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Steve Maskery

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As you may know, I like being in the kitchen as much as I like being in the workshop. I also grew up in Stoke, but, fortunately, managed to escape at 18, though after a brief dalliance with Middle Classness, I have ended up in Kirkby-in-Ashfield, so Frying Pan and Fire spring to mind.

There is a local North Staffordshire staple called Oatcakes. They are not a cake, but a cross between a pancake (as they are cooked flat), a crumpet (as they are leavened), and porridge, (as they are made with oats as well as flour).

This is the way I make them.

I make them in a cast iron pan. It's an excellent pan, but it does have steep sides, which makes flipping them over a bit of a challenge.

Last weekend I went over to Rowsley to buy some flour. They had some nice, but plain, flat cast iron griddles for sale, ideal for oatcakes or crêpes or anything of that kind. But at £35, a bit pricey. How badly did I want it? Let me think about it.

Then I remembered that, after posting my Instructables post, someone sent me a link to a Stokie Griddle. I lost the email. But I thought I'd look it up.

I found an article in the local paper, The Sentinel, about this griddle. They said it was £25. Very good, for something that is small batch produced. There was an email address, so I wrote.

Ah, said the designer. The Sentinel got it wrong. £25 is the difference between the basic one (£75) and a personalised one (£100). Ah. That's me out, then. I mentioned that I was a Creator myself and I understood the economics of small batch production c.f. mass production. Maybe come birthday time. I sent her a link to my Wardrobe build.

There is another way of looking at this, suggests the Designer. She has a router, but is not comfortable using it. Could I give her some guidance in exchange for a griddle? GAME ON!

So next week she is coming up for the day, I shall give her a primer and some excellent soup, and I shall get a high-quality griddle in exchange.

This is how life should be lived.
 

MikeG.

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Excellent, Steve. It seems I do a lot of the sort of bartering where I work for a few hours or days or even weeks in return for tea and cakes. I'm not sure I've quite got the hang of it yet.
 

AndyT

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Whenever we're in the right bit of Staffordshire we buy and enjoy some oatcakes. I'm always surprised that something so tasty and versatile still hasn't been taken up and given national distribution. It's extra strange when you think about how readily people have accepted wraps, tortillas, chapattis etc.
 

Steve Maskery

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Indeed, Andy, indeed. I've even used them in place of a pasta sheet to make a Stokie Lasagna, before now.
OK, I admit I prefer the pasta, but even so, they are very wonderful.
 

Myfordman

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As some of you know I have a bit of experience with induction motors. Jobs rarely need much in the way of materials to be purchase but can take a bit of time but I find then interesting and help keep my grey matter in some sort of working order. Folk often ask how much they owe me when they see their motor/machine burst back into life. I classify the jobs as being 1 bottle, 2 bottle or even 3 bottle ( a bottle being a half decent red wine).
Several years back I had an email from someone in Germany with a pretty obscure motor switching/interlock problem. After many emails back and forth, photographs and scans of manufacturers diagrams supported by google translate we got it all working. It was a great feeling of achievement and I learned lots from it. I did not seek any bottles but a week or so later a mixed case of a dozen reds arrived. A wonderful surprise and a good supply of what we now refer to as "Motor Wine" for the table.
These things make the world go round!
 

Phil Pascoe

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I did a favour for a friend. He had to remove an old garden path and put a new doorstep in before his mason came to do other work and lay the new path. I had free time and a trailer, so I worked with him for the day to remove the spoil. I also gave him a nice granite slab I had that I had no use for for his new step.
He did buy me a double brandy for my efforts, though, as befitted a multi millionaire.
 

Steve Maskery

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I know the feeling, Phil.
I once helped a mate to fit a kitchen; a weekend, a week of evenings, and the following weekend. We got it done. My reward was a quarter pound of Thornton's toffee. Really.
S
 

doctor Bob

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I have just built my neighbours bathroom furniture, in return he is fixing a wall for me and laying a shed base.
 

Rorschach

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I always seem to get the short end of the deal when it comes to helping out people or trading it seems.

I do like oatcakes though rolled up with melted cheese and sweet chilli sauce. Don't get them very often unfortunately.
 

Just4Fun

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When we moved into our current house the son of the aged previous owner spent some time with us explaining how the antique heating system, well pump etc worked. As a thank you I gave him a bottle of Islay malt. By way of conversation I tried to explain that my father's side of the family comes from Islay but something got lost in the translation. Next thing, everyone in the village knew (and was 100% convinced of it) that I owned a distillery. That was 15 years ago but I still occasionally encounter people who believe that.
 

kevinlightfoot

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Had bacon and oatcakes for my tea last night,lovely,each time I go to Stoke I bring back a couple of dozen.Stokie born and bred then moved to Mansfield three years ago,what a mistake!
 

sunnybob

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John Brown":2two16ag said:
I'd happily swap a roll of toilet paper for enough barn find Elm to make a 10 ft kitchen table...
You wouldnt have done that in 1973 :shock: :roll: :roll:
 

Mark Hancock

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I grew up on Staffordshire Oakcakes as my family are from that area. At one time Sainsburys use to stock them and I would fill the freezer whenever I could get them. Sadly haven't seen any around for years. Love them with melted cheese and marmite. :D
 

Geoff_S

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I love oatcakes, dripping with cheddar cheese with crispy bacon to add texture :D

But living down south, I can't get them, so how difficult are they to make?

Bloody difficult! I just ended up with a heap of oily floury, oatey mess.

No matter, I found an online shop. :D

As for the bartering, I used to do jobs for friends and in return they gave me mates' rates. That didn't last long.
 

Mark Hancock

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Geoff_S":28l5amde said:
I love oatcakes, dripping with cheddar cheese with crispy bacon to add texture :D

But living down south, I can't get them, so how difficult are they to make?

Bloody difficult! I just ended up with a heap of oily floury, oatey mess.

No matter, I found an online shop. :D
Care to share the link to the online shop :)
 

Trainee neophyte

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Face masks look like they may be a good trade item. Hand wash also.

I tend not to swap stuff, but I always offer neighbours help with any labour. This has stood us in excellent stead over the years, and not only do my neighbours all think I am a soft-touch when it comes to helping out, but I have learned a vast amount about how to do all the things I need to do, from picking olives and pruning olive trees to how to make a garden in drought conditions. None of these skills could have been learned in the UK.

I am also being given a lot of large bits of wood at the moment - it is actually becoming a problem. There are the four walnut trees (which I have to cut down as part of the deal), but also many large (extremely large in olive terms) olive logs. I may have bitten off more than I can chew. All of this through helping out, which when we first moved to a foreign country seemed the most sensible way of getting in to the community. Speculate to accumulate, as it were. To be fair, we only did it at the time because we are nice people, but 20 years on the payback is impressive.
 

Steve Maskery

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Geoff_S":324cmhmy said:
I... so how difficult are they to make?

Bloody difficult! I just ended up with a heap of oily floury, oatey mess.
Why were they oily? There is no oil in the recipe, and the pan should just be lubricated and wiped out. It's really no more difficult than making pancakes. I wonder what you were doing wrong?
 

Geoff_S

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Steve Maskery":18e97kjm said:
Geoff_S":18e97kjm said:
I... so how difficult are they to make?

Bloody difficult! I just ended up with a heap of oily floury, oatey mess.
Why were they oily? There is no oil in the recipe, and the pan should just be lubricated and wiped out. It's really no more difficult than making pancakes. I wonder what you were doing wrong?
Well I’ve just checked the recipe again and I did it exactly as per the recipe and used ................... oh dear.

The abbreviation “tsp” doesn’t mean tablespoon, does it? :roll:
 

Geoff_S

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Mark Hancock":2rr5nh9o said:
Geoff_S":2rr5nh9o said:
I love oatcakes, dripping with cheddar cheese with crispy bacon to add texture :D

But living down south, I can't get them, so how difficult are they to make?

Bloody difficult! I just ended up with a heap of oily floury, oatey mess.

No matter, I found an online shop. :D
Care to share the link to the online shop :)
Here you go:

https://staffordshireoatcakes.com/index.php
 
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