Bubble and Squeak

My informant is from England. He moved to the United States with my grandmother and my mother when my mother was 2. He grew up near London and still has a thick British accent, despite having now lived in the United States since the 1960s. He still does many British things, such as drinking tea at least twice a day. It can only by PG Tips, he will not drink any other kind of tea. After sitting with him and my grandmother for hours, listening to folk music, he says:

Informant: “Do you know what Bubble & Squeak is?”

Me: “Never heard of it.”

Informant: “It’s when you cook your leftover vegetables and potatoes. You fry them. It’s called Bubble & Squeak. It’s so you don’t waste anything.”

[I laugh]

This doesn’t surprise me at all. My informant never lets anything go to waste. When we would go hiking as a family, he would make these disgusting “gorp” mixes, which was a bagged mix basically of trail mix, but he would add the strangest things — anything that was in the fridge. When we were kids, all we wanted were peanut butter sandwiches and we had to eat the concoctions that my informant came up with. It’s now a running joke in the family. It’s very war-time British to not let a thing go to waste and a good lesson to pass on.