The Art of Dunking (A Biscuit)

220px-Dunking_a_biscuitNicola here with a classic post from a few years ago that I originally posted on the UK Historical Romance Authors Blog. It got such an interesting response then that I thought I would update it and share it here because I was keen to hear what the Wenches and Wench readers thought of it.

So here goes. Do you dunk? I’m using the word “dunk” in the British sense of the word which means “to dip a biscuit or some other food, usually baked goods, into a drink, especially tea, coffee, or milk." Dunking releases more flavour from confections by dissolving the sugars, while also softening their texture. With the UK/US differences in language I had no idea about the basketball definition of dunking until I looked it up!

It turns out that dunking is an ancient tradition but it’s also a divisive one. Apparently in a recent survey done by the Great British Bake-Off TV Programme, 52% of people said they wouldn’t dream of dunking a biscuit – they never had and they never would!

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A Taste of Chocolate

ChocolateChristina here and today I’ve got chocolate on my mind. Not just today, actually, but most days because I’m a complete chocoholic! But here’s the thing – I haven’t had a single piece for the last week. Not one tiny crumb! Unfortunately, this is necessary because my chocolate consumption had been going through the roof recently. What with being at home all the time during lockdown and not moving enough, drastic measures were called for.

I did try cutting down at first, but found it was calling to me, and time after time I headed for the fridge without even realising I was doing it. Going cold turkey seemed the only option and I figured it would get easier after a few days. It has. Sort of. But the yearning for chocolate hasn’t totally gone away.

Hot chocolate

httpscommons.wikimedia.org 136198

The main problem is that chocolate has been my writing aid for many years. I can honestly say that all my books to date have been fuelled by chocolate. It woke me up in the mornings and made me alert enough to type coherent sentences, even though I’m really a night owl. Whenever I flagged and my energy levels felt depleted, a couple of squares of chocolate spurred me on. And as a reward for work well done or a day of writing finished, there was nothing better. In short, I used any excuse to have some, which is probably why I’m feeling its loss so keenly now.

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The Little Matter of Chocolate Pots

 

Wench The Chocolate Maiden; M. Beaune; Museums Sheffield

The Chocolate Maiden carrying water and hot choc

Joanna here, talking about chocolate pots in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Century, which is a small and very specific topic, but it possesses a certain naïve charm.

The whole sweeping history of chocolate is a huge ocean upon which I do not feel ready to embark when I am still (endlessly) in the midst of moving household. So we’re just going to look in at one of the tiny islands in that sea. If Georgian chocolate drinking were Homer’s Odyssey, looking at chocolate pots would be like visiting Calypso’s Isle. A manageable bite, as it were, and we don’t meet the Cyclops or get turned into pigs, which makes it a good day by anyone’s calculation.

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Snowmance!

Snow“All Heaven and Earth, 

Flowered white obliterate… 

Snow…unceasing snow” 

― HashinJapanese Haiku

Nicola here! Are you currently wrapped up warm against the weather or one of the lucky ones basking in the heat of summer? Here in the northern hemisphere it was a modest –4 degrees Celsius when I took the dog out this morning, which I’m told is about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. 

The threat of “snowmaggedon” in the US and the polar vortex here in the UK has had people rushing to share bodily warmth. No one seems to want to be snowed in alone.

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