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House Rules for the Biscuit Tin

If you’re not from Ireland or Northern Ireland, you’re probably not familiar with the rules of the biscuit tin.
Note: Translating “biscuit tin” to “cookie jar” doesn’t do the tin justice. There are lots of jars out there, but biscuits purchased in a tin, are for special occasions and therefore subject to special rules.

Vintage biscuit tin

For those not familiar with “the tin”, it’s usually only purchased at Christmas or for special guests coming round to the house, i.e. not you and your brother. They are usually rectangular or round and temporarily sealed. Once this seal has been removed by an authorised person, i.e. your ma, then the rules come into force:

  1. No biscuits from the tin without permission (there’s a trick to getting around this, but more on that in another post)
  2. No biscuits until the guests have had their choice
  3. No accessing the bottom layer of biscuits until the top is empty
  4. No more than two biscuits may be removed at a time
  5. No two biscuits of the same type may be removed at one time
  6. Always put the lid back on
  7. If a dispute breaks out between you and your sibling on who gets what biscuit, your mother will have the final decision (don’t leave it to your da, he’ll eat the biscuit to end the argument)
  8. If your da doesn’t get the jammy dodger, everyone is in trouble
  9. Chocolate fingers, custard creams and bourbon creams always get eaten first (after you da’s scoffed the jammy dodger)
  10. The plain biscuits in the corner have to be eaten before the top layer can be taken away and the second layer opened
  11. No biscuits before dinner. No, not even one.