I am a bit late in writing this blog.  Life has been complicated recently by Auntie Aileen in Edinburgh, and Suzy and I have spent a lot of time worrying how it will pan out, and doing whatever is necessary.  It now appears that events are overtaking Suzy and me, and that Auntie Aileen will be moving permanently into a home, undoubtably a home that neither Suzy nor I will have had the chance to look over first.  When you weigh this against the situation Auntie Aileen finds herself in – extremely lonely and unable to leave her flat – it is obvious which is more important.  So as Suzy and I comfort ourselves with the fact that we will find another home if it doesn’t work out, please forgive my tardiness.

I always looked forward to Shrove Tuesday as a child.  Not for the eating of the pancakes per se but for the annual attempts by various people to toss the pancakes.  There were always tremendous cheers as someone succeeded or groans at failures.  Despite this fun, I have never been a huge fan of the traditional English pancake with lemon juice and sugar, and so it was wonderful when I realised that you could put other things on them, like bacon, and cheese, and more bacon if necessary.

I wanted to make pancakes on Tuesday but I didn’t want the traditional wheat flour ones.  For some reason I wanted oatmeal pancakes.  Maybe it was because I had so enjoyed making and eating the oatcakes?  I don’t know but nothing else would do.  As before, I opened The Scots Kitchen by F Marian McNeill where I was disconcerted to find a recipe which began ‘Boil a chopin of milk and blend it in a mutchkin of the flour of the oatmeal thus …’  Even notes which explained that a chopin equals a quart and a mutchkin a pint didn’t inspire me with confidence, and that was before I realised that this would make far more pancakes than I could eat on my own.  So I did some calculations and this is the recipe I made – not quite as F Marian McNeill describes but oh my they tasted good.

Oatmeal Pancakes – Ingredients

Makes 4

  • 180 g rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • nutmeg
  • grated rind of half a lemon


Heat the milk, and add to the oatmeal a little at a time until it is thick.  Add the salt.  Set aside.  Beat the egg with a pinch of nutmeg and the lemon rind.

When the oat mix is cool, add the bicarb.  Stir well.  Add the egg mixture.  Leave to stand for at least two hours.

Lightly butter a flat griddle pan, and ladle four equal amounts onto it.  Cook over a medium heat.


Just before I turned them

I ate them with a bit of unsalted butter – I had wanted honey but we didn’t have any, and I wanted something more British than maple syrup.  F Marian McNeill suggests beating together butter, sugar and orange for the top which sounds scrummy.


Just before I transferred the pancakes to the plate.