Guiding biscuit

Now I love a biscuit. When I was listing things the other night that I missed about the UK, biscuits should have been in there. Good dunkers, or the occasional chocolate one and I am happy.

I am not a huge fan of fancy biscuits, or ones with ‘cream’ centres, just something nice and solid that you can pop into a cup of tea for a second or two without having to worry that half of it will disappear into the hot murky depths beneath.

If this was not bad enough, I have got my dogs into it. They love a bit of biscuit that has been dunked in tea. It has got so bad now that if I as much as touch the lid of the biscuit tin, they will race in from wherever they are and form an orderly queue on the off chance of a hot, soggy snack. Like me, they prefer their biscuits dunked – but will generally swing by if they hear the kettle on the off chance that a cup of tea (and accompanying biscuit) is on its way.

I love a good digestive, but I have got slightly ridiculous about hoarding them for a special occasion as they used not to be available in Australia that readily. As a result, when I do reach for the box, they are almost always stale, so I stick with Nice biscuits – a touch risky in tea because they are so precariously thin, but manageable – and Scotch Fingers, which like to think of themselves as shortbread but really are just buttery style plain fingers. Ginger nuts come and go in favour as they are so hard that they are almost impossible to eat without dunking.

So occasionally on a Saturday, especially in the cooler months, I will say to the dogs, ‘Tea and biscuits?’ And we will sit on the couch and nibble at our tanin soaked snacks.

Recently a colleague at work brought in some Guide biscuits for sale. Now I have no idea how this all works – I seem to remember the Boy Scout in Up was selling biscuits while trying to get his badge – but the ones she has brought in before have been plain, with a thin chocolate coating and quite helpful at getting you through a boring afternoon at work.

She brought this year’s batch in at the beginning of the week so I bought a packet, to support the Guides and also my ever thickening waistline. The biscuits were not chocolate coated, though and while at first disappointed, I later reversed my decision because they were exquisitely thin, but suprisingly robust when dunked. They also tasted very buttery, which must, I felt, have been down to the butter flavoring that had been added. By the time I had powered my way through six of them, I had almost convinced myself they were calorie free.

They were not calorie free. The foolish colleague who was selling the biscuits stood reading the package to us as we happily chewed down on what had virtually been voted a health food by the office workers and pointed out the high sugar level. When I asserted that the butter was fake, she started reading out the ingredients, ‘butter, vegetable oil…’ until we stopped her, but then as if determined to scupper her own sales, announced that ‘a serving’ of these tiny, thin biscuits was actually two biscuits – as opposed to the six that I had suggested – and that together that made 98 calories, which was 44 calories per biscuit. Not content with that, she then proceeded to pump further bullets into her own foot by correcting her mathematical error and making us all even fatter.

So my contribution to the Girl Guide Movement, after this afternoon of too much information is now likely to remain at just one packet of biscuits that I have purchased. Unless she brings in the chocolate versions, because they are really nice…

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