HERE ARE THE THINGS YOU NEED (in non-metric units, of course)
 8 oz white flour
 1/2 pint clear water
 1/2 pint fresh milk
 big pinch of table salt
 2 chicken's eggs
 bunch of big greasy bangers (sausages)


Following the steps of this recipe, the big greasy bangers will be transformed and may assume a fanciful resemblance to toads.At no point do we actually add toads.


 (1) Put big pinch salt in bottom of large bowl.

 (2) Put in milk and water, and swish it all around.

 (3) Put in eggs (all except the shells which should not be used unless you like it real crunchy).

 (4) Really swish it around until it is all pale yellow.

 (5) Slowly add flour while swishing frantically (i.e., you swish the batter).

 (6) Crack open a beer, drink all the beer slowly while watching the batter in the bowl (non-drinkers might make a cup of coffee during this step, but they will miss some of the excitement of this recipe).

 (7) Add some olive oil (or any oil with a nice taste - don't use that rancid stuff under the kitchen sink) just to make the bottom of a flat oven pan all slippery.

 (8) Vigorously beat the batter to a froth using muscle power and bad language (this is why you needed the beer earlier on) - don't stop until there are gobs of batter on the kitchen wall (I suppose wimps could use an electric beater, but this is not a good dish for the faint-hearted).

 (9) Put the frothy batter in the flat greasy pan and add the bangers, arranging them so they look like small toads crouching in mud holes.

 (10) Put in an oven which is hot enough to burn your fingers, but not so hot that smoke pours out of the little hole at the back. Three hundred and fifty old-fashioned degrees will be fine.

 (11) Remove the toad-in-the-hole from the oven at the first of the following options:

 (a) 45 minutes, or 60 minutes, or,

 (b) the top goes brown, or you smell serious burning.

Essentially, if it is still white, it is not cooked. But if it is black it is really cooked (remove top with chisel or give whole thing to dog and start again).

Trouble shooting

(1) Batter did not rise up to make a hole for the toad to sit in: you forgot to drink a beer and watch it.

(2) It tastes real salty: you do not understand the difference between a pinch of salt and a handful of salt.

(3) No toads: you forgot to put in the bangers, or somebody stole them. (Not to be confused with cryptobangerism or hidden sausage condition caused by using tiny wee sausages instead of big fat bangers).

(4) It looks more like fish-in-a-pond than toad-in-a-hole: you forgot to turn the oven on. This problem is less serious than the others. Place your hand cautiously inside the oven, if it feels cold this confirms the diagnosis. With one hand still in the oven, use the other hand to turn the oven on. After a while the first hand should get hot, then you should take it out. If the first hand does not get hot, there is something wrong with your oven. Try jiggling the switch, checking that you paid your last hydro bill, etc.

(5) There are lots of little brown things sitting in the hole with the toad: you put the beans on too early. In polite society, the beans are not normally added until the toad-in-the-hole is out-on-the-plate.

(6) Muffled thud in the oven, followed by movement of one or more toads in their holes. Congratulations! You must have purchased good old-fashioned bangers with natural casings. If the toads jump right out of the dish, maybe you should try forking them before you start next time. If you are making toad-in-the-hole at Boy Scout or Girl Guide Camp it is important NOT to fork your bangers directly on top of your groundsheet. I did this when I was in cubs, and later in the night water came up through the fork holes and my sleeping bag got wet.