I had a really wonderful friend in a woman I met through one of my ex-boyfriends... She was a kindred spirit to me and even when him and I were moving away from each other in our relationship, she continued to stick by me as a supportive friend. I grew to love her like she was my big sister, and she did so much to enrich my life. Sara not only gave me comfort during hard times, but she did it while suffering through her own demons.
Sara took her own life in November... It's now August in the next year, and I am just now able to type a post like this, and even now, I feel my eyes fill with tears in remembrance of my dear friend. I want to honor her with this blog post because she always encouraged me to play with food. It was one of the things we connected over, cooking and working with recipes.
She absolutely loved medieval things. She was a member of SCA and attended an annual event called Pennsic, which is a giant, Ren Faire, in essence. She wanted me to help her with food for a party she was throwing for her SCA friends, which included my boyfriend(at the time), and a handful of people I hadn't met yet. She wanted help with stew and asked me to come up with a medieval food to make that people could nibble upon... I chose Scottish Oat Cakes, and she was right there with me as I embarked on making this cool, historical food I had never tried before.
I made a sweet version that resembled drop biscuits, so I am not sure whether they were accurate or not, but they did turn out delicious and seemed to go over okay (as far as I remember). I decided that I would try this again, only I would try to be closer to the traditional recipe.
It is said that Scottish Oat cakes have been around since at least 43 AD, and they are a flatbread made with oat, oat flour, fat, water, salt, and leavener. They are like dense crackers or biscuits and are quite filling and can be served sweet or savory. ( Click Here for Oat Cake Wiki ) ( New York Times Article: FARE OF THE COUNTRY ) For more information on the history of the oat cake, I suggest the NYT article, but the Wiki is the closest I could find to an encyclopedia entry *cringe* and I do not claim any accuracy to said Wiki.
I ended up having to adapt my recipe from two other recipes, I will do my best to give you original ingredients along with my substitutions.
If you are going to bake them....
Preheat your oven to 375F/190C...
In your large mixing bowl...
Add all of your dry ingredients and mix them.
Drizzle in your rendered fat (I used butter, but the best substitute is bacon grease)...
Mix well until it forms a thick paste...
Add a little bit of water at a time until mixture becomes a ball...
Turn out onto your work surface and toss dry oats onto board and onto dough...
Knead dough, adding oats as needed until your dough is no longer sticky.
Split dough in half, roll each half (at a time) to about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into rounds (or you can cut into squares if you like)...
Bake for 45 minutes or until brown, or pan fry in a small amount of fat for 3 minutes each side on medium to medium high heat.
One of my favorite pictures of Sara... This was from before I met her, and I borrowed it from her timeline. I do not claim credit.
I made these today instead of waiting around to do it because I found myself thinking of Briney (Sara) and the time I spent in her company. They tasted pretty close to what I had made, but without sugar, and it kind of brought me back to the day we bonded over oatcakes and venison stew. I miss her so very much and I hope that she is at peace now... I know that she didn't have it easy in life, but she was and will always be in my heart as an inspiration.
Thank you for being my friend, Sara.
The Eccentric Foodie
Cooking bacon in the oven is the easiest way.
These are various recipes that either I created, or I found and adjusted to what I thought would be awesome or even healthier.