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Collops for Shrove Monday

Long time roots...

Collop Monday is much less known about these days, let alone observed, but does have long-time roots.

The tradition established was that on Collop Monday small pieces of bacon would be fried and served with eggs, usually for breakfast. Later, the tradition of bacon and eggs for breakfast, as we all know, was to become one of the most popular American breakfasts.

Collop Monday is the last day to eat and cook meat before Lent. In Elizabethan times, a "collop" referred to a rasher (slice) of bacon. For Shrove Tuesday, the fat remaining in the pan from the frying would be used to make pancakes. In an earlier day fresh meat was cut into collops, or steaks, for salting or hanging until after Lent was over.

Nowadays, the word collops is applied to everything from aubergine (eggplant) to monkfish, but it is still customary for many to have eggs and collops, or eggs and bacon on this day.

English Eggs and Bacon Collops for Shrove Monday

An old recipe: English Eggs and Bacon

Cut strips of bacon in 3-inch lengths, place them in a baking dish, and pour over them 3 tablespoons of cream. Bake in a moderate oven until the bacon is brown on one side, and then turn it over and brown the other. While the bacon is cooking, poach your eggs and serve on the bacon. This could be attractively done in individual ramekins.

Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951

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