Saturday, 13 June 2009

It's An Age Thing

I was astonished at the number of heartwarming comments that materialised after my Thursday post - So was No.1 Son. I have to share with you all part of the message he sent me yesterday afternoon. You must understand, as I know he reads my every word (and yours too, commenters) I'd sent him an email saying I hope he didn't mind my writing about our current state of less than tranquil being. This was his cracking rejoinder:-

And no I don't mind about the post yesterday (Thursday). Reading through the comments I have to laugh because they make it sound so much worse than things really are. The anti-D's are meant to just to take the edge off things.

Lovely bunch you have found there though, I'm grateful for all the prayers.

Just one thing, last time I checked I was 38 not 39 !!! So be sure to tell sweetmango - should you decide to email her - if she's into distance healing she might miss me by a year!!! :-)

I hadn't realised that I'd managed to age him by a whole year in the comment I'd added to the post myself. How shocking was that? A mum not getting offspring's age correct? Although I have a more than sneaking suspicion it may have been due to my erratic typing, rather than senility, but hey, I get my share of senior moments. However, in my defence, he is as much in his thirty ninth year as I am in my sixty ninth - so I was close...

Rhymeswithplague-Brague managed to come up with what I took to be a mis-quote following my spic-and-span ponderings this week. He mentioned 'bubble and squirt', which I took to be bubble-and-squeak.

Of course this sent me on a Google-hunt. I know UK tradition has it that the dish Bubble-and-squeak uses a medley of vegetables left over from the Sunday roast, but there were lots of other interesting tidbits I uncovered.

Firstly, its fame is apparently mostly confined to England, with only an occasional passing reference in American literature or media. The dish appears not to have spread to the British Empire countries either, possibly due to hotter climate, or simply different taste buds!

A1770 book by one Thomas Bridges, intriguingly entitled 'A burlesque Translation Of Homer' mentioned
We therefore cooked him up a dish of lean bull-beef, with cabbage fry's...
Bubble, they call this dish, with squeak.
The writer pointed out this work would be more at home among the Simpsons, than the Iliad and said, unsurprisingly, that a Fracis Grose was a collaborator in writing it. There was also a book published by them in 1785 - Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue- which indicated how the dish got its name.
Bubble and Squeak, beef and cabbage fried together. It is so called from its bubbling and squeaking whilst over the fire.
Eventually, probably due to meat shortage after WWII, only vegetables were used, as the Good Housekeeping - Home Encyclopedia of 1951 pointed out.

In rhyming slang, Bubble and Squeak can mean Greek - no doubt a throw back to the first reference found. In 1968 Leila Berg in her book Risinghill:death of a comprehensive school, wrote:-
"Why do they call Greek children Bubbles? said Mr Colinides to me... Later, it dawned on me it was short for bubble-and-squeak rhyming slang.
Rhymeswithplague-Brague has a lot to answer for...


  1. Well, I am most heartened by your son's rejoinder.
    I am forever getting my children's ages wrong, and as for remembering the 10 grandchildren's, forget it. Us ladies of a certain age have a lot of memories stored... is it any wonder the boxes overflow and some fall out?
    Lovely sunny day here, as I am sure it is with you further along the coast.
    Love Granny

  2. Hi there! :) -- I didn't specify "US and Canada only" - so I will mail the books to you - heck, I've sent books and rocks and buckeyes all over the place: UK, Australia, New Zealand -- my wallet takes a hit, but my heart sure loves it *laugh* -- email me at kmtrain at hotmail dot com and give me your address and I'll send your books! :)

  3. Hi Jinksy, I had a good laugh over your son's reply and learned a bit about squeaking bubbles in the process...cooked cabbage sounding off...I don't think the name or dish caught on in the states...the last reference has a bit of a racist feel but I can't figure out it like calling someone a cabbage-head? Do Greeks like it negative or positive in connotation? sigh...I'd rather laugh at your son's distance healing...and being missed by a year...cute!!! I do hope he is much better...everyone of my sisters are taking anti-Ds...I don't know if it's the times, the fact that our mother was murdered many years ago...really I don't know but it's a sign of the times. I meditate every morning,take long walks and write. I think I've battled depression since my teen I have routines to deal with overwhelming feelings of sadness. On the whole I feel emotionally healthy. May your son be surrounded in energizing joy...and feel comfortable. And thank you Jinksy for your clever and connected posts.<3

  4. Mmm, I remember the first time I heard of B&S from the two Brit ladies' crazy cooking show. I miss them.

  5. Hi Jinksy, loved your son's comments especially about healing from afar...too cute. My late husband was British and would make buble and squeak, I just thought it was hash with an egg in the middle, I know there were lots of vegetables but no cabbage.
    Have a great day my friend...."-) Hugs

  6. Thanks for the jolly poem about house-cleaning Jinksy - that made me laugh.
    Bubble and squeak calls to mind Monday's lunch during childhood - washday and all that and lunch being left-overs from Sunday roast and veg - I always think of it as potatoes and sprouts fried together until they are crisp and brown underneath - there - that's set my mouth watering and I have only just finished tea.

  7. Oh, your son's comment reminded me of a very dear friend who was prescribed antidepressants. I asked her a couple of weeks later how she felt.
    'Good!', she smiled. 'Weird thing is though, I can't stop smiling now. It looks a bit hysterical. I've stopped taking the antidepressants for a couple of days and the smile disappeared, so I'm sure they are the reason for this stupid smile I'm carrying all day long!' Which cracked us both up.
    And then she met her sweet and lovely boyfriend and now he's the reason for her smile.

    Well, all those healing vibes sent to you from all over the world, will hopefully do their job.

    Another one is sent by me if I press the Post Comment button.

  8. Thank you Jinksy for your kind words, and wishes!!! I shall miss you a great deal, and may have to sneak out of my bunker to catch a poem or two from my favorite British, bloggie poet!!! I hope I will not need to be gone long, but send you my love in the meantime~Janine XO

  9. Hi jinksy....I stayed up late...blogging...can you imagine...sigh. I am glad that your son has such a keen sense of humor....and that he knows that people are thinking of him and praying for him. Antidepressents work. They absolutely do.
    Take care of you. Smiles from the U.S.

  10. Everyone is allowed senior moments. I've just started with kids and I'm already calling them the wrong names. :)

  11. Hi again, Jinksy....Another day across the ocean. I wanted to stop by again and inquire about your son and about you. I think that it was a typo regarding his age... :-)) We Mothers can always blame the keyboard.... I have a habit of going through the list of names of everyone in the family before I get the name right when I'm chatting with or about my daughter. It's a Mother's right, you know. Do let your son know that he is in our thoughts and prayers. P.S. I had NO idea what bubble-and-squeak was. I'm glad that you gave me an insight into that. It is something that apparently didn't make it over to the 'colonies.' If it did, it didn't make it to the South. On a differnt note: Do you like grits? (People in the North in the U.S. don't even know what grits are.) Hugs to you....Jackie

  12. Glad number 1 Son is not quite as bad as all that. Not seriously depressed, I mean.
    Bubble & Squeak used to be very popular to use all the leftovers in the days before fridges.
    Nowadays it is still a tasty meal with cheese added & herbs, say.

  13. Since 1 Son reads your blog comments I'll tell him directly that if the doc has put him on meds, to remember to take them regularly. It's very important for their effectiveness. And also, don't mix alcohol because it intensifies the effects of the antidepressant meds. I'm sort of an expert, unfortunately.

  14. I'm thinking that where cabbage is concerned the bubble and squeak is the aftermath but then I'm a day late and someone has probably already suggested this.

  15. Great to learn about 'bubble and squeak'!
    I missed my own age by a whole year one time. My daughters said, "Um, Mom, DO THE MATH!!!"
    :^) ;^)

  16. I can't believe I said "bubble and squirt"! But I looked back, and that is indeed what I said.

    Confession time: Here is the latest thing I did that makes me feel not only old but also that I am rapidly "losing it": While filling out a bank deposit slip a couple of weeks ago I wrote the date as "May 26, 1974"!! Thirty-five years disappeared in the blink of an eye. I can't imagine for the life of me why I did that. I caught the error instantly and corrected it even as my eyes rolled and I was scratching my head in disbelief.

    Isn't that the first thing they ask to find out if a person is disoriented? What year is it? Then they ask who the President of the United States is. You can't fool me on that one. Richard M. Nixon....

  17. To my remembering, I have never consumed the beef/cabbage dish of Bubble and Squeak, but have heard about it since my youth. I had a constant reminder of it, however, when I adopted three abandoned kittens -- siblings, two females and a male. One of the females was immediately named "Smudgy" for her coat colors. I was in the process of selecting proper names for the other two, when I noticed that while the little female emitted the familiar "meow" when she cried, the only sound the male made was a slightly shrill "squeak." Aha! "Squeak" shall be his name (which it is to this day, although he did learn to meow when he was about 4 years old). Therefore, his sister HAD to be named Bubble! The vet tech entered "Bubbles" on her vaccination papers, but I soon put that aright. Squeak is still with me; unfortunately Bubble has passed on to her kitty reward. I still miss the little dear.


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