Month: March 2017

How We Found Out Where to Shop for Jelly Babies

How We Found Out Where to Shop for Jelly Babies

“Jelly Babies were Tom Baker’s favorite!” exclaimed my fiancé. “I’ve been wanting to try them for ages. I think David Tennant likes them, too.”

What are Jelly Babies?

For those who’ve lost touch with popular British television, Tom Baker and David Tennant are the two most favored Doctors known in the over-50-years-old BBC television series called Doctor Who.

Gerrit J. Verburg Jelly Babies

Jelly Babies, self-described on Gerrit J. Verburg packaging as gourmet English style sweets, are jelly candies that come in various bright colors and fruit flavors, such as orange, lemon, and grape.

A Short History on How I Learned about Them

Alex, my soon-to-be-husband, told me about these colorful candies early on in our relationship, an icebreaker for our anxieties and common-ground for our self-declared loyalties to Doctor Who.

When Alex and I stumbled across this candy, my fiancé positively jumped for joy and immediately began talking about how for years he has visited stores without ever spotting a single bag of Jelly Babies. Never, until that day.

But before I disclose the stupendous store that carries this coveted candy, allow me to provide a short background on how Alex and I ended up at this store:

To celebrate my upcoming marriage, a friend from work collaborated with my maid-of-honor in throwing me a bridal shower. The theme was a tea party, or simply phrased, afternoon tea.

Double Devon Cream and Jelly Babies

“Oh, so the hostesses tried to resemble a British tea party with Jelly Babies,” one might think. Nope! The hostesses introduced something different to me that day: clotted cream, a luxurious and delicious blend from a nearby tea house.

My mother and I came home from the bridal shower raving about the clotted cream. In fact, I enjoyed the clotted cream so much, I searched the Internet to find a nearby store who carried the product. We avoided the tea house, for it exceeded our budget.

The Big Revealing

Wishing to try this new food product, Alex drove me to the store to buy the cream. The store carried only Double Devon Cream that day – which I will speak more on in a later post – but at Cost Plus World Market, we found Jelly Babies!

Tea, scones, and Jelly Babies for two at home.

That’s right, Cost Plus World Market carries the classic British candy. The market sold the Gerrit J. Verburg brand, where the chews come in a resealable bag. Although, be warned, the seal may separate from the bag. To solve this issue when it happened to me, I used a chip clip.

Everyone who wishes to experience a little British culture while confined in the States should try this delectable treat. Albeit, the brand sold at Cost Plus makes the product in and sells from Fenton, Michigan, but as a girl who can only dream about visiting the United Kingdom, they do just nicely.

My Opinion about Jelly Babies

Oh! And my opinion about their taste is chewy, yet satisfying. They look like little gummi bears, but they have a slightly tougher consistency. Sugar abounds in this small treat, yet the fruity flavors give the candy its true pizzazz. And the candy design? Adorable!

Rose Tyler and How She First Appeared

Rose Tyler and How She First Appeared

Screenwriter and producer Russel T. Davies created a Doctor Who character worthy of some love and attention: Her name was Rose Tyler. Throughout the first two series of the reemerged BBC America television show, Rose grew immeasurably as a companion and an individual. The first episode, titled “Rose” and aired on BBC One in year 2005, portrayed her as a simple shop girl. Her true character bloomed under the Time Lord’s influence.

Listed below are the three characteristics which viewers can identify in Rose Tyler as she first appeared in Doctor Who. Watching through the first two series again will reveal how these characteristics grow and mature in this intelligent, witty, and loving young woman.

Compassionate Toward Her Loved Ones
Rose Tyler and Autons
Rose trapped in the department store basement with Autons.

Rose exhibited great compassion and maturity in her dealings with her mother. Nearly escaping death from the Autons the night before, she patiently tolerated her mother’s remarks on her need to quickly find another source of income. At only 19 or 20-years-old, she worked to help support her and her mother’s humble living arrangements. This showed her love for her mother exceeded any sense of personal gain and entitlement.

During the final scene in the first episode, Rose made an admirable comment in needing to look after her boyfriend. Mickey Smith had acted cowardly throughout the attacks and the danger, and he certainly seemed like he needed a lot of love and attention, unless there was a televised game at the pub. Nevertheless, Rose had loved this young man enough to give him emotional support and ego boosters despite her own lowly position in life, until she met the Doctor.

Quick to Solve Problems and Make Connections

Immediately following the explosion at her store was Mickey. Rose wanted to do nothing but lie about at home after the awful ordeal and recuperate. Her boyfriend had other ideas, and he firmly stated his belief in her need of consuming something stronger than tea. When he suggested going to the nearby pub, Rose knew the real reason why. He wanted to see the televised soccer game, and he eventually admitted to wanting to watch the game when she confronted him about it.

Any proper girlfriend would have been distraught if her boyfriend had turned into an Auton, but few would have had the wits to rescue him. Rose quickly understood that the only way to save everyone and end the immediate threat was to go with the Doctor. The Time Lord identified the threat as the Nestene Consciousness, but he failed to identify where the aggressive alien was located. He described to Rose where the species normally resided. Observing her surroundings, Rose almost instantly found the creature’s hiding place.

Brave and Daring When Presented with Adventure
Rose Tyler
Rose as she decides to join the Doctor on his travels.

Everyone balks when they first see inside the TARDIS. Rose responded similarly. However, when others would have tucked tail and run, regardless of their living plastic boyfriend chasing them, Rose accepted the extraordinariness of the TARDIS being bigger on the inside. She accepted the Doctor being an alien. And not only did she accept them, but she traveled in the TARDIS and worked alongside the Doctor to save the world. This young woman had guts and brains.

After saving the world, the Doctor offered to take Rose with him on his travels through space and time. Rose could have easily gone back to her simple means of living. Her first thoughts were of her loved ones, and how she had responsibilities to attend to. Her adventurous spirit got the better of her, though, and she and the Doctor whisked away in the TARDIS, leaving Mickey alone in the London alleyway.

Rose Tyler and How She Grows as a Companion

Rose started off the series strong, but she only grew stronger from there. The Doctor easily recognized her compassion, intelligence, and bravery and stole her away for many adventures in the unknown. They would both grow as individuals, as friends, and as a couple.

Davies excelled in creating a character for viewers to love. To him, all Doctor Who fans owe a certain degree of allegiance. Because of one hardworking screenwriter, Rose Tyler came to life and wowed the wide viewing world.

More articles on Christopher Eccleston’s first Doctor Who episode can be found here.

Jane Austen on Marrying for Money and Comfort

Jane Austen on Marrying for Money and Comfort

Renowned for her romance, author Jane Austen used fiction to write volumes on her thoughts regarding marriage for money and comfort. Casual fans occasionally refer to Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in passing when talking about Austen’s literature. Truly avid Austen fans remember the wide and varied side characters in her works, and from these characters do readers learn Austen’s thoughts. To clarify for the casual fan, I have listed below the reasons the romance author used to show why women should avoid marrying for anything less than love.

To Prevent the Oncoming of Spinsterhood
1800’s women making good on prepping themselves to find husbands.

Loneliness often motivates young women to marry. Going to dinner, a company party, or a social gathering alone means having people treat the individual like a second class citizen. The same is true, to a lesser degree, about attending movie theaters and music concerts alone. However, there exists something worse than attending events solo: To be alone and lack the financial means to attend social events or entertainment venues. Women in Jane Austen’s time avoided this at all costs.

Here, the casual fan might ask how the Bennet daughters struggled to avoid spinsterhood. They married in their early twenties, after all! Think not of Eliza and Jane, but think of their friend, Ms. Charlotte Lucas. Aged at the tender age of 27, she claimed her situation was a burden to her parents. Given her lack of fortune, she desperately needed a husband to avoid loneliness and financial struggle. So when Mr. Collins proposed, all but the eldest Bennet daughters celebrated. According to Austen, Charlotte would lead a sad life.

To Avoid the Likelihood of Discomfort
A house for a gentleman’s daughter who marries a poor man in the 1800’s.

Walking onto a Christian university campus will reveal hundreds, sometimes thousands, of young women who are desperately on the search for a mate. These women are usually in their late teens or early twenties, moderately to exceedingly attractive, possess good reason and sense, and have seemingly endless opportunities ahead of them. Any man would be lucky to have such a woman as a wife. Due to inbred insecurity, most young women think differently.

Young women during the Jane Austen time struggled with the same insecurity, possibly to a larger scale. The rich, married couples in the romance author’s literature treated single young women, especially poor, single young women, with a certain disregard…unless their sons or nephews favored the young women. To avoid this treatment, and to enhance their standard of living, these women with great potential settled for any man of great financial means, even if she didn’t love him. Maria Bertram settled similarly in Mansfield Park, and Austen made her misery known in her affairs with Henry Crawford.

To Ensure the Opportunity of Wealth
A couple in love with no concerns of money or comfort.

Each of the above situations that young women wished to avoid, loneliness and poor treatment, also involved the great desire to prevent living in poverty. Young women, as found in classic romantic literature, always tried to marry a man who could afford higher living standards. Hence why their mothers frequently spoke about the prospects in store for their daughters. Sometimes the situation reversed, and the men would only marry women with large dowries. Money is a strong motivator.

Jane Austen tried to show her readers how young women who married for money would lead miserable lives, and how marrying for love was pure joy. Those who married for love, such as Elizabeth Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, usually possessed great sense. Though they would occasionally act without much thought or feeling, the men whom they would grow to admire were able and willing to correct them. Only the women who married without involving their hearts suffered, at least, so wrote Jane Austen.

 

Bibliography
  1. Lauren Henderson Jane Austen’s Guide to Dating. New York: Hyperion, 2005.
Top 3 Reasons to Try PG Tips

Top 3 Reasons to Try PG Tips

Why I Began Drinking PG Tips

Hollywood loves to show British people drinking tea. More specifically, the movie producers like to show young British women in long, pastel-colored dresses holding detailed teacups and saucers, daintily sipping at sugared, black tea and gossiping together about young men in stylish green coats.

“Oh, so women drank a lot of hot tea during the 1700’s and 1800’s,” I thought, after having seen several Jane Austen movie remakes. “People only really drink iced tea now.”

Several events then occurred. For example, my college roommate spent a semester at Oxford. On her arrival back, she sang nothing but praise about British tea. Also, several weeks back, my fiance introduced me to a modern, British show: Sherlock. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman always seemed to be making tea!

This left me with one conclusion: I was wrong. People in the United Kingdom still, and possibly always will, hold high regard for a cup of tea.

With this knowledge, I had one course of action in my desire to adapt British customs – to drink hot tea. So, every few weeks, I scrape up a few dollars and skip out to purchase a box of PG Tips. Here are the top 3 reasons why anyone reading this post should do the same:

Number 3 – To Kick-start the Busy Day

Americans drink coffee, black or sweetened, to kick-start pg-tips-1their busy day. The British drink a cup of black tea, otherwise known as Breakfast tea. One such British tea is PG Tips.

PG Tips makes many different teas. However, in the United States, PG Tips makes the most sales with their strong, black tea. So, instead of guzzling down the steaming hot, black coffee, I would highly recommend PG Tips for a strong caffeine kick.

Number 2 – To Accompany Lemon and Honey

pg-tips-3Before Sherlock, I never knew what to add to my cup of tea. I’m thinking of the third episode in the most recently aired fourth series, where Sherlock, John, and Mycroft watch Molly cut a lemon and squeeze its juice into her teacup. The next time my fiance and I visited the Neighborhood Market, we picked up some lemons to add to our morning tea.

To say the lemons were good in the tea does the experience little justice. One lemon slice with PG Tips is delightful and flavorful, and something to experience regularly. If lemons are hard to find, honey is a more than acceptable substitute.

Number 1 – England’s No. 1 Tea

Searching the PG Tips website revealed different teas and different packaging than what I can find here in the United States. However, on the USA packaging of PG Tips, the lid reveals a red banner claiming PG Tips as the Number 17193837_10102207437384887_977297190_oOne Tea in England!

Can this merely be good marketing? Yes, of course. It’s also effective. When my college roommate came back from Oxford, she bought only PG Tips. Hence why they became my go-to tea in the first place.

In writing this post, I have zero intention of slighting other teas. I merely write to encourage my readers to try a delightful British, black tea that has brought this writer much joy in her tea drinking. If the reader knows me, come on over and try it yourself!