Biscuits from my childhood


Biscuits were an integral part of my childhood. My mom usually carried a biscuit packet in her handbag, to keep her three girls from going cranky with hunger.

Courtesy – 123rf.com

There were such wonderful biscuits. From simple glucose biscuits to marie biscuits and hundreds of other yummy items in between, we have had some great biscuit memories.

One of the best variety of biscuits was the cream biscuit – a layer of yummy cream sandwiched between two round biscuits. What divine flavours the cream had – orange, pineapple, vanilla, chocolate! 

The fun part was when we would separate the two sides of the cream biscuits and scrape the cream off with our tiny teeth.

Then again, there were biscuits called the dot biscuits; each biscuit not bigger than a dollar coin, perfect rounds. I remember that this biscuit was a favourite in my cousin’s place. The biscuits used to sit in a round, glass jar, atop a shelf. And we were allowed to eat it during tea time (read milk time for us kids).

There was a rectangular biscuit, which had sugar crystals embedded on its surface. There was a square shaped biscuit that was both salty and sweet, all at once. It had 9 small holes in 3 rows.  My sisters and I used to nibble this biscuit around the edges.

Then again, fun arrived in the form of animal biscuits. We used these animals to create shadow puppets that finally got swallowed by little girl monsters.

‘Biscuit carved art’ was a fun game, where we would carefully sculpt shapes out of the biscuits with our teeth, and then compare our works of art.

Biscuits were also ‘shared love’ with our grandma, who dipped her biscuits in tea in the evenings and popped yummy, soaked biscuits into our mouths with lots of love. Biscuits were also crunched up crumbs brought for me from school by my elder sister. Biscuits were also buttery and round, and came freshly baked with a heavenly smell from the local baker!

The best of all for me were the jim-jams. Truly a slice of heaven. We lost our charm for biscuits in high school, but the craving hit us again, when we were away at college in hostel ;  the best way to beat the hunger pangs that came when we studied late into the night.

As I write this, I am sinking my teeth into a perfectly rectangular piece of lemon puff biscuit.  Delicious.

Butter biscuits


This afternoon, I was out to do my grocery shopping, when my eyes fell on a box of butter biscuits, neatly packaged and branded.

While I mulled over whether the kids would enjoy the biscuits, my mind raced back to my Grandma’s home.

Back then, we lived in a joint family. Most savouries and Indian sweets were made at home by my Grandma, my mom and my aunt.

However, we did not have an oven at my Grandma’s.   We were nine people at home, and most items were cooked or prepared in large quantities. 

Once every two months, my Grandma would walk down to a small bakery that was located close to the local race course.  She would buy baking flour, sugar, butter and other ingredients, and take it to the baker’s.  She would place  an order for a large quantity of butter biscuits.

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   Courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

In addition to the ingredients, she would also pass on a steel container that had a lid and a handle, which we called ‘steel thooku’, which means steel carrier. The order was usually ready the next day.

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Courtesy – http://www.trade.indiamart.com

On their way back from work, my dad or uncle would pick up the steel thooku filled with butter biscuits.

The moment the ‘thooku’ reached home, the children were called. The steel carrier was opened with fanfare. Perfectly formed golden, cream butter biscuits, nestled snugly between layers of butter-paper. The aroma that wafted out made our mouths water.

Each golden treat was a slice of bliss.The biscuits usually lasted only a week or slightly more. But while they lasted, we enjoyed every crumb and waited for the next lot!!

Enid Blyton & A Cafe in London


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Image courtesy -Wikipedia -Scones

Many years ago, I was on a work assignment in London. Every weekend, I tried to see something of the city, and soon fell in love with it. With the city tour guidebook, I checked out some of the recommended walking trails.

A few days before my trip to London, when I’d come to know that I would be travelling, I made a list. More about that later.

It was another grey and cold English day, as I set out to the Kew Gardens, on one of my weekend walking trails. I spent a wonderful morning at the gardens. By noon the skies had darkened and rain was imminent.

I decided to head back. On the way, I was stopped by the delicious smells of freshly baked cakes and bread from a small roadside cafe.

I decided to go in for a quick bite and checked to see if my list was still in my wallet.

A cheerful looking woman took my order. I showed her my list. I asked her if they served  any of the items on the list – scones, hot chocolate with whipped cream, roasted jacket potatoes, strawberries with cream.

She smiled and asked me why I wanted those specific items. I replied that I’d grown up on Enid Blyton and that the things on my list, featured in most of her books.

My sisters and I had decided that whoever visited England first, would try out those delicious items,  and write back to the others.

She laughed and told me that they had fresh scones and hot chocolate with cream.

I struck two items off my list, feeling foolish and happy at the same time.

The scones and hot chocolate were yummy, especially the cream.

Just as I left the cafe, the lady gave me a small paper bag and said, “Some scones for you to take away, with our compliments.”

I was so touched.  It was a long and happy day – from favourite childhood books to a cafe in London and the sweet gesture of the lady.

I completed the rest of my list before I left London, but definitely look forward to getting started on a new list, this time, with my children.