Monday, March 1, 2010

Bubble and Squeak

One day last week, Hubband called from work during his lunch hour.  We chatted a bit, about this and that.  It was pleasant.  Then he did it.  He hit me with the three words every housewife dreads.

"What's for dinner?"

My voice, if I had one, was letting out nothing more than a sustained, "Uhhhhhh."  But my brain was working overtime.  In my head, it sounded something like this.

What?  Dinner?  Aw, c'mon.  Whydya have to go and do that?  We were having such a nice conversation.  It's like noon, right?  Six hours to go.  I don't even know what is in the fridge.  When was the last time we picked up a pizza?  "What do you want for dinner?" is a better question.  Why must I always be the one to think of these things...and on it went.  Until my mouth got ahead of my brain.  (I'd like to pretend this never happens, but I would be...well...pretending)

Having no answer, I blurted out, "Bubble and squeak."

Hubband chuckled, but called my bluff.  "What's in that?" 

"I don't know," I had to admit.  "Cabbage, I think.  Or maybe sausage."

"Well, it's English," said Hubband "It probably has one of those things." 

After that conversation, and still with no plans for dinner, I did some investigating.  Bubble and squeak is basically a potato and cabbage pancake.  I had left over mashed potatoes.  I had cabbage, though it was the red kind.  And, I had red kale, I didn't know what to do with.  So, Bubble and Squeak it was.  I served it with breaded cod.  It neither bubbled, nor squeaked, but it was good and my kids ate every bite.

Bubble and Squeak ~ 
Desperate (for dinner ideas) American Housewife Style
3 cups mashed potatoes
5-6 leaves red cabbage, chopped small
6 leaves red kale, de-ribbed
fresh chives, chopped
butter and olive oil for frying

  1. Boil cabbage and kale for about 10 minutes until soft. Drain.
  2. Mix with mashed potatoes and chives.  The stiffer the potatoes the better I think.  Mine were a bit soft.
  3. Take a handful of mixture and form it into a round patty.  
  4. Combine butter and olive oil in pan over medium high heat. 
  5. Add patties to pan, cooking 3-5 minutes on each side.  I would add a little extra olive oil between sides.



  1. Did you give them any Squeak, the meat part of the dish.
    As to why Squeak. It is simply the farmyard noises, cow/moo, sheep/baa, pig/squeak or squeal.
    But what the heck was running about in your head that you came up with it in the first place.

  2. As usual, Vince, I was trying to be funny, to diffuse a tricky situation. That being that I had no fathomable idea what to serve for dinner, and I really did not care. Bubble and squeak sounds funny.

  3. No no you are missing my point, this dish -and I'm really searching- is like a local dish from Dayton Ohio. And this is one of the States I miss when doing the 50, that and Nebraska. But you get my point, this reference dips so far under the radar that it could be used as a plough. And that would be in England.

    And you were funny, I did LOL as they say.

  4. As a housewife myself, I absolutely concur: "what's for dinner?" are words I strangely dread...

    my mom used to make both bubble and squeak, and toad-in-the-hole. We all loved 'em. And may I point you to an incredibly appetizing description of Toad in Roald Dahl's "Danny, Champion of the World."

  5. Necessity is the mother of invention. Great job of improvising. Looks delicious!

  6. It must be bubble and squeak week. I just read a recipe for it in our local paper. Yours looks colourful and delicious! Kudos.

    When we used to ask my mom what was for dinner (a question she absolutely dreaded) she would say things like, "monkey brains" and "eye of newt".