Random ramblings and TV-inspired activities

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Poc-Poc biscuits

I cannot wait for 5.50pm. It's love. The Adventures of Abney and Teal has cast its spell upon me, and I am smitten.

If Oliver Postgate (Clangers, Bagpuss etc) was still alive and making animation today, I'd like to think it would be something like Abney and Teal. They live on an island in the middle of a park in a city, exploring and having fun with their friends. There's no heavy-handed moralising, there's no conflict, it's just... lovely. It's that plus the soundtrack in particular, I think, that reminds me of Bagpuss, the way it is stripped down and simple, which in itself mirrors the idea of the characters all living in this oasis of calm, adrift from the rest of the world. It is innocent, joyful, and simply beautiful to watch.

It's from the same stable as Teletubbies and In the Night Garden, but has more of what we grown-ups would recognise as plot; perhaps due to its 10 minutes length as opposed to the half-hour or so that Teletubbies and ITNG have to hold tiny attentions. But there is something endearingly retro about it, and I find it so refreshing compared to the 'modern' animation styles of Numberjacks, Waybuloo, and the other wide-eyed, gawping, brashly coloured computer-generated characters that bombard us. Of course, I don't doubt for a minute that Abney and Teal isn't computer-generated, but it has the feel of an illustration brought to life.

It offers less for BabyBoy, but ToddlerGirl is also pretty smitten, and has taken to declaring "That was an adventure!", Teal-style, at various intervals. Picking tomatoes, is an adventure. And why not?

So we had a biscuit-making adventure. The Poc-Pocs appear to be made of wood, so to try and get the 'woodgrained' appearance, I marbled my biscuit dough with cocoa, although I did overwork the mix a bit, which is why it isn't as streaky as I would have liked. They taste nice, though!

2oz flour
1.5oz butter or marg
1.5oz sugar
A teaspoon of cocoa
Half a dozen raisins or so

Chuck the flour, butter and sugar into a bowl.
Give toddler a fork and stand back.
When toddler has finished 'mixing', give it a bigger mix until the mix turns into something resembling breadcrumbs. Keep mixing a bit more after that until it forms a dough. If it is being especially stubborn, add a couple of drops of milk.
Next, add cocoa, and mix just enough to streak the mixture.
Get toddler to help you roll out the mix to about a 4mm thickness.
Give toddler spoon to lick while you cut out Poc-Poc shapes with a sharp knife.
Cut raisins in half, and push into Poc-Pocs to make eyes.
Bake around 180 degrees Celsius, or Gas Mark 3, for about 10 minutes.


  1. Great idea , love the wood grain detail

  2. Genius, we're trying it tonight!