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My French Life: Boxing Day Bubble and Squeak!

 Bubble and Squeak

It’s traditional in our house to make bubble and squeak the day after Christmas or Boxing Day as we Brits call it. It’s the day when in olden times masters would give their servants a box with a gift in and absolutely nothing to do with pugilism.

Our French friends are surprised by Bubble and Squeak and outside of the UK I suspect it’s not well-known.

Bubble and squeak is also Cockney rhyming slang for “Greek” and to use it properly you’d say “he is a Bubble” rather than he is a “Bubble and Squeak”. Goodness knows who thought these monikers up originally but this is one that’s fairly commonly used – in parts of London anyway.

Back to the Bubble and squeak you eat – it’s a traditionally British dish made up of left over vegetables after a roast dinner. It’s been around for hundreds of years and is similar to hash in the US – but  better – maybe!  In the 17th century Bubble and squeak was made with meat and potato but these days meat isn’t really included.

It’s mostly potato and cabbage but you can add peas, carrots, sprouts – pretty much any vegetable really. You mash them all together, shape them into round patties and dust them with flour and then fry them in oil or butter until they’re golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Apparently it’s called Bubble and squeak because that’s the noise the frying patties make!

Bubble and squeak is quite trendy these days and served as a starter in swish restaurants with smoked salmon and crème fraiche but usually it’s with a good old full English breakfast with fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes and sausages that you mostly see it…

Bon appétit and a bientôt!

Janine

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