Christmas GREAT BRITISH FOOD HOME Snacks Special Occasions

Saving My Bacon



to save someone’s bacon – to save someone from a tricky situation; to come to someone’s rescue. If I were, indeed, to take both of Kayte’s children and both of her (rather insane) dogs for her for the day, so she could give a seminar, I would be saving her bacon. I would also be slightly mad. 


Pigs In Blankets. People all around the world have their own varieties: the Americans wrap their hotdogs puff pastry (like a mini sausage roll), as do the Russians; the Germans have a similar thing, but call it Würstchen im Schlafrock (sausage in a dressing gown); and in Israel, (yes, Israel – and I can’t tell you how many times Kayte questioned this, even though she hadn’t done the research) children have a hotdog rolled in a ketchup-covered sheet of puff pastry call Moshe Ba’Teiva which translates as Moses in the Ark.

We Brits don’t use pastry in this instance, but instead wrap chipolatas¹ in smoky bacon, and serve them, occasionally, as canapes, but mostly as an essential part to the Christmas dinner. For a more pleasingly dramatic effect, we might even have our “Pigs in Blankets” with “Devils on Horseback” (which is a prune, wrapped in bacon). These are an acquired taste²: I love them, but I’ll bet Kayte doesn’t, because she doesn’t even like sprouts. (weirdo) 

The butcher in our local village is proof that the Pigs In Blanket obsession does not just belong to me. When ordering your Christmas turkey, which you have to do well in advance, you also need order your ‘pigs’. Nigel and his team have made 3,780 pigs already this year, and he always sells out weeks ahead of time. 

I have a house full of people this Christmas, and many hungry people wanting to be fed. And so, yes.  I have to confess that I was knocking on Nigel’s door to order my pigs, which will keep these hungry people momentarily quiet and happy. And these (even thought I have not actually ordered all  3,780) …. will definitely save my bacon. 





  • 8 thin slices smoked bacon rashers
  • 16 chipolata sausages
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp clear honey


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180ºC, fan 160ºC.
  2. Cut each piece of bacon lengthways in half so that you have 16 long, thin bacon strips.
  3. In a mixing bowl, toss the chipolata sausages with the Worcestershire sauce, chopped thyme and honey. Mix well to make sure they are coated evenly.
  4. Take each sausage and roll up in a piece of bacon.
  5. Put the pigs in blankets well spaced out on a baking sheet and roast for about 35 minutes or until dark golden.


  1. chipolatas – like a normal sausage but thinner. Two bites. We sometimes have a small version, which is one little bite-sized, which we call cocktail sausages. We only use these for canapes, where we presumably eat them, whilst drinking cocktails. I am going to blame the 1970s again. 
  2. An acquired taste – something that one comes to love/appreciate over time. To refer to something as an ‘acquired taste’ implies is that not everyone will like it, and that possibly the person who does not like that thing has inferior taste to the person who does. 



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