“I Say, Old Chap – Do Not Huckle-my-Buff and Kindly Stop Playing with your Chappit Tatties!”


Music – “Rule Britannia” from Elgar Variations by Brass Band Willebroek & Raf Van Looveren. Released: 2007

This might be considered a sequel to “Stargazey Pies and Stinking Bishops– Oh, Those Wonderful Brits!“, which I posted on March 5th, 2014, although it’s hard to top “Stargazey Pies and Stinking Bishops”, for sure.  Nonetheless, my recent acquisition of “British Cookery – A Complete Guide to Culinary Practice in the British Isles“, edited by Lizzie Boyd, and published in 1976 by British Tourist Authority and the British Farm Produce Council presents a virtual cornucopia of recipes in that great British tradition of being nearly unfathomable to figure out by title alone.

"Stargazey Pie" (Photo Credit - www.en.wikipedia.org)

“Stargazey Pie” (Photo Credit – http://www.en.wikipedia.org)

If you were not born and bred in the UK, or have spent a substantial amount of time there, many of the recipe titles in this book would stymie you (as they did me).  Now, it is true that every culture and language has its’ own lexicon for cookery and recipe names, but the British have always taken it that extra mile to the amusement and delight of the rest of the culinary world.  Part of reading a cookbook published in the UK is just to read the names of the recipes and attempt to determine exactly what it is, what the ingredients are, and would you serve it to guests.

This wonderful cookbook presents not only hundreds of recipes (noting which area or county they are associated with), but also gives a history of recipes by region, including London, South East, Rural South, West Country, East Anglia, North Midland, Midlands, Wales, North West, North, Scotland, Borders, Central Lowlands, Highlands, North East, Orkney and Shetland, Outer Hebrides, Channel Islands and Northern Ireland.   For example “Clotted Cream” (Devonshire), “Bosworth Jumbles” (Leicestershire), or “Cropadeau” (Outer Hebrides).    In addition, there is a section about what was cooked historically by “class“. For example, in “Class I – Working Class“, the dependence was clearly on bread, butter and tea.  For “Class II – Lower Middle Class Family“, a greater variety of foods was featured, including tinned meats and fish, cheap jam and the traditional boiled mutton and onion sauce.  The “Middle Class” might enjoy “luxury” foods including fried bacon and eggs, marmalade, Rissoles, stewed rhubarb, sausages, potted meat, and custard.   Interestingly, each recipe is also designated with either an “H” (Hotel/Commercial) and/or “F” (Family/Domestic).

So, you can Huckle-my-Buff with your Muggety Pie, but don’t forget the Saffron Wigs.  Are your Priddy Oggies able to stand up to the Pitchy Cake, and will the Hough and Dough become Baps?  Don’t forget that the Stanhope Firelighters might get in an Inky Pinky over Love in Disguise and the Poor Knights of Windsor might not fare very well against the battle with the Figgie Hobbin.  If you insist on playing with your Chappit Tatties, don’t say you weren’t forewarned:  without Brotherly Love, they might end up as a Moggy, or worse, Twice Laid!

Oh, that Yellow Man would have to contend with Dunmow Flitch, or worse, deal with the Feather Fowlie and the encroaching Bawd Bree.  In the kitchen, all hell might break loose if Huffkins met up with Powsowdie, and if Fidget Pie lived up to its’ name, there might be a Whim Wham or a Fitless Cock to contend with!  Crubins and Panackelty begone or Boodle’s Cakes might melt into Leeky Stew with a Nackerjack (not a pretty sight).  For heavens’ sake, don’t ever let your Brumbrays get near the Rumfustian, or a Crockie Pie may be the unfortunate result.  When all is said and done, however, remember that your Peebles Sour Plooms might turn on you (they have a reputation of doing that), but if all else fails, run a quick Teisen Lap and then settle into a nice Tweed Kettle.

For those non-Brits, translations are below (the list is sorted by appearance in the text above):

Huckle-my-Buff                                                                                                                             Also known as “Huckle-my-butt” and “Huckle-and-buff”, it is an early 18th century hot beverage combining gin or cognac and beer.
Muggety Pie                                                                                                                                     A meat pie, traditionally made in Cornwall, England.  The contents are usually offal (stewed intestines).  The word “Muggots” meant pig intestines, sometimes calf.
Saffron Wigs
(London)  Yeast rolls made using saffron water, caraway seeds, etc.
Priddy Oggies
(Somerset) A savoury pie. A variation of “Tiddy oggie”, which means potato pastry.  The recipe probably originated after the depression caused by the closure of tin mines in Cornwall.
Pitchy Cake
A yeast cake from Cornwall.  Probably so named for the action of “pitching” currants, sugar and fat into bread dough.
Hough and Dough
Pork scraps, such as hock or rib meat, with sliced potato, onion, stock and herbs baked in a dish the sides and part of the base of which are lined with suet pastry. 
A bread roll.  A tender pillow of dough made with milk, lard and butter.
Stanhope Firelighters
(Durham)  Biscuits made of rolled oats, margarine and white or a combination of white and brown sugar.
Inky Pinky
(Scotland) A dish of left-over beef with sliced carrots and gravy.  Possibly named because of the colour of undercooked beef.
Love in Disguise
(Herefordshire) Baked stuffed calf heart with a bread crumb and vermicelli coating.

Poor Knights of Windsor                                                                                                        A dish that is very similar to French Toast. Unlike French Toast, however, in making Poor Knights of Windsor you don’t mix the eggs and milk together. Sugar and sherry are stirred into a shallow dish of milk. Egg yolks are used (not whole eggs.)
Figgie Hobbin                                                                                                                        (Cornwall) A biscuit made with chopped suet, figs and milk.
Chappit Tatties                                                                                                                                      (Scotland) Mashed potatoes
Brotherly Love
Also known as Brotherly Lardy, or Lardie Cake.  Bread dough roll, dabbed with lard and rolled into a pin-wheel, sprinkled with sugar and baked.
Moggy                                                                                                                                               A biscuit, which may be made with black treacle and ground ginger instead of syrup.
Twice Laid                                                                                                                                       (Kent)  The local name for these cod-fish presumably refers to the fact that the leftover cooked cod is used in the dish.
Yellow Man                                                                                                                                     (Ireland)  A confectionary made with butter, brown sugar and golden syrup.
Dunmow Flitch                                                                                                                               Dunmow Flitch is not a dish, but a side (flitch) of bacon, awarded on Whit-Monday every 4 years.  After a light-hearted “trial” and great ceremony, it is given to a married couple who can swear that they have neither quarrelled or repented their marriage for one year and one day.
Feather Fowlie                                                                                                                                (Scotland).  A soup with ham, chicken, celery, onions, etc. and said to have been a favorite of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Bawd Bree                                                                                                                                       (Scotland)  Hare soup.
Huffkins                                                                                                                                            (Kent)  A traditional flat bread roll with an indentation made by the baker’s thumb.  The “hole” might be filled with cherries or jam and topped with whipped cream.
(Scotland)  A meat soup (sheep’s head broth).  Pow means “head” and “sowdie” a popular boiled Sunday dinner dish.
Fidget Pie                                                                                                                                       (Shropshire)  A savoury pie with bacon, onions and apples.  “Fitched” means five-sided.
Whim Wham                                                                                                                                 (Scotland)  A fool consisting of cream, white wine and sugar, over sponge fingers with a layer of jelly on top and garnished with crystallized lemon or orange slices.
Fitless Cock                                                                                                                                     (Scotland)  Offal (“Dry Goose”).  A mealie pudding made with lightly beaten eggs, which are moulded into the shape of a chicken, wrapped in cloth and boiled.
Crubins                                                                                                                                             (Ireland)  Pigs trotters
Panackelty                                                                                                                                       (Durham)  A family dish of leftover cooked bacon, which is brought to the table in the dish in which it was cooked.
Boodle’s Cakes 
Soda-raised white wheat flour cake of 1 lb. flour, 8 oz butter, 8 oz chopped raisins, 2 eggs, sugar and cream.

Leeky Stew with a Nackerjack                                                                                                 (Devon)  “Nackerjack” is a dumpling, in this case made of leeks, potatoes, streaky bacon and pastry.
Brumbrays                                                                                                                                     (London)  Rolled fileted slices of veal in a brown sauce.
Rumfustian                                                                                                                                           A hot beverage composed of strong beer, wine, gin, egg yolks, sugar, and spices.
Crockie Pie
(Also “Crocky Pie”) A stew made of meat, turnips, potatoes and onions, covered with a thick layer of dough the same diameter of the “crock” or saucepan in which the stew is cooked.
Peebles Sour Plooms
(Scotland)  Scottish for “sour plum”, which is a sharp flavoured, round, green boiled sweet. They are sold loose by weight in paper bags, traditionally in “quarters” (a quarter of a pound)
Teisen Lap                                                                                                                                       (Wales)  A cake made of sugar, currants and milk.
Tweed Kettle
(Edinburgh) A salmon stew, subtly flavoured and made with a left over tail-piece of salmon.
Tatws A Cig Yn Y Popty                                                                                                              (Wales)  Boneless lamb with onions and potatoes, usually served with creamed carrots or swedes.  A loose English translation is “potatoes and meat in the oven”.               


A final word of advice:

Tatws A Cig Yn Y Popty and don’t you forget it!






My EatYourBooks cookbook collection


About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,500. What next? More shelves?
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