Shop front in the summer

Sunday, 1 April 2012

I’ll have some of Tony’s Bubble with that . . .

Suggestions for traditional recipes for our traditional tea-room have been flooding in and we have chosen a winner for our prize of a free trip on one of our 10-person day boats.

The ideas have ranged from the simple to the unusual and have come from the whole of the UK as well as Europe.

Tony Petchey, who lives in the Poitou-Charentes area of France obviously hungers for simple British pleasures and suggested, bread and dripping, stuffed heart, braised Ox cheek and even Yorkshire puddings for tea with jam on then amongst other things.

From much closer to home, Les White said: "Faggots is what you need, or gray peas and pigs trotters."

Wendy Hodkinson was a fan of sheep brains, tripe in milk and rabbit stew. She said: "My Mum said they used to eat sheep brains on toast and it made a very good meal!

"The tripe is just boiled in milk and rabbit stew is made from cut pieces of rabbit and the normal stew vegetables in a pot and slow cooked.

"Very nice. I had it at a Halloween Party years ago and went down a treat."

Brian Cessford is a raspberry buns man and says they were, "often made by my mum and had to be eaten on the same day and, as I'm one of three brothers, that was always easy."

From a farmhouse childhood Marie Brockley offered us a dish called Round Tata's (as in potatoes) She said: "Mum would do it us on cold nights served with baked beans, total comfort food which after a hard day at school was just what was needed.

"My parents were (and still are) farmers so it was a good filling meal which Mum could leave in the oven and required little overall effort, yummy!

In the end, and delicious, though many of the ideas were we opted for an idea from Tony Petchey, the bread and dripping fan and he wins the day out in the day boat.

Nothing is more traditional and English than the English breakfast, even if it has been taken over in recent years by the American invention of hash browns.

Tony favours a much more English version of the hash brown - good old-fashioned bubble and squeak. Whether cooked with sprouts or with cabbage that has been a favourite part of breakfasts up and down the country since transport cafes were invented.

In London and the South East it tends to be made with potatoes and cabbage but in many other parts of the country it has to be Brussels sprouts. I am a sprout man myself but it is a matter of taste.

The recipe is simple, two thirds the weight of potatoes to one third of sprouts/cabbage cooked and then mashed and mixed before forming the mixture into round cakes or simply putting it in hot fat in a frying pan.

It is important to cook until it is well browned and slightly crispy on the outside before serving it up alongside the bacon, sausage, black pudding and eggs.

It will be going on our breakfast menu as an option under the name Tony's Bubble and Squeak, so keep an eye out for it next time you visit the tea room.

If you want to see some of the recipes take a look at our e-magazine Norbury News at

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