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Oily Rag - A right royal feast

Oily Rag - A right royal feast

By Frank and Muriel Newman

The nation is gripped with a right royal occasion, and what an occasion it is! The William, Kate and George show has everything a fairy tale could hope to have: a charming couple, a bouncy baby, pomp, pageantry, secret locations and traditional welcomes by bare buttocked warriors.

We can’t let the hysteria go by without adding to it - in an oily rag way, of course! Here are some traditional low-cost English recipes to try.

The Duke’s bubble & squeak! All you need for this English tradition is equal amounts of cold meat, cooked potato, and cooked cabbage, along with some butter, pepper and salt. Chop potatoes into large chunks. Heat a little butter in a frypan. Fry potatoes and cabbage lightly in the butter, add salt and pepper to taste. Fry slices of meat, enough to heat through. Put meat into a hot dish with alternate layers of vegetables. Serves 6 to 8 hearty and hungry lads and fair maidens.

The stiff-upper-lip English breakfast. This is the sort of thing you would expect from a traditional English sea-side hotel (the ones in need of restoration – not the sort of hotels the royals are likely to stay in!). You will need a couple of eggs, a few rashers of bacon, a few small breakfast sausages, a couple of tomatoes, some sliced mushrooms, and toast. Cook the sausages and bacon. Remove from pan and keep in a warm oven. Cut tomatoes in half and place in the frypan with the mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes, turn and cook for another two minutes. Remove from the pan add to the warming oven. Crack eggs into the frying pan, pop the bread in the toaster and when they are done serve all together with a piping hot cup of English Breakfast tea!

Lill’s Yorkshire puddings - being a fan of the royals (and the TV program of the same name) Lill from Whangarei shares her delicious Yorkshire puddings. This is what she does.

To make the batter, place 1 cup of flour into a bowl, add ¼ teaspoon of salt, and break in 2 eggs. Mix with water to form what she calls a ‘stodgy’ mix, then add enough milk to thin it into a batter the consistency of thick pouring cream. Pour enough leftover fat from a roast - or oil - into a baking pan or into deep muffin tins. Place in a hot 200C oven, and remove when the fat or oil is very hot. Quickly pour in your batter mix (watch it sizzle!), place in the oven and bake until the Yorkshire “puds” are crisp and puffy - which will take about 30 minutes if using a baking dish or about 15 minutes if using muffin tins. Keep a constant eye on the baking as the cooking time will vary depending on the flour used, the oven heat and the type of fat or oil.

Elizabeth’s Queen Pudding – here’s the queen of all puddings, and we understand it is a favourite in the Windsor household! You will need: 1 and a half cups of whole milk, 2/3rds of a cup of soft white bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of raspberry jam, grated rind one lemon, and 2 large eggs.

Preheat the oven to 170C. Butter a pie dish. Place the milk and half the sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and pour over the hot milk mixture. Allow to soak for 20 minutes, then stir in the lemon rind and beaten egg yolks. Pour into the pie dish and bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until firm. Remove and let cool slightly then spread the jam evenly over the pudding. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the remaining sugar. Spread the mixture over the jam and bake at 120C for another 15 to 20 minutes until the meringue is a light golden brown. Serve the pudding hot, with cream.

Oh those English do puddings well!

We love hearing about your favourite frugal recipes and your money saving tips - please send them to us by visiting or by writing to Living Off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei and we will share them with everyone else!


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