Monday mutterings

A post of mostly food related subjects AGAIN but to begin…  There are times when the mind just boggles, ones head shaken in disbelief and you ask yourself… why?  Whilst idly looking around different websites at various items of clothing – nothing particular in mind and almost certainly not going to buy anything, various pop-ups pinged onto the screen – a coat, a dress, a plush mermaid tail.  Yes, seriously, a woman wearing a mermaid tail! Not a fancy dress outfit but apparently an actual thing that people buy.  They are sold as blankets and are available from several outlets (Google it)! Imagine – there you are watching TV wearing your tail and there’s a knock at the door. I’d probably forget that my bottom half was enclosed, jump up and end up flat on my face. Apologies to anyone who thinks tail-wearing is a perfectly normal activity; I just don’t get it.


Margaret mentioned New Berry Fruits on her blog and it prompted the childhood memory of taking a box as a gift when we visited my grandparents. I can’t recall ever having them at home so it as such a treat to be offered one. My favourite was the raspberry flavour. I’d suck the sugar off and then let the jelly melt slowly in my mouth in eager anticipation of the liquidy centre. This prompted thoughts of other sweet treats enjoyed as a child.  Can anyone else remember Fry’s Five Boys chocolate?  Mint Cracknel with its crystallized mint shards? Aztec, a dark chocolate covered nougat and toffee bar? At high school I often took a Husky Bar (a crispy cheese filled tube) to eat with my lunch. I’m absolutely certain that it was made by Cadbury, despite containing no chocolate, but I can find no reference to it on the internet at all.

Cadbury cream eggs have been in the shops since the start of the New Year. Am I the only person not to like these? Just about everyone else seems to  positively drool when presented with one. I like am addicted to chocolate and have nothing against fondant, indeed in an After Eight mint or a Quality Street orange cream makes me all but swoon, so what’s the problem with cream eggs? Well, it’s that bilious yellow bit.  Logic tells me that the yellow fondant will taste nothing like a runny egg yolk which I cannot bear, but I still can’t bring myself to bite into one!

I wrote recently that I had tried a new recipe for coffee cake and that it was the best I’d tasted.  The simple difference is that I am using a 5/5/5 oz mixture plus 50ml of liquid to 3 eggs instead of 6/6/6 oz to 3 eggs. It made such a difference and the cake was so moist. I diluted two heaped teaspoons of coffee in hot water, and put the whole lot together in the mixer. I’ve since tried the ingredient ratios in a lemon cake (using lemon juice and zest for the liquid) and it was equally successful. As my hands/wrists seem to be getting weaker and weaker the mixer is proving a very worthwhile investment.

I’ve had a good rummage through the freezer yesterday, consolidating and tidying. I now know what’s in there and have planned dinner for the week.  Tonight we will eat sausages (Linda McCartney red onion and rosemary for me) with mash for husband and SW chips for me. Tomorrow Husband will be making my favourite tomato, chili and garlic bruschetta with Parmesan. Other meals for me will include Chestnut and mushroom casserole, nut roast, salmon, plaice and some kind of cheese dish. Husband will eat both the fish meals and the cheese dish but  will have gammon and chicken on the other nights. I have no meals out planned this week so hope to stay within the SW limits. I have booked my flight to Ireland in May so want to drop (more than) a few pounds by then! I’m feeling cautiously confident that I’ll have a loss at this evening’s SW meeting. Fingers crossed!

Postscript Monday 7pm – I lost 2.5lb.  Result!


  1. I must be the only one who doesn’t remember mint cracknel, and my parents had a newsagent’s/sweet shop! What about Clarnico mints? Terry’s All Gold at Christmas in a lovely gold box? Rowntree’s Black Magic box (“Who knows the secret of the Black Magic box?” went the advert!) I used to love Crunchie Bars and Lion Bars, too. And barley sugar twisted sticks. Didn’t like Granny’s Winter Mixture sweets, though – they tasted of cloves! I did like Zubes cough sweets which came in a little tin and were sugar coated! Strange child liking couch sweets! And then what about Spangles and Refreshers? Polo mints and Polo fruits? Callard & Bowser Butterscotch, too, in a flat pack and pieces wrapped in silver foil similar to the foil in packets of cigarettes (I never smoked by the way, but my parents did, until they both gave up through ill health.)


    • You missed a treat if you didn’t have mint cracknel! I remembered almost all that you mention but I’ve never been overly keen on sweets, apart from Maynard’s wine gums (I still buy a bag every time we are going on holiday), and Parma Violets but I find them too sweet nowadays. Chocolate has always been my great love! I could reminisce for hours over those bars loved but no longer available! My mum used to have the Callard & Bowser butterscotch but I didn’t like it.


  2. What a great title and theme for a post! I love dark chocolate but didn’t it used to be called plain chocolate? Fry’s dark chocolate cream bars are to die for but whatever happened to dark chocolate Walnut Whips? I’m with you on cream eggs. I think they’re vile!


    • Yes, it was always referred to as plain chocolate, but the manufacturers seem to call it ‘dark’ nowadays. I adore walnut whips but can’t remember dark ones. That would be sublime! Glad I’m not the only cream egg hater! Just popped into my mind – coffee aero. They were amazing.


  3. In utter daftness, this mermaid tail takes some beating, doesn’t it (no pun intended, as fish sometimes beat their tails!) Women being treated as infantile again. But, there again, some are infantile – daft blighters will buy these things otherwise they’d not be manufactured! If they do, I just hope that when they fall over and hurt themselves they won’t need to phone for an ambulance and waste NHS money.
    The adjustment of the quantities in your cakes is interesting. I might try that!
    Margaret P


  4. I will be trying out both your coffee and lemon cakes. They sound yummy! When you say 5/5/5 do you mean 5 oz each of butter, flour and sugar?


  5. Am meeting my pal, same age as me, 62, at lunchtime, so will check out Husky bars with her. The name does ring a bell but like you, googling produced nothing. Frys Five Boys? I didn’t like it but pal. But oh, that mint cracknel, wish you could get that now, there’s nothing like it out there that I’ve discovered. I also used to love Mackintosh’s Toffee Cup, finger shaped choc shell with runny toffee in. Tried some Caramac couple of months ago but not the same taste. Happy days. Till I remember the school dentist!


    • I’m 62 too. Oh yes, Toffee Cup…I’d forgotten about that one. My friend and I used to ‘disect’ our Huskys, nibbling the crispy bit and then eating the cheese filling in one go. Very messy! I like Caramac but very rarely have any.


      • My friend did remember Husky bars but first thing she said was that ‘oooh that chocolate bar, yes, I remember that!’ So that would tie in with your Cadbury thought. But she was very definite that it had no cheese in it. She did remember something like you described though, she thought it might have been called Cheese Tubes?


  6. Yes, I’ve seen those mermaid tails – there are instructions online to knit them, too, I believe. Congratulations on the weight loss! You are doing well! Nice to have the week’s meals all planned, isn’t it? I went grocery shopping today and, although I don’t usually make a weekly meal plan, I have decided what I’m going to make with what I bought, today, and that will work out well for my meals, this week. Hope you have a lovely week.


    • Thank you Bless. When I worked full time, I used to plan for a month, though not in detail. I might, for example, write ‘chicken’ without thinking about whether it might be roast, curry, casserole, salad. Then I’d decide on the previous weekend what I needed to get in a top-up shop, and the fine detail would then be written in. I can afford (time-wise) to be a little less organised than that nowadays, and over time the planning just drifted away. I am going to do it again now because it does help with making sure I’m eating on plan (Slimming world wise).


  7. I LOVED mind cracknell and use to eat new berry fruits in just the way you describe. In fact, my mouth is watering at the thought. Pure sugar!


  8. Fry’s Five Boys was a real treat in the 50’s when I was a child. I ate it one segment at a time to make it last. The mermaid tail is ludicrous and such a waste of fabric/yarn not to mention an accident waiting to happen. Well done with your weight loss.m


    • I liked the different faces on the wrapper of Five Boys. Apparently Frys ceased production in the 60s but reintroduced it very briefly in the 70s, but it didn’t take off – probably not exciting enough. What a shame. Thanks, I was thrilled with 2.5lb – it’s the first time in weeks that I have looked forward to stepping onto the scales!


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