The Everyday Lore Project

24 February 2020 – Collop Monday

24 February 2020 – Collop Monday

Today, as it is Collop Monday, I have been eating collops. Except obviously I haven’t been eating actual collops, as collops are slices of meat and that ship sailed many years ago. Anyhow, Collop Monday is the third day of Shrovetide and once again it’s a day all about eating up the perishables before Lent descends. Being the Monday before Lent also means today is called lots of other things like Hall (or Hallow) Monday, Rose Monday, Peasen or Paisen Monday, Merry Monday, Dappy Door Night, and Nickanan Night or Nicky-Nan-Night. The last two are all about Cornish mischief making but I don’t think I have the energy for a round of Knock Down Ginger tonight. On a year when Easter doesn’t fall on 12 April, today would just be ordinary St Matthias’ Day, a day known for its iciness, and for its wish to ‘shut up the bee’ by the starting of sowing.

To be fair, I could have given myself an egg break and made pea soup instead (Peasen Monday), but I miscounted how many eggs I needed for Saturday’s beano so I have a small clutch to be cracking on with. Anyhow, back to the collops. Collops are usually cuts of bacon but any meat can be used. Should you have been in first class on the Titanic, you could have ordered lamb collops with your puffed rice, as they’re traditionally served at breakfast complete with a fried egg on top. However, as I was leaving very early today, I felt it unwise to pack up said breakfast for eating on the train, as in retaliation for the last time I did something similar, a very upset woman sprayed the entire carriage with perfume almost as soon as I opened my Tupperware. Not inflicting ones collops on an unwilling public is a tenet we should all abide by.

As my penchant for Frazzles is nobody’s secret, I’m not averse to a bit of fake bacon. I am however, averse to fried eggs, too juicy. And I was starving by the time I got home, so I added a cabbage, onion and samphire stir fry to the fake bacon, grilled a tomato and some mushrooms, and scrambled the eggs. It’s so true when they say the first bite is with the eye. Not even my scattering of pointless chives was going to save the presentation of this bad boy.

But I don’t care because it was yum and just what I needed. Fake bacon is truly as horrendous as it sounds, but like many 1980s Arnold Schwarzenegger films, it’s so bad, it’s good. 

Got your lemons out ready for tomorrow…? 


Header: Menu from the Titanic:

Day, B. (1998) A Chronicle of Folk Customs, London, Hamlyn

Cooper, Q. and Sullivan, P. (1994) Maypoles, Martyrs & Mayhem: 366 Days of British Myths, Customs & Eccentricities, London, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Jones, J. and Deer, B. (1987) Cattern Cakes and Lace, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Roud, S. (2006) The English Year: A Month-By-Month Guide To The Nation’s Customs and Festivals, From May Day to Mischief Night, London, Penguin Books

Published by Liza Frank

Author of My Celebrity Boyfriend. Obsessed with hula hooping, sons of preachermen and fresh dates, sometimes all at the same time. Curator of Folklore Agony and The Everyday Lore Project.

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