Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Oatcakes from Chatsworth
This weekend just gone, Inexcuseable and a couple of her friends went to Derbyshire to visit Chatsworth House, and she brought back... Oatcakes!
These oatcakes are not the horrid, dry, biscuity affairs that originated in Scotland. No. These are Derbyshire oatcakes: a pancake-like form that must be fried, ideally in lard, but I suppose some sort of vegetable oil will do if one can't stomach rendered animal fat...
Actually, cooking oatcakes is the only time I will use lard, and that's because 30-40 years ago when I was extremely young, oatcakes fried in lard were a staple part of breakfast when we stayed with The Grandparents (The Mother's parents) in their home in Pilsley village (part of the Chatsworth estate).
Inexcuseable, Indescribable and/or I would be sent up the road to the farm shop to fetch a packet of oatcakes so Grandma could fry them up along with bacon, black pudding, bread, tomatoes (bleeuch) & mushrooms (gag).
Back then, the shop didn't look anything like it does now. Chatsworth wasn't the brand that it seems to be now (although I think it was on its way), and the farm shop was just a particularly well stocked village shop full of local produce. Still, times change, and I'm glad that it's so successful, but also that I can remember (just) how it used to be.
Anyway, back to the oatcakes. As I was at work Monday and Tuesday, there was no way I was going to eat (or be bothered to cook) a greasy fried breakfast at ridiculous o'clock in the morning (besides, we didn't have bacon or black pudding), so I had oatcakes for tea (the meal, not the drink) when I got home. Just oatcakes, fried in lard, sprinkled with salt, and served with a big dollop of tomato sauce. Yum!