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review 2021-04-23 06:20
Review: Tiaras & Teacups (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 2) by Melissa McClone
Tiaras & Teacups (Berry Lake Cupcake Posse Book 2) - Melissa McClone




Tiaras & Teacups by Melissa McClone

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sisterhood, strength and love. Tiaras & Teacups encompasses the heart in an inspirational whirlwind of hope. McClone reminds us that in our weakest of moments their is always a safe haven to help weather the storm. With laughter, encouragement and love, anything can be possible. Sometimes the most simple of words can make the biggest impact. Prepare to be blown away.

View all my reviews

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text 2020-04-28 15:23
Seasme Street Round Up
Abby in Wonderland - Dalmatian Press
Sesame Street Big Red Riding Hood - Jodie Shepherd,Bob Berry

Abby in Wonderland - good little riff on Alice.  Abby has to find her wand  It was great seeing Oscar as a King.  The cleverness of Carroll's work isn't here but it is not a bad take on it.


Big Red Riding Hood - Big Bird has to deliver goods to his grandmother and then he meets Cookie Monster (aka the Big Bad Wolf).  Cookie wants all the strawberries.  Who can blame him, come to think of it?  It was a fun read.

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review 2020-04-16 12:16
A Brief History of Chocolate
A Brief History of Chocolate - Steve Berry,Phil Norman

by Steve Berry and Phil Norman


This is a short but amusing and informative history of chocolate and how it progressed from Aztec ritual and trade goods to the modern chocolate bars we eat today. It is told from a particularly British perspective, prevalently naming chocolate companies that have become familiar to residents of the UK.


The effects of economics on the varieties of chocolate bars, especially filled or with other added ingredients, is covered as well as some interesting information about marketing in the 1970s days of refined confectionery. Some of the descriptions of chocolate (or "something", in the case of strawberry and banana flavoured bars) that is no longer on the market makes me wish I could time travel back to that era to try some of the more experimental products, though the diversity of wrappers on ordinary milk chocolate bars is no great loss. The 3p price tag on one of the wrappers puts the length of time between then and now into perspective.


The book has a lot of pictures in full colour of these ancient chocolate wrappers which would make for an excellent bit of nostalgia for anyone who was a child in the 1970s. There is also a sardonic humour at unexpected moments. The references to Dickensian urchins made me laugh more than once.


Chocolate-covered biscuits and their place in the lunch box is covered as well as the importance of naming and packaging in marketing these inexpensive alternatives to pure bars of chocolate. The much loved Wagon Wheel, a marshmallow biscuit with chocolate, is the first branded treat to be mentioned that still survives today, if not quite in its original form. We learn at least one theory for the naming of the Twix and how some bars were named in a manner to avoid confusion with popular European confections.


I do have to take issue with one inaccuracy: what the Americans call granola can NOT be equated with what the English call Digestives. Granola would equate with muesli with its mixture of oats and other healthy things. A digestive is closest in texture to a graham cracker, though different, and is what is most often used in cookie crumb crusts in the UK.


I have to admit though, that reading this book creates an incredible case of the munchies along with a lot of giggles. It is written with an attention-keeping humour and I very much enjoyed the read. The book held a lot of historic information that put nuts and knobblies in their places. Market competition is a fascinating study of its own and the complete history of the major UK companies is all here. I'm now aware of the practicality of bite size pieces of chocolate thanks to the detailed information in this book, though the description of Hershey Kisses will probably make me unable to ever eat another one of those again!


All things considered, this was a wonderful trip through the history of chocolate, though I may forever lament the loss of some confections that ceased to exist before I was born. The original form of the Milk Tray bar from Cadbury looks infinitely appealing! But alas, now days we have to buy it in a box of individual chocolates instead of a single bar with several lumps of filling in assorted flavours. Not least of all, the history of holiday chocolates and the first chocolate Easter Egg was something I found very interesting.


Recommended for food history buffs and anyone who likes chocolate, but be sure you have some around to nibble on while you read!

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url 2020-01-08 07:32
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