The nation is gripped by 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. We can't let the hysteria go by without adding to it. Here are some traditional low-cost English recipes to try.
The Duke's bubble and squeakAll you need for this English traditional dish is equal amounts of cold meat, cooked potato, and cooked cabbage, plus 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. Judge quantities by how many hungry lads and fair maidens you have to feed.
The stiff-upper-lip English breakfastThis is the sort of thing you'd expect from a traditional English seaside hotel (probably the ones in need of restoration, not the sort the royals stay in). You will need a couple of eggs, a few rashers of bacon, a few small breakfast sausages, a couple of tomatoes, 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 and place in the oven to keep warm. Crack eggs into the frying pan, pop the bread in the toaster and when they are done serve with a piping hot cup of English Breakfast tea.
Lill's Yorkshire puddingsBeing a fan of the royals, Lill from Whangarei shares her delicious Yorkshire puddings.
To make the batter, place 1 cup of flour into a bowl, add 1/4 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 into a batter the consistency of thick pouring cream. Pour 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 fat or oil is very hot. Quickly pour in your batter mix, place in the oven and bake until the Yorkshire "puds" are crisp and puffy - about 30 minutes if using a baking dish; 15 minutes if using muffin tins. Keep a constant eye on the baking: cooking time will vary depending on flour used, oven heat and type of fat or oil.
Elizabeth's Queen PuddingHere's the queen of all puddings, and we understand it is a favourite in the Windsor household.
You will need: 1 and 1/2 cups of whole milk, 2/3 cup of soft white bread crumbs, 3 tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of raspberry jam, grated rind of a lemon, and 2 large eggs.
Preheat 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 to 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 or until the meringue is a light golden brown. Serve the pudding hot, with cream.
Oh, those English do puddings well!
If you have a favourite recipe or oily rag tip that works well for your family, send it to us at www.oilyrag.co.nz, or by writing to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei, and we will relay it to the readers of this column.