Oatcakes are one of the oldest of all Celtic foods. Traditionally, they were cooked over the fire on a griddle, then hung on a hardening stand to dry and harden. Oats were soaked in the water overnight and a batch was reheated again the following day. Traditionally, oat porridge was served with a pinch of salt. Porridge was a mainstay in Scotland. Various forms of oatmeal can be found in many grocery stores and whole food markets in America. The most common form is rolled oats. Scottish oatmeal or Irish oatmeal is also available. Steel cut oats, which are also called pinhead oats, require soaking and considerable preparation for use. In America the Scotch- Irish brought their love of oats with them and oatmeal eventually became a commercially produced commodity. Quaker Oats was registered as the first trademarked breakfast cereal in 1877. The company’s trademark was registered with the U.S. Patent Office as "a figure of a man in 'Quaker garb,'" selected as a symbol of good quality and honest value.
For each serving use:
1 cup water
1/3 cup Scottish or Irish oatmeal
1/8 teaspoon salt
1. Bring water to a boil, then add salt. Add oatmeal slowly to boiling water while stirring constantly. [Traditionally a special wooden stick, called a spurtle is used.]
2. Half cover pot, turn heat to low. Stir occasionally until porridge thickens at 30 minutes. Add more salt if you wish. Usually eaten with cream or milk and sugar to taste.
2 cups Scottish or Irish oatmeal
1 cup sifted flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. butter
1. Mix oatmeal with flour, baking soda and salt. Make a hole in the mixture.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons water, add butter, bring mixture to a boil and then pour into the hole in the flour mixture. Mix together quickly. Knead lightly to create a stiff dough.
3. Roll out on floured surface. Cut into 3” rounds.
4. Cook both sides on heated griddle or bake on a lightly greased tray at 350 º F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes about 15 oatcakes.