17 July 2006

exotica from across the seas

Remember a while ago I was asking what graham crackers were? Well, the lovely and gracious Babelbabe took it upon herself to educate me.

BB goodies

She sent me all manner of unhealthy eating materials, including two kinds of graham cracker (thank you! Now I get it!), a box of Girl Scout choc-mint biscuits (you say girl scouts? We say girl guides) and a packet of HobNobs, which appear to be the same as the English digestive biscuit. Even the packaging is the same - I checked the labels and it is imported to the US from England, with a name change mid-Atlantic. And frankly, who can blame the Americans for not wanting to dunk something called a 'digestive' into their tea. (They are, however, delicious whatever you call them. A rose by any other blah blah blah).

BB chocs

Babelbabe claims these are the best chocolate bars in the world. I happily agree. No one else in the household even knows these were in the package.

BB reading material

And because BB is a librarian and possibly the most voracious reader I know, she sent me reading material. Exotic reading material from across the seas! I love reading newspapers from other countries. Mr Soup is reading the book and announced last night that he is 'starting to get into it'. Apparently Ms BB is on a mission to ensure the entire world reads this book, and she sends it to everyone. I'm looking forward to my turn. (Currently I'm read ing Emergency Sex [And other desperate measures] which was recommended by a friend at book group. It's an interesting and disturbing read.)


This parcel took three and a half months to arrive and BB and I had both given it up for dead. W hen it finally arrived, a leaflet tucked inside the box gave us the answer. Yep, it spent a few weeks holidaying at Quarantine Australia.

Thank you so much Babelbabe! We are steadily and blissfully working our way through all these goodies.


shanwen said...

wow, what a lovely package with treats ! those chocolate bars look yummy, finish them before anybody sees it :) I encountered the same problem with the Aus quarantine before, my sister mailed me some goodies and they were 'checked' and 'approved' before i could eat them ! haha

Lazy cow said...

What are the mint-choc Girl Scout cookies like?
I'm jealous.

Mary said...

Hob Nobs and Digestives are not the same, although both are made by McVities. HobNobs are oatier than Digestives with a coarser texture. I'd be happy to brave Australian customs and send you a packet of Digestives so you can compare and contrast!

Lucy Tartan said...

Are the Graham crackers like Saladas? I have wondered about them too.

Suse said...

Shanwen (a Welsh name?) - the choc bars are long gone. Delicious.

LC - Can you believe I haven't tried them yet? We have the hobnobs jar and both graham crackers boxes open, so are being v.strong and not opening the scouty ones just yet.

Mary- thanks for a generous offer, but we do get digestives here. I thought the hobnobs were slightly rougher in texture, but thought maybe I was imagining it.

Prof Tartan - no! Graham crackers are sweet, although not overly so, and thus completely unlike a salada. (If you're quick, I'll post you one to try.) Luverly dunked in tea. BB's eldest informs me they're good with strawberry jam on them too. The back of the box has a hideous recipe featuring graham crackers, marshmallow and a strange artificial concoction called Cool Whip.

BabelBabe said...

Welcome to America's idea of culinary bliss. Sigh.
Cool Whip is not even food. Ergh. Needless to say, my in-laws, including my Petrfect SIL, adore it and use it constantly. You haven't lived till you've had Perfect SIL's apricot whip, made with canned apricots and cool whip.

Excuse me, I have to go yack.

MsCellania said...

I have discovered the perfect packaging to avoid that pesky quarantine issue - diaper cases! Seems NOBODY wants to hang on to a nappy package in OZ or NZ.

Enjoy your goodies! The newspaper was a great idea. I'll include on in the package I'm shipping to somebody.

Katy said...

how do you not have graham crackers in Australia? What do you give to small children to eat for snacks when they would rather have a cookie, and you would rather they not?

Some ideas for eating them aka stuff to put on them:
-canned frosting (I prefer vanilla)
-make S'Mores with roasted marshmallows and Hershey's bars in sandwich form.
-dunk them in milk (makes a bit of a mess)

carolyn said...

stones from the river IS a great book.

Thin Mints! The Best Girl Scout Cookies Ever! Yum! My favorite. (I usually keep a box in the freezer.)

Surfing Free said...

I picture Graham Crackers to be sort of like thin, flat, rectangle Milk Arrowroot biscuits. Maybe?
Oh, they are so excitingly enigmatic!!
Yes, I love foreign newspapers as well. Lucky you :)

Joke said...

The best marshmallows and Graham crackers are from TinyTrapeze. Which used to be available worldwide from their website...until they were bought out by Whole Foods.



Elizabeth said...

The newspaper is idea is wonderful. Ah, well, maybe next time.
Choc-mint Girl Guide Biscuits are better than their usual cream filled variety.
The best use for graham crackers is to crush them and add melted butter and press into a pie tin ( bake for 10 min) as a base for a chilled no-bake variety of pie, like key lime or any mousee-based variety or commonly, cheesecake. (They are also sold as a box of crumbs just for this purpose)
Glad we are all getting each other up to speed!

Katya said...

BB recommended Stones From the River to me -- I loved it. I hope you enjoy it too. I had picked it up before but never read it; her recommendation spurred me to do so since she is often right about books I'll love.

Sarah Louise said...

I too am apalled to discover that you don't have graham crackers down under. 'Smores (graham crackers, marshmellows, and hershey bars) are a summertime staple here in the U.S. The marshmellows get toasted on sticks over a campfire and the graham crackers are the "bread" for this amazingly delicious "sandwich." You *must* try it.

Lazy cow said...

BB influenced me to read Stones from the river earlier in the year. While I don't agree it is the best book ever, it was a pretty interesting and gripping read. Wait, I think I've already posted to this entry. Sorry.

dani said...

and quarantine let you keep the food??? we've had xmas packages and birthday presents rifled through and all sorts of the best german-swiss chocolates removed because "it's not allowed".

you're very lucky.

sherry said...

I participated in a "Magic Yarn Ball" swap, in which prizes are wrapped up in a ball of yarn, so that when you work with it prizes fall out. Australian customs unwound the the whole thing. My recipient got a box of miscellaneous stuff with 100 meters of loose ribbon yarn. But the foodstuffs were intact and it was only delayed two weeks.

OzKnitter said...

Thin Mints are yummy! Sorta kinda like Arnott's Mint Slice (but thinner).

What a great package. Glad to hear you're enjoying them.

I believe in the USA they say "Graham crackers" as "gram crackers" whereas we'd say "gray-um crackers" LOL

Also, I've learnt that if parcels from the USA don't arrive with in 2 weeks, you'll have to wait 3 months for them (longer if customs like to inspect them) *sigh*.

Poppy Buxom said...

If you try to make S'mores and don't have access to Hershey's chocolate, just use the flattest bar of milk chocolate you can get. (Although dark would probably be delicious.)

Another use for graham crackers is for custom ice cream sandwiches. You fill them with softened ice cream, wrap in waxed paper, and refreeze until firm. Strawberry ice cream is delicious.

Ozknitter is correct about the pronunciation. The crackers are named for Dr. Graham, a health-food fanatic who was all about whole grains. Old cookbooks often refer to "graham flour" when they mean "whole wheat."