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Bubble and Squeak | The Wind in the Willows

It was bubble-and-squeak, between two plates, and its fragrance filled the narrow cell. The penetrating smell of cabbage reached the nose of Toad as he lay prostrate in his misery on the floor, and gave him the idea for a moment that perhaps life was not such a blank and desperate thing as he had imagined.

-The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame

Bubble and squeak, what an adorable name! According to the American Heritage Dictionary, it’s called that because of the sounds it makes as it cooks. While bubble and squeak can be made from scratch, it’s often a dish you’ll see made using the leftovers of roast dinners.

Being traditionally English, the two main and must-have ingredients are roast potatoes and cabbage. But from there, being a leftover dish, the ingredients you add in are quite up to you (the only outline being, as I mentioned, they should be foods that would go into a roast).You’ll find photos of bubble and squeak pressed down into a patty like shape, and others like this one, where the dish is ‘loose’. Is there a right way? Not really. The book I found this particular recipe in, The Canadian Cookbook, states that the cook ‘follows her nose’ as she makes this dish, it’s that open to interpretation.

If you can’t wait until you make a roast dinner to enjoy a plateful of what Mr Toad is served up, you can also make this dish from scratch and enjoy it tonight.


Bubble and Squeak | The Wind in the Willows

  • Author: Bryton Taylor; Food in Literature


  • 4 pieces of salted pork slices, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 1 small turnip, cubed
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt


  1. Heat up a dutch oven or a large pot on the stove.
  2. Cook the pork, stirring until it’s golden brown.
  3. Add the onion, continue stirring until soft.
  4. Add the additional ingredients and stir it all together.
  5. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir, then add hot water (1 inch of water)
  7. Cook for ~20-30 minutes until the potatoes and turnips are soft but still stays intact when a fork is pushed in.
  8. Uncover the pot and cook until the liquid is gone.

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  1. This was delicious, I used bacon instead of salt pork and my husband really liked it. Thank you.

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