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The oddly named dish "bubble and squeak" comes from that same distinguished country that also enjoys sophisticated dishes such as "Toad in the Hole" and "Spotted Dick." Those of you unfamiliar with British cooking can stop blushing now: we're really not kidding about that last one!

Ideally a simple dish made from fried cabbage and potatoes, bubble and squeak has about as many variations as it does eaters. Reasons for the name are fairly numerous, but the most credible explanation seems to be that it bubbles in the pan (the potatoes) and squeaks (the cabbage) in your mouth.

Traditional drink lore holds that a greasy breakfast is one of the best ways to get going again after too much of the night before, the night before. We're fond of the time-honoured "bubble and squeak" for this reason. It's tasty, but just bland enough to be inoffensive to jittery stomachs, and filling without being too greasy.

The word is that this started as a way to use whatever was leftover from the previous day's meal, at least insofar as greens and potatoes went. At any rate, it does not demand a great deal from the partied-out cook:

Common recipe:

shredded potato
finely sliced cabbage
butter
salt

...thrown into a pan in desired quantities and fried until cooked and brown.

The variations occasionally involve a change of green vegetable, but more frequently they involve the potato, the staple of the diet and so the most likely to be around as a leftover in one form or another. Many people like to start their "bubble and squeak" cooking with mashed potatoes.

For those who haven't sworn off the "hair of the dog that bit you" idea, take note: this is a somewhat hearty dish that goes well with a Bloody Mary made with a light hand. Those simply wanting a slight extra kick will want to season the bubble and squeak with pepper, vinegar, or even hot sauce.