Bubble and Squeak

Bubble and Squeak

Child’s game?….Dog’s toy?….Pet gerbils?


That would be the name of yet another inscrutable British menu item.

I did some research and learned that English bubble and squeak is a savory dish of potatoes and cabbage. It is traditionally created with vegetable leftovers from Sunday dinner. The name is derived from the sound the dish makes as it is cooked.  Hmmm.  The sound effects do not make it seem any more appetizing.

I chose not to order the bubble and squeak at my latest pub lunch.  We left London for the day and hiked through relentless misty rain across trails of deep, wet muddy fields.  I saw little of the countryside as I trodded along, watching my feet squish and sink, hopelessly searching for a semi-dry patch for my next step.  The pub lunch was the dubious reward.

My walk could have dubbed “muddle and squish”, the perfect complement for bubble and squeak.

There seems to be less to report as life becomes more routine and London feels more and more like home. Though, repairmen are still a source of constant amusement.

This morning, I just downed my second cappuccino with the plumber.  That’s right, the plumber.  My coffee machine gets  a constant workout with every visit to “sort out” my heating.  As my plumber works, he periodically appears in my kitchen, reports on his latest accomplishment, and requests a coffee:

“I just replaced a valve…I think that deserves a coffee”. 

“I just tightened a pipe…another coffee my luv?” 

“That should do it, the thermostat seems to be working properly now…I could use a coffee.”

Of course, conversation accompanies the coffee, and I now know the intimate details of his family life, his medical health, and his background.  In the British tradition, he is an incorrigible and harmless flirt and has advised me that to avert boredom I should consider taking a lover.  He has requested that I put him near the top of the list.  An over-caffeinated, over-50, over-eager plumber ….sounds almost as good as bubble and squeak!

I think I’ll just be boring and stick to the familiar menu items I know and love.


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