16 December 2018

Box-Setting for Jesus - Days 1 through 10 of the missing advent calendar (@NLi10)

In the post Dec 1st sales I managed to get a lovely religious themed calendar for 50p instead of £6.99 - complete with festive story book.  As I first opened it on the 11th Dec here are the first 10 days.

I tried doing it by candlelight at first but it was very hard to read, so the candle is mostly there for atmosphere.

Advent Day 16 (@NLi10)

Some more door opening action for those following along at home.

15 December 2018

Advent 15... (by @NLi10)

A short late post for those following our advent adventures.

Wholesome Stout (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

So what can I say about Wholesome Stout? Admittedly it's not the most interesting name the Wye Valley Brewery, in Herefordshire, could have come up with. I don't want to sound pretentious (although I probably do), but I almost didn't write about this stout because of its name. It just sounds like something that's been mass produced, quick as you like it, off the shelf or something like that. Not that mass produced stout isn't any good or anything. I have a Guinness every time I have a big steak meal, whether it's at home or in a restaurant (and trust me, I rarely eat anything else in restaurants).

Ignoring the front label and it's quite frankly dull name and having a read of the back and the Wye Brewery sell this Wholesome Stout like nobody's business. However, it's the front of the bottle and the eye-catching name that often sells a beer from all the others lined up by the shelf load in every supermarket. I know there's plenty of chocolate and coffee stouts out there, but at least they make me think; "Oh, interesting…" Perhaps Wye Brewery put all their efforts into brewing this Wholesome Stout, rather than coming up with a classic name as the back of the label eludes to?

On opening this 4.6% volume Wholesome Stout, there was initially an usually strong smell of herbal hops, followed by a little sweetness from the malted barley. Then there were undertones of malted chocolate barley and that roasted coffee aroma that often comes with it. The sheer amount of flavours just in this Wholesome Stout's smell made me stand back and think. The name of this stout clearly understates it. This stout pours like a deep black hole in a pint glass. And there is that "Mmm…" on first taste. There is an initial herbaceous hoppy bitterness from the Northdown hops to this beer that almost instantly mixes with the menagerie of malted barleys. I could taste them all jumbling playfully over my palate. There is pale malt here, flaked barley, roasted barley, the sweetness from the crystal malt, and lip-smacking chocolate malt followed by that classic roasted coffee flavour. I've certainly learned something here. Never be put off by a boring name like Wholesome Stout, as it can often do what it says on the label!

14 December 2018

Mr Kipling Candy Cane Slices (Asda) By @Cinabar

I have no doubt in Mr Kipling’s ability to make tasty cake slices, but these Mr Kipling Candy Cane Slices have confused me. Candy Cane’s have two significant identifiable elements, one they are cane shaped, and two they taste of peppermint. These two signifiant factors are not included in the new Raspberry and Vanilla Candy cane slices. There is some striped icing, but at Mr Kipling’s cake’s usually have striped icing this isn’t especially new or special. As a Christmas tie in product, having some linking to the minty candy cane on the tree would have been nice, especially as they went with Candy Cane in the name. I can’t quite get passed it to be honest.
I did like the fact that these are individually wrapped cakes and as such they all stay fresh if you only want one, it also means that they can go into my lunch box for work and can be a treat at this time of year. The icing is soft and the sponge fluffy, there is a raspberry taste but it isn’t too strong. The cake flavour is still very much present, emphases with the vanilla, and they are tasty. As I stated I don’t think I’ve had a bad cake slice from Mr Kipling. Based on flavour and decoration alone these get their usual top marks. However as a Christmas tie in to candy canes I can’t really award many points at all. It is an opportunity lost, I would love to give some minty flavoured cakes a try, perhaps with a cute candy cane design on the icing?

Advent calendars day 14 (@NLi10)

hey look - it’s a wild advent calendar! Lots of gingerbread men today...