Our plan for Thanksgiving was to spend it out of town with Santa Maria's folks, but everything was thrown for a spin last Wednesday when Pinta came down with strep throat, and we couldn't get on the road in time to visit them. The doctor said that twenty-four hours of antibiotics and no fever meant that she wasn't contagious, though, so I called my sister, who was hosting a big gathering in Connecticut with my extended family, to see if she had room at her table. "Of course," she said, and that's where we went.
My sister did have one request, though. She wanted us to bring a side dish. She suggested Santa Maria's biscuits, but they don't travel well (and actually suffer in the time it takes them to get from the oven to the table), so that wasn't a good choice. Because we were planning on being out of town, our pantry was nearly empty (our refrigerator looked like one from the quintessential Manhattan apartment, with plenty of empty shelves for leftover take-out containers), but we did have oats in the cupboard. Oatmeal is a staple of our winter breakfasts, and Santa Maria also knows how to make them into delicious, if crumbly, oatcakes. They're great for breakfast, as a side for a big dinner, or as a dessert treat. Here's her recipe:
Santa Maria's Mom's Scottish Oatcakes
- 2 1/2 cups of organic rolled oats
- 1/2 cup of organic flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar or organic maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 cup melted organic butter
- 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine the dry ingredients; mixing them well.
Stir in the melted butter and then the milk (you can then crush the oats a bit with your hands, which is especially fun for the wee ones).
Press the mixture into a buttered 11 x 6" pan and bake in oven until
golden brown (about 20 to 25 minutes).
Slice into any shapes you like and serve warm with more butter and
some honey, or just plain with a glass of cold milk.
Notes: This is a great recipe to cook with kids, and it can also be made gluten-free by substituting quinoa flour in place of the wheat flour.