Hello Snag food fans, I’d like to wish you all a very happy 2022. I’m hoping it will become decreasingly coronavirusy as it progresses. Recently Snaggletooth has enjoyed a lot of festive fare; some sage derby cheese, Christmas pudding flavour wheats, chocolate Yule log, and that perennial festive fave the Viennetta tarted up for the holidays.
Snaggletooth has enjoyed some cup cakes recently, they were from Lidl and were very good. He’s also had some blue raspberry flavour Chewits, a very good addition to the Chewits stable. The Fry’s strawberry cream bar went down well but Snag would still like the Five Centres to make a comeback. Finally, since Christmas approaches Snag has had an Irish cream mince pie. Expect more festive nibbling soon!
Back in July I finished the second of my Christmas themed books, Sherbets and Herberts & Other Christmas Stories, and what with it being the height of summer I didn’t mention it much online at the time. It’s fair to say my books don’t really launch, they sort of sidle up to the six or seven people who like to read my stuff and then cough politely until they get noticed.
Sherbets and Herberts contains twelve short Christmas stories. The first, called The Float, is an introduction to the two villages of Sitton next the Water and Padlin on Flooze. These villages are inspired by the many Cotswold villages I’ve visited. The next four stories give the book its title and are about a pub and the regular customers, Don, Alan and Brian (in my mind I’ve cast them as Russ Abbot, Philip Jackson and Toby Jones). I’m a bit afraid that their world of the pub is beginning to disappear, so I wanted to write about it. The sixth story, The Bus Blues, is about a musician. I love writing about musicians.
The seventh story, Today Your Love, Tomorrow The World, takes us back to the late 1970s and the punk era. Story eight, Everything Stops For Tea, made me hungry when I wrote it and is a bit whimsical. Story nine, Chas Change and Terry Thinkthrice Soothe Sad Decembers, is a story which has at its centre my belief that humans can be helped to heal. The tenth story, The Perfect Stocking, is about surprise and also about planning. Story eleven, Snowhenge, is about a cosy day indoors. The final story in the book, A Resolution of Retail Rivalry, is about two business men who become pals.
The photo for the book cover was taken on a table purchased in the 1950s by my maternal grandparents and at which I’ve sat for the family Christmases of my childhood and some of the family Christmases of my adulthood. It’s a jolly nice table and can be extended.
You can download Sherbets and Herberts & Other Christmas Stories here.
It’s free on Kindle on 13th and 14th November 2021. Happy reading!
I love Christmas books and I love diary books. I have whole shelves dedicated to both. I noticed that I had never read a Christmas diary book. All diaries contain some Christmas, that is how years work, they all have a December 25th, but a really Christmassy diary book? I couldn’t think of one. So, as Toni Morrison said “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I created a placeholder on my shelf, between diaries and Christmas books for this as yet unwritten book.
I wrote Pam Dickens Keeps Christmas All The Year between May 2020 and October 2021. Despite this being the coronavirus pandemic times the book has no mention of it, because it is set in 2018. It’s very much an escape, a virus free oasis, with baubles. I read 111 Christmas books while writing it! I set it very locally, because that was the only place I was going! It’s a gentle book, stress free and easy to read in short bursts.
So, here’s what it’s all about; Pam Dickens will be released from paid employment this year and she is jolly pleased about it. Join her as she gets used to retirement and occupies her time very pleasantly by focusing on her favourite festival. Meet her husband Malc and see what marriage looks like after more than four decades. Meet her family and friends and enjoy the bits of Oxford that locals inhabit.
You can buy it on Kindle here
Paperbacks are available here
Snaggletooth has chomped an orange flavour Twirl, nibbled some Percy Pig piglets, masticated some pudding flavour chews (lovely lemon meringue was his favourite) and had a limited edition Hazelnut Wispa Gold recently.
Snaggletooth has enjoyed the summery seaside snack of some candy floss flavour rock. He’s also sophisticatedly nibbled some strawberry and mint After Eights. He thought Mary Berry had every right to look pleased with herself on the packet for her raspberry ripple cake, it was delicious. The cherry flavour Turkish delight was wonderful and he hopes it hangs around for longer than the lemon one did.
Snaggletooth is a big fan of the Cadbury Mini Roll and enjoyed the new Neapolitan option, likewise the orange Wagon Wheel. He’s also nibbled some Colin the Caterpillar jelly sweets and chomped on some cheese made from the milk of cows who graze in Glastonbury!
Snaggletooth has nibbled some lemon flavour Turkish Delight which he really enjoyed but judging by the massive pile of it in B&M at 69p a packet it wasn’t a commercial success. It looks a bit like fluorescent snot but don’t let that put you off (it’s put you off hasn’t it?). The hot dog flavour Pringles he ate also came from B&M. They tasted a bit mustardy and were very pleasant. In case you don’t have one nearby, B&M is an emporium of useful household things and foodstuffs. They specialise in high fat and high sugar delicacies at low prices.
Aniseed balls are not a commonly found sweet nowadays but I got some in Notcutts Oxford garden centre. My Mum likes these so Snag shared them with her. I love the colour of aniseed balls. The cherry Jaffa Cake is a new Jaffa Cake flavour but there has been a similar Polish biscuit/cake (sometimes available in Lidl) for ages. Let’s not get into the debate about whether a Jaffa Cake is a cake or a biscuit, McVities state clearly that they are a cake. If I hang about in the biscuit aisle, that does not make me a biscuit, so nor does it make the Jaffa Cake a biscuit.
I’m going to feed another 154 things to Snaggletooth, so keep watching this space!
I’ve been making cakes a bit more often due to the pandemic and Snaggletooth has sampled my chocolate hazelnut sponge. It’s reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher, but thankfully (unlike M&S getting cross with Aldi over caterpillar cake similarities), the makers of the gold nobbly posh chocs haven’t objected. There has been a leap forward in Fruit Pastille technology recently and Snaggletooth has chomped the new flavours enthusiastically. Then Snag went back to the 70s for a classic Black Forest gateau. Finally Snag has enjoyed some delicate mini meringue pies with pastry so thin and buttery it’s a triumph. M&S should concentrate on their little pies rather than starting beef about lookalike insect cakes.
It’s been Easter recently, that lovely long weekend of chocolate indulgence. Snaggletooth has nibbled some Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs which were delightful, next year he plans to eat a Reester bunny, which is the same treat but in big rabbit form. Snaggletooth has also eaten a Milky Bar egg. A friend mentioned that when they were a small boy the Milky Bar egg box was in the form of a fun wagon. The hot cross bun is now available in loads of flavours, the Sainsbury’s strawberries and cream one finding favour with Snag’s taste buds. And finally, Snag has eaten a fancy Christmas pudding due to a cupboard overstock during the festive period.