen or done?
A lot has happened in the last month and I will try to cover some of it in the days to come. Building up a blog backlog is not a good idea. As the mountain increases, so the inclination to set off on the journey to the top of the mountain decreases in direct proportion.
Anyway, I will start gently.
It is fig season here. I know this because one of the ladies from the choir brought a box of figs from her garden to the choir agm last night.
For me, figs are a novelty, as they did not feature in the Scottish garden, but over here huge numbers of people have at least one fig tree.
I told my mother that I had been eating figs. “What does a fig look like?”
Rather than attempt to explain, I said that I would put a photo on the blog.
The trick seems to be to choose the squashiest one that you can find, split it open, then suck out the reddish, purple seeds.

In the UK most people’s only contact with figs is in the form of the “fig roll”

pseudo-biscuit (or should it be classed as a cake like the “jaffa cake?” ), or when forced to take the liquid “syrup of figs” as a cure for constipation.

Talking of biscuits. Here is a link to research carried out recently on the dangers of the biscuit.

To save you the time here is an extract from the article.

"we have the all-too-common phenomenon of dogs and wild animals snatching our snacks from our hand, and taking not only our chocolate fingers, but our index ones too. Biscuits get stuck in our throats, or we somehow contrive to poke ourselves in the eye. We fall off chairs trying to retrieve them from the top shelf (that'll be my seven-year-old) or get them stuck up our nostril (the one-year old – although to be fair, if the only biscuit you were given was a carrot-sweetened organic gingerbread man, you'd probably shove it up your nose in boredom too).
Above all, this ground-breaking research reveals the compound hazards of biscuits and hot beverages. Boffins say that a cup of tea can sometimes survive at temperatures close to 100C, and that if you plunge your fingers into it to retrieve a semi-detached Garibaldi, it can actually be rather painful. Who knew?
Helpfully, the researchers provided a league table of hazardous snacks. Henceforth, the favoured nibble of the health and safety department shall be the Jaffa Cake (and yes it is a biscuit, OK?) with a comforting Risk Rating of just 1.16, compared with the doubly dangerous Digestive at 3.14, going all the way up to the world's deadliest biscuit, the black mamba of the tea-break, the Great White Shark of elevenses: the Custard Cream, which scores a horror show Risk Rating of 5.64. According to the Bumper Book of Made Up Statistics, which I borrowed from the study's authors, this places the hazards of the sweet treat somewhere between bungee-jumping into a volcano and door-to-door fundraising for the Labour party.
The researcher behind the findings gave a full explanation of the methodology. "We tested the physical properties of 15 popular types of biscuits, along with aspects of their consumption such as 'dunkability' and crumb dispersal," said Dr Duncan*.
The government must act without delay. As a first step, all biscuit packaging should be obliged to carry a gruesome pathology photo of a brandy snap lodged painfully in an unlikely orifice, pour encourager les autres."

So beware of anyone who offers you a custard cream! That's all I'm saying.

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