A Bit Biscuity

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The Vet enjoys baking and cooking and being culinary. Her resolution for 2016 is to learn a new baking technique each month (that and pass her Vet finals – I hope). Bread making was January but, in addition, she booked in for an intensive biscuit icing course at Biscuiteers. She needed someone to go with her….

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Now let’s be honest here. I can hold a pen. Indeed I think I can hold my own in penland. But other artistic pursuits requiring a modicum of digital dexterity are more of a challenge. The Vet asked if they had many men attending (I’m modern, I have a well polished feminine side so I wasn’t fazed one way or the other) Apparently I was the second. I was not going to let the male side down.

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We were five including Leonora the teacher. Me, the Vet, Jen – a journalist who was going to write about her experience, and Mary a rather smiley yummy-mummy who had never made a biscuit before for Oscar and Orlando but was going to have really good go (do they do lessons in how to smile for three hours straight in Notting Hill? Do they include smiling without wrinkles? I had landed on planet London-Posh).

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We were given a chart and some chocolate biscuits. By the end of the session we would have perfectly iced Big Ben, a Black Cab, an Old Telephone Kiosk, Tower Bridge, some part of the London Eye andย a butterfly.

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I didn’t believe her either.

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The start was not auspicious. We had two sorts of icing: a piping bag to make thin strips and a bottle to dispense icing float to fill in the shapes we made with the piping bags. You tighten the bag, hold it as you would a pen, squeeze, dot the point on the biscuit and squeeze evenly, raising the bag and pulling back. So easy.

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I’m congenitally incapable of the constant squeeze; I vibrate, I wobble, I flow like a sine wave.

Oh sod it. How difficult can it be?

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Eventually they couldn’t wait for me so, non illegitimi carborundum, I ploughed ahead. The Tube station sign was fist – a simple blue rectangle. It can’t be difficult. I wondered if I should join the children’s party going on next door but I feared Tarquin and Piers might be combining their Kumon maths with Pre school civil engineering and not appreciate my amateurish attempts. At least Jen the Journalist struggled too. Mary meanwhile found everything deliciously jolly.

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After the framing comes the float. A sort of filling in between the lines. Now that I can do. I was on a roll. Once filled the biccies go off to an oven so set the float. After that you decorate with piping. Or you make a complete dog’s breakfast of the whole shemozzle.

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I took a lot of pictures though at one point I took about 25 of one setting because all the icing sugar stuckย my finger to the shutter button.

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You know what? By the time we reached the butterfly I was enjoying myself. I wasn’t the worst.

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I lie, I was but I had my moments. Like this abstract. I felt pretty damn good when tis came back from the oven.

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Then I saw the Vet’s final layout.

Jenni icing

I know why she’d taken me.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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48 Responses to A Bit Biscuity

  1. willowdot21 says:

    OH! Ya Ya darling yummy mumys take special causes in continuous no wrinkle smiling! I liked your abstract effort, totally wild man! Tell me why did the Vet not take the Testiliste and if she is doing all these cooking courses how will she fit in the Vet finals.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Judy Martin says:

    I liked your butterfly and the abstract biccie was great, plus you had a good go at the others, and they were mainly recognisable as well! The Vet did a great job of hers too. Sounds like it was a laugh anyway (especially for the yummy-mummy)!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dog biscuits. That’s what needed. Snowy had some made for him at Xmas and I still haven’t had a go. Butterfly looks decent. Apart from dog bix can’t see the point myself tho.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ritu says:

    That looks awesome!!! I’d love to go to a place like that!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I actually laughed out loud throughout this post. The yummy mummy no wrinkle smile, the icing finger stuck to your camera… Oh, man. Hilarious. Love your abstract but, wow, better make sure the Vet isn’t planning to ditch her final! Those are spectacular.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ha ha ha ha!
    That was brill, keeping The Vet’s samples until the end!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. A baking/decorating adventure…you’re a better man for it . โ˜บ

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Charli Mills says:

    A true blogger, making post adventures out of an task or treat. I thought your biscuits were quite good until I saw the Vet’s. Oh…I hope she fins this outlet a balance to all her finals! My son, Runner, has also taken up culinary as he finishes his masters this semester.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I started smiling quite early in this piece – at the bit where the Yummy Mummy’s kids names were revealed. My cat is named Orlando and my daughter’s cat is named Oscar. We think they are excellent names for posh cats.

    I thought you did a very fair job despite your age, sex and lack of icing back catalogue. Who knows where this may lead?


  10. Norah says:

    A rather tasty piece, Geoff. It’s always good to learn. I would do no better than you at icing, and would be happy to try any that you created. The Vet’s look very professional. You mentioned Notting Hill. Was the course there? I bought some similar bikkies in a shop at Notting Hill when I was there in 2014. Sadly, I didn’t get to try any. I sent a tin home for daughter son-in-law and they never offered me one! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anabel Marsh says:

    Probably stick to writing? Your talent there are rather more developed ๐Ÿ˜‰
    PS I would have been utterly hopeless so I am not saying that in a superior way!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Not bad, Geoff. Nice choice of tube station

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, very impressive, Geoff! I wish I had come along with you. I’ve always wanted to eat Oval Tube station ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  14. davidprosser says:

    I thought your butterfly and the last blue and white pattern on brown circle were both excellent so you can’t feel bad.Granted The Vet’s stuff looked professional by comparison but she’s probably had secret training specifically designed to embarrass men..


  15. Annecdotist says:

    Ha, NOW I know who goes on those kind of courses! I love that the sticky fingers got in the way of the photos, although these are pretty impressive. So now I’m assuming you’ll be making book cover iced biscuits for your lunch party.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. KL Caley says:

    Sounds like a superb day TanGental! And great to see a man get his hands.. icy?… Sounds like you had a lot of fun, loved the butterfly but I must say the Vet’s look amazing. Very funny. KL

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Helen Jones says:

    This made me laugh ๐Ÿ˜€


  18. Sacha Black says:

    proper, proper giggles. I’ll ice the cakes for the bash, you make them thats all I’m saying! :p

    Liked by 1 person

  19. noelleg44 says:

    The vet is clearly talented! You, on the other hand, well, er, you have imagination (but I’m not so sure about the eye-hand co-ordination.) How do you do at sewing?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Rachel M says:

    Oh wow. Those look a amazing. I wouldn’t want to eat them.

    Liked by 1 person

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