Toed in the hole….or Irritable Vowel Syndrome

It’s not hard to conjure an unappetising name for a particularly unpleasant dish of food, but it is hard to imagine why a dish of sausages, oven cooked in a nest of batter, could have created such an misleading image in the mind of the individual who so harshly christened it “Toad in the Hole”. I remember the look of horror on the face of an Australian family member, on his first visit to England, being asked what he felt about toad in the hole. It was clear that he longed to be back in a land down under, where beer does flow and men chunder without the need to ask your opinion on whether or not you liked having a toe in your hole. O tempora, O mores…back in Sydney, strolling down Oxford Street, the offer of being toed in the hole would not, I’m sure, be out of place.

trio_toad Triptych in style of “Toad” attributed to Sottili Chipolata. Early XXI Century

I was recently tempted into making a “Toad” but failed to go that extra mile in searching out a suitable sausage. A true Toad demands the inclusion of a full sized banger, which delicacy was not amongst my available options. The finished dish, and the pictures, were the less in looks because of this omission, but the dish itself was saved by the flavoursome batter which I had cooked in lard. Sausages, batter and lard do not tick all the health boxes but they taste very good indeed.

The misleading names of dishes bring to mind a remembered conversation in David Niven’s book, “The Moon’s a Balloon”. During the Blitz in London, as in all theatres of war, there was a shortage of all kinds of foods, let alone luxury items. This fact became apparent to the young David Niven who, when lunching at a bomb damaged Boodles, was asked by the oldest member of the club if he would be so kind as to read the menu to him as the failing light combined with his failing sight made it impossible for him to know what was on offer. “Can’t see the damn thing in this gloom…what’s on the card?” he growled. Β Niven checked the card and replied “Moules Marinieres, sir”. “Good God,” trumpeted the old colonel, “the bloody fellers have got us eatin’ moles now!”

There’s that damn irritable vowel syndrome again.

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
This entry was posted in 2014, Cooking, Digital photography, food, Food and Photography, Food photographer, France, Humour, Photography, Sausages, Uncategorized, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Toed in the hole….or Irritable Vowel Syndrome

  1. Sally says:

    Irritable vowel syndrome – brilliant. Glad you used lard – needs a revival.

  2. suej says:

    As I have said before, and sure I shall repeat ad nauseum, you certainly have a way with words…I love “irritable vowel syndrome”!

  3. Vicki says:

    Very funny, Roger.

  4. Mad Dog says:

    It looks like a rack of ribs to me (or an ear) and no doubt delicious πŸ˜‰

  5. catterel says:

    Childhood comfort food – love your way with words πŸ˜€

  6. Misky says:

    This gave me such a chuckle. I have never considered the toed effect of this.

  7. Toed in the hole? Apologies, my good man. That’s an exit only. πŸ˜„

  8. Hello, Cheerio says:

    New follower here. Love your use of words, very bright and brilliant with a kick of humor. I’m making my move to England and I’ve been lucky enough to have such a feast as this though no matter how it’s baked, it always tastes better than it looks. Thank heavens.

  9. Brilliant. Photography, yes. Cook, yes. Use of words, yes. Now I want to look up how to make this delicious looking dish. I like the rustic look of yours.

  10. Very funny, brilliant writing – and I’m with Mad Dog on supporting the Lard campaign!

  11. saucygander says:

    You crack me up. Very appropriate, it’s the Mardi Gras festival/parade time here in Sydney. πŸ˜€

  12. Scrambled Megs says:

    Excellent writing. Made me smile this morning. i missed the blogging world! thank you!

  13. Nics Cahill says:

    Roger, everytime I visit your website, or look at your photographs, I feel inspired. Thank you for sharing your stories with us in words and pictures.

  14. Eha says:

    You have tempted me out of a blog break month, Roger!! So you DO know something about Australia, Milord!! Very, very funny about the ‘Oxford Street’ remark – well ‘Saucy Gander’ has kind’of beaten me to any kind of a punchline, but am glad more than one of us had the chance to ‘laugh heartily and loudly’ πŸ™‚ !

  15. Jen says:

    Hee hee hee. :->

  16. Okay. Your title just made me snort tea out of my nose! And the rest of this post made me smile. I always love your stuff, Roger.

  17. That book was very amusing and the story made me laugh all over again.

  18. Amanda says:

    Beautiful comfort food!

  19. Michelle says:

    Bring on the lard.

  20. I have never made toad in the hole! My memories of walking down Oxford Street were all about being enticed NOT to watch live sex shows.

    • Eha says:

      With honest and true apologies to Roger: ~ do not remember anyone mentioning anything about ‘live’ sex shows – London or Sydney? I am about 110% hetero but absolutely delight in those having such a difficult time [yes, even here!] of being alternate!!. The Mardi Gras is a wonderful hoot . . . I am sorry if people do not understand!!!

    • It’s so funny to hear that as, having never been to Australia, I only know the Oxford St in London which is pretty short on live sex shows….it makes up for it with a fine selection of pick pockets:)

  21. ChgoJohn says:

    It’s always a delight to read your posts, Roger. Just yesterday I found a CSA that has organic lard on its shopping list. Having been unable to find anything but the hydrogenated junk for years now, I’m going to join the CSA just for the lard. I can get organic vegetables anywhere. πŸ™‚

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