Mmm mmm good. There's something so appetizing-sounding about sitting down to a meal called Bubble and Squeak, isn't there?
No? Well, even though the name might throw you for a curveball, the meal itself is delicious, quick, easy, and healthy. Its also a great way to sneak in some veggies for kids who might think they don't like broccoli or leeks! (You can see that I'm learning some clever mummy tricks as an au pair!)
Bubble and Squeak is a traditional English dish made from the leftover vegetables from the Sunday roast dinner. Usually, this includes cabbage, but the recipe is open-ended - you can throw in any leftover veggies you want to use up. For Liz's bubble and squeak today, she used broccoli and leek. The veggies get mashed in with boiled potatoes, then fried in a pan with a bit of olive oil until the mixture is well-cooked and a little crisp. Its usually served with cold meat from the Sunday roast, and Branston pickles, although today instead of roast meat we had another classic English food - bangers, or sausages.
So um, where does the "bubble" and "squeak" come in? That was exactly my question as I hovered over Liz photographing her work (one of the unfortunate side effects of living with a blogger...thank you Liz and Ian for putting up with me!)
The name is inspired by the exact sounds that the dish makes while its cooking - the "bubble" and "squeak" of the mashed veggies as they fry in the pan. The earliest known recipe dates back to 1806 and has always been very popular here as its a convenient and tasty way to use up leftovers. It was especially prevalent during World War Two when rationing was in place.
As I sat down to my very English supper of bangers (veggie ones, so I guess they're not traditionally English if you want to be nitpicky!), Bubble and Squeak, with my new English family grouped around me - Baby B happily chowing down, Wills mauling his mash while James told Liz, Ian and I about his day at school - I couldn't help smiling to myself. One thing I'm so grateful for are all the authentic experiences I've had throughout my travels since graduating university. I don't think it gets any better than this!