Christmas GREAT BRITISH FOOD HOME Main Courses Special Occasions Traditional Food


Saucy – something a little bit rude, or sexually explicit, but in a playful, lighthearted way. A little risqué, indeed. Our friend was recently accidentally saucy when she walked around her workplace for a morning with her skirt tucked up into the top of her tights, showing her knickers to the office. What a saucy minx.

There is reference to the word saucy being used as an adjective to mean bold, or lewd, as far back as 1508. And as for William Shakespeare, he couldn’t get enough of the word. Saucy crops up all in so many of his plays, with both meanings implied. You’ve got the witches in Macbeth being described as “saucy and overbold” and in Act One of Twelfth Night, Olivia turns to Viola, (who is pretending to be Cesario – read play for explanation) and offers the rather brilliant line “I hear you were saucy at my gates”. Which is a line I do hope I too will get the chance to say, one day…

Bread sauce goes way back; they used it in medieval times to accompany their meat, and we use it today for the same purpose, but only once a year, and with the Christmas turkey.

(Unless you are our director, Dominic. He regularly has bread sauce with his pheasant. Or was it peacock? But anyway, he is very posh) [Yeah, I think he said he has it with swan actually]

This sauce is full of all the typical Christmas herbs and spices, but even so it’s super simple, and is just brilliant. It works so well with cold meat too, but do be aware it that after a while solidifies in a slightly gopping1 way – so yes, it does look like it’s not going to taste that great. But believe us, it does. Close your eyes, if that helps…

This one is big, unadulterated2, creamy bread-love. [Stop it, you saucy minx!]




  • 600ml milk (full fat, if you can)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 whole onion, peeled, (don’t chop)
  • 6 peppercorns, whole
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 bayleaves sprig thyme
  • 100g white breadcrumbs (preferably from stale, good quality bread)
  • dollop of cream
  • fresh nutmeg


1. Stud the cloves into the onion

2. Simmer the milk, butter, onion, peppercorns, bayleaves and thyme in a pan for about 20 minutes

3. Strain the herbs and onion out of the milk and return the liquid to the pan.

4. Stir in the breadcrumbs, and simmer for another few minutes

5. Take off the heat, stir in the cream and grate some fresh nutmeg over the top This can be served straight away or kept for around 3 days in the fridge. If you are not serving straight away, grease a little baking paper with some butter and place, butter side down, on the surface of the sauce and refrigerate so you don’t get that weird milk ‘skin’ forming.

  1. gopping – really unpleasant, often to taste (slang)
  2. unadulterated – undiluted, complete and absolute

© 2016 Kayte & Nicer Kate – authors assert moral rights


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