When it comes to the most important meal of the day, everyone has a different take on making breakfast classic. Some people look for a stack of pancakes and maple syrup, while others opt for a perfect eggs benedict. The ideal breakfast meal can take a variety of different forms, but they usually involve creating a unique blend of sweet, savory, and, most importantly, filling to start your day on the right note.
Mil-Lee’s Yardley Diner features a full menu of breakfast staples that hit every food style imaginable. Among them is a creamed beef classic with origins dating back to American Navy ships in the twentieth century — the S.O.S., or, “Stuff on a Shingle.”
Where Did It Start?
In the mid-twentieth century, cuisine on Naval ships was vastly limited based on the length of their engagement at sea and what could be preserved for extended periods of time. Ships often had to have rations that could stay in date for months at a time and had to be salt-cured or frozen to last the trip. Finding ways to make these proteins more edible and tasty for the crew to eat regularly usually meant serving it with gravy to make it more palatable. To give it something to be served on that made it easily handheld, it was served with a piece of toast.
While the dish never received a proper name, soldiers from across the different military branches all had a common name for this mess hall standby — Stuff on a Shingle. The creamier version of this military classic became more widely adopted in WWII. As soldiers came home from the War, some brought this classic to their homes and diners across the country, and they became more integrated into the American breakfast scene. Once it began to spread, it quickly became a homemade food staple that persists to this day.
What Goes Into the Cream?
To make the creamy mixture that tops to chipped beef — no longer salted to within an inch of its life — typically features a combination of butter, flour, and milk to create that famous texture before it gets poured onto the beef. Modern iterations have jazzed up the ingredients list, but the spirit of this military classic remains the same.
Ever since S.O.S. jumped from mess halls to home kitchens, different recipe variations have come into existence thanks to accessing varied ingredients and culinary experimentation. You can find recipes that use chicken, tuna, sausage, and any number of other proteins to give their iteration its own identity. However, the classic version still has creamy chipped beef on toast and is served in diners across Pennsylvania.
The Mil-Lee’s Difference
Finding the right balance between the classic vision of what S.O.S. meant with modern sensibilities can prove a challenging task for diner chefs. However, Mil-Lee’s Yardley Diner has found that perfect balance with our version of S.O.S.! Featuring creamy beef with exceptionally toasted bread with hash browns, we brought this classic to the 21st century!
Visit your favorite spot for breakfast in Yardley, PA, and taste the difference today!