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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The United Kingdom (01/22/09)

TITLE: Bubble and Squeak
By Beth Muehlhausen


Bubble and Squeak

“Hello television guests! On today’s ‘Fixin’ Food with Fanny’ we’re interviewing several people from around the world who have graciously consented to visit with us about some of their food customs. Our first guest hails from the United Kingdom. Welcome, Gwen!”

“Thank you, Fanny. It’s great fun to be here.”

“What’s your favorite food, Gwen?”

“Bubble and squeak.”

(grimaces) “Well now. I didn’t say your favorite bubble bath … !”

(grins) “I know! I love to go to the canteen and get some …”

“Wait. The canteen? What’s that?”

“You walk down a line and choose whatever food you want.”

“Oh, you mean a cafeteria?”

“Maybe. Anyway, at the canteen I get bubble and squeak with some black pudding …”

“Black pudding? Do you mean chocolate pudding?”

(laughs) “No, no, not chocolate … black pudding is also called blood sausage …”


“Or else I get some chipolate.”

“Chip – o - what?”

“Another kind of sausage … you might call it a wiener, I think.”

“I see. So you eat these sausages with your bubble and squeak?”


(skeptically) “And just exactly what IS bubble and squeak?”

“You mean…you don’t know?”

“No, I’ve never heard of it.”

(gestures with hands) “Well, you mix some cooked cabbage and maybe some cooked onions and carrots with mashed potatoes …”

“Gwen. Are you serious? LEFTOVERS?”

(smiles) “I’m very serious, Fanny.”

“Then what?”

“You drop this mixture in some fat in a hot skillet and let it brown … then turn it over and brown the other side.”

“Hmmmmm …”

“It’s very good!”

“But surely not as good as dessert, eh? What’s your favorite dessert, Gwen?”

(looks thoughtful) “Blancmange with clotted cream.”

“Blanc what? Isn’t that French? And you’re British!”

“Actually I’m part Welsh, part Irish, part British, and part Scottish.”

(chuckles) “A true hybrid, then. Now what’s this dessert you mentioned?”

“Blancmange … a custard.”

“And you put some sort of cream on top?”

“Yes. Clotted cream.”

“What is clotted cream? Is it whipped?”

(wrinkles nose) “Oh, not whipped! Just very thick …”

“Well, while we’re on the subject of cream, what can you tell me about something called ‘cream tea’?”

“Cream tea is a traditional snack when we have a cuppa … and of course scones or biscuits.”

“Did you cay ‘a cup of’…?

“No, a cuppa. That means a cup of tea with sugar and cream. The tea, sugar and cream are understood.”

(looks askance) “But what if I’d rather have coffee?”

“Sometimes we have coffee, but not usually. Oh, and we just use demerara sugar with coffee.”

“What kind of sugar?”

“It’s tan, and more moist than white sugar…”

“You mean brown sugar?”

“I guess … probably.”

“And you mentioned scones or biscuits. Aren’t those sort of the same thing, only scones are sweeter?”

“Oh no … biscuits are thin, not puffy.”

“Like a cookie?”


“Aw, surely you know … like an Oreo?”

“I don’t know.”

(gasps) “Amazing! This girl doesn’t know what an Oreo is! So what IS a biscuit?”

“A biscuit … is small and round, usually sweet but sometimes salty.”

“Sounds like either a cookie or cracker to me.”

(laughs and shakes head) “Hmmmm … could be.”

“What’s your favorite between-meal snack?”

“I’d say crisps, probably.”


“You know, crisps!”

“Crisp is an adjective where I come from! Crisp what? Describe crisps …”

“They’re light-colored, flat or wavy-shaped, and fried.”

“You mean potato chips?”

“They’re made of potatoes, yes.”

“Potato chips are called crisps!”


“Ah! And what do you like to eat for breakfast?”

“You mean brekkie?”

“Is that what you call breakfast?”

“The first meal of the day?”


“Well, I actually like bubble and squeak.”

“Surely you’re not serious.”

“I AM serious! It’s great with eggs.”

“I can only imagine …!”

(with emphasis) “Fanny, I like bubble and squeak at any meal!”

“Alright. We’re running out of time … but tell me about something you might have at a party.”

“Can it be a beverage?”



“Apple cider?”

“Of course.”

“What’s so special about your apple cider?”

“It’s got a kick to it …”




(giggles) “Yes. Our cider is VERY alcoholic.”

“Well Gwen, our time is up … but I want to thank you for being with us today on ‘Fixin’ Food with Fanny.’ We would all love to join you for some Bubble and Squeak sometime.”

“I’d be happy to make you some, Fanny! Cheers to you and your listeners!”

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This article has been read 829 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 01/29/09
“Well, you mix some cooked cabbage and maybe some cooked onions and carrots with mashed potatoes …” You made me positively hungry! Amazing that we speak the same language—but we don't, not really. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/31/09
This is such a fun read! I enjoyed the descriptions of foods that sound different to us and wonder how some of ours might sound to someone not from here.
Joanne Sher 02/01/09
What fun! Enjoyed the culture clash and "language" gap. This must have been so much fun to write!
Karlene Jacobsen02/03/09
I loved this dialogue. Very comical, I can see my husband talking to a UK national like Fannie, except I think he'd probably begin to make a game of it once he figured out the connections.
Melanie Kerr 02/04/09
I thought the Fanny mentioned was Fanny Craddock, the famous British cook from way, way back. I couldn't understand why she would have any problems understanding the menu! I love bubble and sqeak! Not with black pudding though!