Buttery Scottish oat biscuits
I’ve had the most horrible hankering for a vacation lately. It seems that I’ve been bombarded by other’s plans of Mediterranean cruises, Italian villas, diving trips, or quitting work entirely to fulfill that life long dream for a gap year. I’m so green with envy you should call me Kermit. Anyway, thanks to the Time Hop on Facebook I’ve also been reminded of vacations past and paging through my mental book of memories, I figured it was a time to really hop down memory lane and do my best to recreate from home the summer of 2005.
Eleven years ago, I set off for my first adult European adventure under the guise of summer school, and Tomato, Andouille, Yam and I backpacked our way across Europe, from London to Vienna with all the stops in between. These were the days when Facebook was still in its infancy, AirBnB wasn’t a seed in anyone’s imagination, and data on cell phones…what was data?
Looking back, it made our trip more complicated in some ways; plans and confirmation numbers printed and street directions written down by landmarks, but easier in others, and it really made us focus on just being there, without email to check or pictures to upload. Hostels were our accommodation of choice, mostly good but with a few earning less than stellar stars. It was a simpler time for sure, and for me, still rates as one of the best. Inside jokes still hold, and stories still elicit smiles, all these years and lives lived since.
So for the next month, I’ll be taking you through that summer by way of food, recreating some of the dishes we ate along the way, and coming up with some of those that perhaps we should have eaten. Oh, and throwback pictures in all, much to the chagrin but hopeful amusement of my three fabulous friends.
Before I met up with the Ethnic Rangers* I took a few weeks to visit Treacle up in Glasgow, where she was completing her schooling in medieval studies. While she did actual things, I hopped around the city. It was such a different sort of life from which I had been accustomed, and one of my favorite memories was just being with her in this tiny coffee shop that, to this day, still served the best lattes (semi-skim, if you please). There was an amusing incident with a man, a kilt and a bay window seat, and the rest I’ll leave to your imagination. Ladies and gentlemen, please cross your legs.
More than once we picnicked in the park, and store bought oatcakes were always a part of that basket. As such, I’m making them here today, serving them with jam and the best latte I could fashion at home.
These oatcakes are much more buttery than their store-bought counterparts, but doesn’t that make them just that much better?
I made this with spelt flour because it worked so well in the hob nobs when I’ve used it there and these are quite similar. Don’t have spelt? All-purpose will do a-ok!
- 1 1/2 cups quick cooking rolled oats
- 2/3 cup quick cooking steel cut oats
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 1 TB granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 TB water
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Let stand 10 minutes until the mixture has firmed and absorbed the liquid. If it's too crumbly add more water.
- Onto a well-floured cutting board, dump the dough, form into a ball and roll out to about 1/4" thick. Cute into rounds with a cookie or biscuit cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 30-35 minutes until slightly golden around the edges. Cool on a baking sheet, and serve with your favorite jam.
*We dubbed ourselves the ethnic rangers (or the United Colors of Benneton) because our quartet was me (mixed), Andouille (Latino), Tomato (Japanese) and Yam (African-American). We were so easily spotted as Americans just by our makeup and we thought it was hilarious.
Written after a hard days’ night.