Thursday, 19 November 2015


Good Morning to you,

For the past couple of years there has been a lot of discussion about how much food is wasted by the average family here in England.

How times have changed.

I remember as a child, my grandmother Ivy, and my mother Phyllis, did not waste a morsel of food. Any scraps of food which were left over, were always used the following day as part of another meal.

For instance, each Sunday, Phyllis would cook a roast dinner, which interestingly never included chicken, as chicken was far too expensive for the average family to buy. Any meat which was left over from the Sunday roast, was placed into the cold store to use the following day.  

I have vivid memories of Phyllis clamping her mincing machine, onto the kitchen table and then slowly, she would turn the handle, then feed the meat through the mincer. The resulting minced meat would then be added to a gravy. The potatoes were peeled, cooked and mashed to make a shepherds pie, other times the meat was added to vegetables and gravy to make a pastry pie.... nothing was ever wasted.  Her pantry was not laden with food, as ours is today, but she was, out of necessity, a very creative cook. Times were hard in the 1950's and remember the rationing of food, here in England, did not end until 1954. 

As children, we were never asked what we would like to eat, we were presented with food which Phyllis knew was good for us and what she could afford.  We were given three meals a day with no in between snacks. Back then it was breakfast, dinner and tea and once our tea had been eaten, that was it until the following day, when we had breakfast. 

It was a different story when we visited Nan Ivy and Gramps because I always had hot chocolate and a biscuit before I went to bed.... but my grandparents always spoilt us, as I'm sure you spoil your grand children.

So why do you think there is so much wasted food ?

Is it because, when shopping we shop with our eyes, which encourages us to  buy more food  than is really needed?

Is it the weekly shop itself, which is to blame, because again, we buy too much food, so when the end the week arrives, any food which is left in the fridge is thrown away.

Is it because, after a long day's work, mums and dads are so tired when they arrive home, that they are too tired to think about what to cook?

Now  please  don't  think  I am  being  judgemental, because I realise life is different today, but what concerns me is, I really  believe  that  there are many children, who are  growing  up, that will not know the pleasure of cooking, but  more importantly, they  will grow up thinking, it is normal to throw away unused food and that buying convenience food, is the only option open to them, and I, for one, feel that is such a shame.

So today, I thought, as I was talking about Phyllis, I would recreate a meal from my childhood which Phyllis used to make.  

.... and here it is, bubble and squeak.  Phyllis often made bubble and squeak with the left over Sunday vegetables. Now don't you just love that name.  I know most of you will know what bubble and squeak is, but just in case you have never heard of it, it was and still is, a way of using leftover food, to create another meal.  As a child I loved bubble and squeak. Phyllis told me that the name bubble and squeak came from the fact that the ingredients, when cooking, would bubble in the pan and make a squeaking sound. I know there are other explanations, but I love Phyllis' version.

So it's on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to today is,

the very lovely, Canadian, Michael Buble singing After All featuring his  fellow Canadian Bryan Adams. This song makes me dance around the kitchen... I can hear you saying there are a lot of songs which make Daphne dance or sing, but its true, if I hear a piece of music that I love, I really do dance and sing.... the added benefit is that its a couple of hundred steps towards my daily quota of 10,000 steps.

So while I am organising my ingredients.... when you know what they are you are going to smile, I am listening to.... and yes, I'm afraid I have to say it, singing along with Its a Beautiful Day.


12 sprouts ~ pre-cooked
6 large potatoes ~ pre-cooked and mashed
1 onion chopped
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried chillies (optional as
Phyllis would never have included chillies)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter


Finely chop the onion.

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil 
into a wide pan

add the chilli flakes. Cook for a minute.
Add the onions and
cook until the onions are
golden in colour.

While the onions are cooking,
slice the cooked sprouts into

smaller slices.

Place your pre-cooked mashed potato
into a large bowl

add the cooked onions,

the sliced sprouts



mix every thing together.
Form rounds as big or as little as you want. 
Press the rounds to flatten them.

Place the remaining olive oil
the butter into a wide pan
and melt the butter.

When the butter has melted, place the rounds into the pan and gently brown.

 When one side is brown, turn over very carefully and cook the other side until it is golden as well. If you are worried that the bubble and squeak might fall apart, don't worry, brush some of the olive oil and butter onto the top of the bubble and squeak and place under the grill.

I then place them into a 140C oven to keep them warm whilst I cook the rest.

.... and when they are all cooked and ready to eat, George likes his doubled up.  So I pop some feta cheese onto the first bubble and squeak and pop the second bubble and squeak on top.

Alternatively if I am making them for Sunday breakfast, I grill some bacon and pop a poached egg on the top..... which is always a hit with George.

Did you by any chance hear the sound of the bubble and the sound of the squeak?

Take care and I will see you next Thursday.

This week I will be joining,


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