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The Bedfordshire Clanger was a sweet and savoury suet dumpling made by women for their men folk to take to the fields where they were working. It consisted of two courses, meat at one end (usually pork and onions) and jam at the other - a main course and dessert all in one! It was very filling and sustained the men undertaking outdoor work as well as being easy to cook when facilities were limited. If it was made on Monday, the remains of the Sunday joint were used.
Any left over dumpling was made into very small balls, the size of a walnut and dropped into simmering water. When cooked (in about half an hour), they were scooped out, put on a plate and covered with milk and sugar. These were called 'Swimmers' and were often given to children as a treat.
Bedfordshire Clanger by Bedfordshire Libraries, 2005
Page last updated: 23rd January 2014