Bubble and Squeak ~1855

Corned Beef and Cabbage.


Being of Irish surname name, I have had many (many) conversations over the course of my life about St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Specifically, several people have shared (repeatedly) how corned beef and cabbage isn’t actually an Irish ‘thing’. Well, all of those people were right.

Insofar as it was not called corned beef and cabbage but rather … “Bubble and Squeak”. 

To all you naysayers, read closely how the author describes this ‘old’ recipe… Soyer’s book originated specifically from working through the Irish potato famine.

Bubble and Squeak. That’s fantastic.

Has anyone ever heard of it referred to this way? Any idea of where the name would have come from?

Source: Soyer’s Shilling Cookery for the People, 1855.

More Fun Discoveries from Antique Cookbooks



9 thoughts on “Bubble and Squeak ~1855

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  1. “Bubble” refers to the gas bubbles most people get from ingesting cabbage. “Squeak”, well, you know.

    Actually, I made that up. Cabbage bubbles up and makes noise when you cook it!

    My grandmother used to make this out of leftovers from Sunday dinner. Monday night fare was always “the bubbles”. It was actually considered gouache to serve it to company or on a holiday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh good grief…Your grandmother just rolled her eyes.

      Serving the cabbage was gouache? It’s certainly not too common. Maybe because you can’t freeze it or can it. The industrial food complex couldn’t process or package cabbage for resale, so it remains largely overlooked. Well, our family enjoys it regularly. A large head of cabbage is usually under a dollar and it goes in everything! Soups, coleslaws, steamed, stuffed…on and on and on.


      1. When I was a kid, folks use to make sauerkraut in the fall by simply packing the shredded cabbage in a crock with a ton of salt. We ate it all winter. This type of simple fermenting would be right in style now!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You could totally get away with having salted sauerkraut out at our local farmers market – right next to the Kombucha stand. Was this an ethnic dish passed down through the family? Or just something she came up with do preserve cabbage?


  2. My experience with this term was from a movie I saw as a child called Bednobs and Broomsticks.

    The only thing I cook that comes close to this is called Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage which is cooked once it turns cooler outside which consist of meat, rice, and of course cabbage. It is topped with sauerkraut that usually has brown sugar that tones down the sour part.

    One my husband calls Toad ‘N Hole which is egg cooked sunny side up in a hole cut into a slice of bread. Since the younger boys don’t like uncooked egg yoke, I cook it differently and call it scrambled frog. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the movie, but don’t remember the term – but that was decades ago! The Hungarian stuffed cabbage sounds delicious! I could see where the sweet/sour mix would be a nice balance.

      I haven’t heard the term Toad ‘N Hole for the toast and egg – instead birds’ nests. Scrambled frog is fanstastic!!! Reminds me of Frogger. Oh boy, that dates me.

      Liked by 1 person

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