Saturday, 1 October 2016

In My Kitchen: October 2016

September has been a big month.  Flooding rains, Father's Day, The Melbourne Show and school holidays.  And now October has started with a bang with an nail biting AFL footy grand final that saw the Western Bulldogs win their first premiership in 62 years.  The kids will be back to school on Monday and the gardens are green.  And it is World Vegetarian Day!

We have had some good breakfasts lately.  The one above is on Father's Day.  We decided a fry-up would be the thing for E.  It was overnight sourdough bread (inexpertly cut by Sylvia when I turned my back), chickpea scramble, veggie sausages, baked beans and sriracha.  It was lovely.  Since then Sylvia has been keen on beans and sausages for weekend breakfasts rather than pancakes.

We visited my own dad on Father's day in Geelong.  I took some coconut ice along.  My mum made pizza, and lots of desserts including macarons, caramel tart and chocolate cake.  I was so full after it.  And we also had a birthday, just in case you noticed the candles on the cake and though it was an odd Father's Day custom in my family.

Sylvia asked for sausages and beans on another weekend morning.  I had a bright idea to use up some potatoes in some potato scones.  Breakfast was a lot later but oh so yummy.

Spring has meant more visits to Coburg Farmers Markets.  Here is what we bought a few weeks ago.  Kale, new season asparagus (for this salad), pesto, a beeswax candle, caramel sauce (used in these chocolates), potato and rosemary sourdough bread, a jam tart, pretzel and Cocoa Rhapsody's fantastic salted lime chocolate.  Happy days!

We love our bread but don't always have it in the house.  One day coming home for lunch I wanted a healthy sandwich.  I remembered Ricki's brilliant Toronto Sandwich which is made with a chickpea flour wrap and lots of salad fillings.  It is so quick to put together that I really should make it more often.

This Women's Weekly Easy Party Cakes book was an impulse purchase from the supermarket.  It is  for those who want fun party food but don't want to cook.  Most recipes either suggest you buy the cakes or use fruit or are no-bake.  I like that it has some fun healthy options and hope it might give me some good inspiration.  I would love to make the camper van on the cover.

In my kitchen is some home cooked jam.  Actually the strawberry chia jam has been eaten and then mixed into ice cream.  The strawberry and rhubarb jam is for the school fete.  One of the jars did not seal so I have had to give it a test run.  I am glad to report it is really lovely.

It would be lovely if our strawberry plant produces some fruit.  Little flowers are opening up and giving us hope.  I'd love to have enough strawberries for jam but I suspect Sylvia would eat them before I had the chance.

During the school holidays, Sylvia went to stay at my mum's for a couple of nights.  She and her cousins decorated cupcakes while she was there and she brought some home.  Aren't they pretty!

On a visit to the farmers market, Sylvia and I tasted Peach Chutney.  We both liked it.  I was so impressed that Sylvia had found a chutney to enjoy that I bought it.  Since then she has not eaten any of the chutney.   E and I have been enjoying it.   Perhaps the sweetness drew in Sylvia and the odd idea of eating chutney pushed her away.  Or maybe it is just that kids are a mystery.

At the Melbourne Show, I bought a Super Food Ideas magazine showbag.  It has so many good things in it, including a copy of the magazine.  Lately I have been very disciplined in not buying food magazines.  I enjoyed flicking through the magazine but haven't had much more time for thinking about making any recipes.  We really liked a Costo Rica clementine anti oxidant infusion drink by Bai and will look out for it in future.  The Lindt chocolates are great too but have been saved while Sylvia eats through the Oreos from her showbag.

I was really pleased to have a small pack of Vegemite flavoured Bagel Crisps in my showbag.  I bought them for a swimming snack for Sylvia a month or two ago and have not seen them in the shops since.  Which is a shame.  They were so delicious that we were fighting over the last ones.

Another interesting addition in my showbag was the Macabella Choc Macadamia Spread (Crunch).  It reminds me a lot of Nutella, which is not surprising as according to its ingredient list it has a lot of sugar and has whey powder.  However it is different because it has crunchy nuts in it (like crunchy peanut butter).  I really liked it on some home made fruit bread.

We were tempted by these Infuzions Veggie Straws with Sour Cream and Herb Flavour.  The straws - in spinach, tomato and beetroot flavours really are hollowed out straws, which gives them a lightness and the flavour is very moreish.  However with all the added flavours, they will probably not be a regular with us.

I bought this reusable beeswax food wrap from BeeKeep at the farmers market this morning.  I have read about them and was curious.  It will be good to use less clingfilm if they do work with bread though I rely on seeing how much the bread is risen through the clingfilm so I need to see how these work.

We finish as we started with breakfast. We had a huge brunch yesterday because it was a public holiday.  It was one of those rare days which I ate more for breakfast than tea.  Baked beans, veggie sausages, fried cherry tomatoes, spinach, carrot onion poppyseed bread and zucchini slice.  The last two recipes are coming to the blog soon.

Next month (November) will be Vegan MoFo, a month when bloggers sign up to post often and vegan.  I am on the verge of signing up.  That means I have almost convinced myself to do it but am nervous about finding the time for frequent posting.  It means that I am keeping some of my vegan posts for then.

Meanwhile we have a new host for the In My Kitchen event, that invites bloggers to share a peek into their kitchen.  Maureen, who had taken over from Celia, has decided to pass the baton over to Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.  It is great that Lizzy has agreed to keep the event running and I wish her well.  If you would like to join in, send your post to Lizzy by 10 October.  Or just head over to her blog to check out all the posts.  They are always fun.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Gremlins in the machine - an IT update

Recently all sorts of odd things have been happening to Blogger and other online software that I use.  I understand that online software develops at a rapid pace and often when I have been frustrated at the a change, I find that the developers are paddling away like a duck's legs and soon it is fixed and often (but not always) better.  However I do find it frustrating when I spend time making sure that my social media accounts look attractive only to have the look thrown up in the air by a new design.

Here are a few changes I have noticed lately:

Blog Feed
Today I found that my blog feed on my side bar had disappeared.  Fortunately my blog was backed up by the National Library's Pandora database in March this year so I can refer to the lists there.  I have started to add a few names but it may take me some time to do this.  It will slow me down in visiting other blogs.

So seems like an opportunity for a review of the blogs on my feed.  It makes me sad to see so many bloggers I love to follow become inactive.  Occasionally I am gladdened to find that they are back online.  So when bloggers on my feed become inactive, I am reluctant to delete them as I hope to hear from them again.  However it does make my feed a bit stale.  I also have the issue of trying to keep up with new blogs I discover as there are many so I add new blogs to my feed reader sporadically when I have time and energy.  This means that many others fly under the radar.  I am still unsure of how to address inactive bloggers and new bloggers on my feed but will give it some thought as I recreate the list.

Search this Blog function
In the last day or two, I have found that the Search This Blog function, which has been useful for producing a list of relevant posts on my blog, has started to produce a feed of relevant blogs.  It is so much easier to run my eye over a list than to scroll through full blog posts. 

This search function has been slightly awry for a while because instead of going to the most relevant posts, it seems to produce a list of posts in an order that makes no sense to me.  (Eg, if I search sausage rolls, it wont bring up sausage rolls recipes posts but instead the posts that happen to link to my sausage rolls recipes!)  I have used some alternative code before that is not quite so useful as it produces a list of links on a non-blog page but I may need to revert to this.

Planet VegMel
My blog has been listed on planet.vegmel.com ever since early on in my blogging days (2007 or 2008?) and it has been a great way to link up with other vegan-friendly bloggers in Melbourne.  I was sad to see my blog had disappeared from the Planet VegMel aggregator feed recently and was told by the manager that my blog had been crashing Planet VegMel.  I really don't want to crash the site but do love being part of it.  I was relieved when they tried again and couple of weeks later my blog was behaving again.  Don't know what happened there!


Pinterest
When I joined Pinterest, it took me a while to get the boards looking nice on my own home page.  For a while I could set the right picture as the "face" of each board.  Then they changed it so I couldn't work out how to set the photo.  But a while back I noticed that they had changed the shape of the pictures and now all the nice square photos I chose look really silly because they are now a widescreen landscape shape.

Facebook
I had spent a while finding a decent header photo for my Facebook page and setting it up.  Recently, Facebook, has changed the look of the headers.  It is more like a website than a page.  It is unsettling rather than looking really horrid but it meant trying to find some of the features I regularly use.  And I wonder where this is going?

A Few Positive Final Notes
  • And I have a few more positive IT updates.  
  • At work we have been using Slack for team communications.  While not perfect, it has been quite helpful.   
  • I have had my 100th photo accepted on FoodGawker.  It felt like an achievement after all the photos I have had rejected.  FoodGawker is still a mystery.
  • I have moved up to a Level 8 Super Foodie on Zomato.  Another little victory!

I am now off to get my blog feed list back up and running.  Meanwhile any feedback or advice on these issues is welcome.  I guess it is a timely reminder the back up my blog too!

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Tempeh Cheatballs in a Tomato Stew and random moments

This dish was born out of necessity.  I actually intended to try a zucchini slice with silken tofu.  I went to the supermarket for the ingredients but found the tub of silken tofu I remembered was actually the firm tofu I had already used for a batch of tofu bacon.  So I was left with tempeh and a need to rethink dinner.  (Yep.  No silken tofu counts as First World problems!)  Sylvia's friend had been at our place.  When her parents picked her up they invited Sylvia for pizza and a movie, freeing me up to focus on our dinner.

I took my inspiration from Tinned Tomatoes Vegan Sticky Red Onion and Sausage Bake with Gravy and from Milk and Honey Teriyaki Tofu Balls.  My final Tempeh Cheatballs in Tomato Stew bore little resemblance to either recipe.  I came across using Cheatballs instead of meatballs recently and it quite amused me.  I wasn't sure if I say tomato sauce or tomato stew but I felt with the addition of a few vegies, it looked more stew than sauce.

I really enjoyed this dish but could make improvements.  I think next time I might use a 700ml jar of tomato passata rather than a 400g tin of diced tomatoes for more sauce.  I don't think this is one of my favourite tempeh dishes.  I suspect I might like it better with tofu but would like experiment a bit more with doing these with tempeh.  I did love that it was pretty much a meal in a roasting dish.

We had it over a couple of night served over brown rice.  It was good in an earnestly healthy sort of way.  I also was scratching around for ideas for lunch and loved having it in a toasted sandwich with melted cheese and fresh spinach.  This was more fun.  So good that I would make this dish again just to stuff in a sandwich.  And I think vegan cheese like biocheese would work well here.  I would also like to try serving it over pasta.  They would also be excellent with tofu bacon.  I meant to try it but forgot.

And let me tell of some random moments that made me smile recently:
  • I had a dream recently of being served dinner in a restaurant.  I saw a movement on the serving plate.  With horror I realised it was crawling with witchety grubs (Aussie bush tucker).  I needed to tell them I was vegetarian.  The I realised I was at vegan restaurant Smith and Daughters.  I spent some time in my dream and when I awoke puzzling over how they could make vegan food move when they served it.
  • Sylvia is really into the Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries by Robin Stevens, which I am reading to her.  We have been enjoying reading them over the school holidays.  She wakes me up first thing in the morning asking me to read to her.  We are currently reading one called Arsenic for Tea.  When E was bringing it home from the library, she said to me "I hope dad brings Arsenic home".  Perhaps this is why in the USA, it has been renamed Poison is Not Polite.
  • We sauntered along to Coburg Carnivale on the weekend.  It had less of a community feel than previous Carnivales.  The highlight was the Little Wooden Caravan.  We were kindly squeezed in though it was almost booked up.  There were a series of puzzles, each leading us to a key to open a locked box with another clue.  It was great fun and I enjoyed that it included some of the photos of historic Coburg.

I hope to return to this dish and tweak it in future but Spring brings dwindling opportunities for oven bakes so for now I share what I did.  I am sending these cheatballs to Kimmy and Mary Ellen for Healthy Vegan Fridays, Jac for Meat Free Mondays and Cindy for Gluten Free Fridays.

More tempeh recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Chesapeake tempeh cakes (v)
Pumpkin and kale soup with tempeh crumbles (gf, v)
Tamarind Tempeh with Noodles (v)
Tempeh and corn soup (gf, v)
Tempeh and pumpkin lasagne (v)
Watercourse Foods tempeh burger (gf,v)

Tempeh Cheatballs in a Tomato Stew
An original Green Gourmet Giraffe recipe
Serves about 6

Tomato Stew:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely sliced
400g tin diced tomatoes
1 carrot, sliced into batons
1 red capsicum, sliced into batons
1/4 cup tofu bacon marinade
good pinch of salt and pepper

Tempeh Cheatballs:
300g tempeh
3 tbsp besan
2 tbsp tofu bacon marinade
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves, chopped
200g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, finely chopped and fried
oil spray

Start on the Tomato Stew: Heat oil in a heavy based frypan and fry onions for about 20 to 30 minutes until soft but not melting.  I had my onions fried for the Cheatballs but if I hadn't I would fry an extra onion with the sliced onion and when they were done I would chop up a third of the fried onions for the Cheatballs.

While onions fry, squeeze moisture out of tempeh and crumble into mixing bowl.  Mix in besan, marinade, nutritional yeast flakes and spinach.  Blend chickpeas and fried onion and mix into the tempeh mixture.  Set aside while completing the Tomato Stew.

Meanwhile, microwave carrot batons in a covered dish with a little water for 30 minutes.  When onions are done (set aside some for the Cheatballs if required), tip in diced tomatoes, precooked carrots, capsicum, tofu marinade and seasoning to taste.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.

Pour tomato stew into a large roasting tin.  Shape heaped tablespoons cheatballs mixture into balls and dot in the tomato stew.  Spray the tops of cheatballs with oil spray.  Bake for 30-60 minutes until cheatballs brown.  (I served mine after 40 minutes and liked them but I liked them more the second night when they were baked again for 30 minutes.  If I had a grill or broiler in my oven I might grill them for 5 minutes at the end.)

On the Stereo:
50 the Golden Jubilee Album: The Seekers

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Royal Melbourne Show 2016

Sylvia was keen to visit the Royal Melbourne Agricultural Show (aka The Show) during the school holidays.  I took her along last week.  We went on rides, sampled food, admired cake decorating and came home with a handful of show bags.  Lots of fun but so expensive and so tiring.  Here are some photos.

Our first stop was the Ferris Wheel.  At $9 each, it was the most expensive ride we saw.  But who can resist riding up high for a bird's eye view of the showgrounds.

Here is one of the views from the top of ferris wheel.  The giant pie on the red frame is one of the icons of the showgrounds and we saw it appear on a few decorated cakes.  It is also the easily visible place for lost children.

I am sorry to say that Sylvia takes after me with height (or lack of).  She wasn't quite tall enough for the adult dodgems so I had to drive.  Maybe that was just as well.

Then we were hungry and headed off to the Woolworth's fresh food pavillion.  I really like this area which had lots of food tasting and a long row of street food stalls.  Sylvia had the cheese toastie and a macaron.  I decided to get a vegetarian hotdog from the hotdog stall but was not overly enthused about it.  I then got a corn on the cob which was great and later returned for a chocolate covered strawberry.  Sylvia got a mango ice cream from Fritz Gelato later. 

I enjoyed tasting the 5am yoghurt with museli, Spotted Dog fudge, Vegie Chips and spice mixes.  We purchased the Vegie Chips showbag (7 bags of chips for $7) and the Super Food Ideas showbag which was really heavy but excellent value for $10. (I am quite sure it would have bee the $86 value they claimed.)  The Vegie Chips were good snacks while wandering around.

Sylvia was keen to do the trampolines with elastic harnesses but the queue was moving too slowly.  Instead she went on the The Swing (as my niece and nephew assure me this ride is called).  My brother took his kids to the Show the day before me and said it was quiet but it was busy when we went.  We queued for the animal nursery and the showbag pavillion.

Sylvia did not enjoy the animal nursery at all.  (She really needs to rethink her idea that she will be a zookeeper when she grows up.)  So we went on the cup and saucer ride afterwards to cheer her up.

I loved the crochet covered animals.  (No they are not real, nor is the crocheted cow pat!)

We checked out some of the kids artwork.  Some of them have so much talent.

Then it was off to join the throng admiring the decorated cakes. We love the Studio Ghibli movies and so this cake was lots of fun.  We spotted characters from Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbour Totoro.

This little mouse cake was my favourite.  I loved the attention to detail but I think the powerpoint switch should be off if nothing is plugged in.  (Yes I can be a pedant!)

And who doesn't love a Wizard of Oz cake!

This gorgeous cake with the vegie garden on top is from the school children's cakes.  If they can do this now, what will they be doing in years to come! 

Sylvia stopped at the kid's craft tables where they decorated a little mushroom.  She was a bit tired by then and so I indulged her sitting and drawing windows and doors for a while before joining the other parents who were trying to convince their kids to move along.

The decorated cakes are the big draw but I also love seeing all the preserves and baking.  Luckily Sylvia loves it too.  We admired rainbow cakes, caramel slice, scones, shortbread, tomato sauce, marmalade, fete goodies, chocolates and breads.  I really loved these biscuits decorated with Aboriginal motifs.  I would have spent more time looking at the craft but Sylvia was tired.

Then we queued for the showbag pavillion.  It was a huge queue that walked up and down the rows.  I joked that it was a public health service to make people burn up the calories they would consume with all the sweet food in the showbags.  The pavillion is really overwhelming and was so busy.  I get amazed at people wandering around the show with lots of showbags but we managed to buy 5 including the two we bought at the fresh food pavillion.  Sylvia chose the Oreo showbag and the Best Friends Forever showbag.  We also bought the Turkish Delight showbag for E.

We were so tired by the time we got on the train that when we met friends coming off our train I am not sure I made much sense.  I was in bed early that night.  The next morning I took photos of some of the food from our showbags.  My mum has the fisherman's friends cough lollies packs and the dishwasher sample cleaner.  E is taking the prepackaged spag bol and coffee samplers.  Sylvia and I both want the vegemite bagel chips and chocolate macadamia spread.  We will all enjoy the apple liquorice and Lindt Chocolate and I am curious to try the kewpie mayonnaise samples.

You can also see my previous post on the Royal Melbourne Show visit in 2013

The Royal Melbourne Show
Melbourne Showgrounds, Flemington
http://www.royalshow.com.au/
17-27 September 2016

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant, Northcote

Today I dropped off Sylvia at my mum's after a swim and a very ordinary lunch at the pool.  E and I had a show and dinner planned for tonight.  We saw the brilliant and hilarious Sammy J in Hero Complex.   I have long been a fan of his humour and music but seeing his clippings from his childhood convinces me he must be a hoarder (or historian) which is yet another reason to love him.

In the show, Sammy J told an amazing story of his school gardener and love of Phantom comics, with great coincidences.  So I am happy to tell you about our own little coincidence in choosing a restaurant tonight.

After the show E had suggested we eat at a nearby Vietnamese  restaurant.  It was really full and noisy.  So we wandered along and saw there were seats in the Ethiopian restaurant.  Yet E had to check out the Mexican restaurant, which was closed.  Which presented us with the excellent option of Mesob Ethiopian restaurant.  E started with an Ethiopian beer called St George's beer, which he really enjoyed. I had a Bundaberg ginger beer.

To eat, we ordered the Herbivore Combination Platter which had a taste of each vegetarian dishes, injera bread and salad.  At $23 per person for a minimum of two people, it is great value.  It looked really beautiful and was a great introduction to Ethiopian food for us.  I was surprised at the injera being more sour than I expected.  I had feared that I would find Ethiopian too spicy but it was just a pleasant heat in my mouth by the end of the meal.


The dishes were mostly vegan.  Served on a big round of injera, they were (starting in the middle and then left to right on the bottom):
  • Shiro (in the middle): a creamy sauce of roasted chickpea flour and barbere sauce with kibbeh and spices.  I can see why the menu says this is Ehtiopian comfort food.  I could have eaten a lot more of this, if only I wasn't full as a state school from all the other dishes.
  • Gomen: collard green simmered in a vegetable brother with onions, garlic and ginger.  Nice but not my favourite.
  • Kik Alicha: split yellow lentils with traditional turmeric blend.  Really lovely.
  • Duba Wot: pumpkin cooked with caramelised red onion and barbere.  This is like a fancy mash and I loved it.
  • Yatakilt Alicha: potato, carrot and cabbage sauted with onions and garlic.  I really liked this though my mind kept playing tricks and telling me it was pineapple.
  • Kayser: beetroot and potato flavoured with ginger and garlic and a hint of olive oi.  I liked this but it was mostly beetroot and a bit more potato would have balanced it up nicely.
  • Miser Wot: red lentils cooked with barbere, garlic and ginger.  Another winning dish.

As novices at Ethiopian food, we were not game to eat with our hands.  When our waiter suggested that we eat with our hands, I was taken back to being offered food by our hosts after climbing a cliff in Turkey and being greeted with no cutlery and the suspicion that they were laughing at the ignorant foreigners.  At Mesob, our waiter was very gracious and talked to us about how to scoop up the dishes with the injera.  I think I need to have a large drop sheet under me to eat this way, like in that long ago hostel in Turkey.

I really loved the restaurant.  The staff were welcoming and friendly.  The space was warm with its wooden tables, woven light fittings and bright artwork on the walls.  By the end of our meal we were very full and satisfied.  Sadly, we could not fit in the injera with nutella and strawberries that tempted us on the specials board. Maybe on another visit.  I would love to return if the fates are kind enough to deliver us back to Northcote High Street on another evening!

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant
213 High Street, Northcote
(03) 9489 6952
Open: Tues - Sun:  5.30-10pm

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant And Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Staffordshire oatcakes

Quite some years ago, I bookmarked a recipe made by Jac of Tinned Tomatoes for yeasted pancakes (or flatbreads) called Staffordshire Oatcakes.  Today, while Sylvia and I were kicking around the house on school holidays, I finally made a batch for afternoon tea.  They were so filling that even Sylvia who usually has a raging appetite at tea time, was content with some chickpeas, tomatoes and cucumber for tea.

These oatcakes hail from Staffordshire in the West Midlands of England where they were very popular among the workers in the potteries.  It became common for these oatcakes to be sold from the windows of residential houses but according to Wikipedia, the last of these closed in 2012, though you can still buy them from commercial businesses.

I would have made them for lunch but these yeasted pancake that take time.  (I find it ironic that they are called "fast food" for the potteries.)  At first I had to read a few recipes to get my head around what to do, but once I had fried a few, I found they were very intuitive. 

I am not sure I got the batter thin enough.  I had to do a bit of spreading the batter around the pan, which was a challenge.  Perhaps a thinner batter would be easier.  After making these, I came across this lovely article about a similar yeasted pancake called a Derbyshire Oatcake that used more liquid (hence my notes in the recipe).  What I liked about this recipe was that the blogger left the batter overnight in the fridge so they would be easy to fry in the morning for breakfast.

Apparently it is traditional to eat them with a savoury topping.  Cheese, sausages or a fry up.  I did try half one with jam because I had made jam for the school fete and one jar was there for immediately use because it did not seal.  I also had some with a classic Aussie combination of cheese and vegemite. 

And at dinner, when like Sylvia I was not very hungry, I had a half oatcake with some dal.  I didn't need much this evening after our hearty afternoon tea.  (Just as well the ice cream we made was still firming up!)  Tomorrow Sylvia is going to a gymnastics holiday program and is keen to have an oatcake for her lunch.  I am a bit unsure about how well it will keep overnight.  I hope they keep well because they are just the sort of nutritious and filling food to eat during a day of activity.

I am sending these oatcakes to Tea Time Treats which is hosted by Lavender and Lovage, Travels for Taste and Jo’s Kitchen and this month is seeking Savoury Foods.

More stovetop breads on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Avocado soy rotis (v) 
Blinis with sour cream and beetroot chutney
Brown butter picklets
Chickpea and quinoa flatbread (gf, v)
Spelt sourdough flatbreads (v) 
Tortillas - wheaten (v)

Staffordshire Oatcakes
Adapted from Tinned Tomatoes and food.com
Makes about 10 oatcakes

375-500ml milk*
375-500ml water*
10g dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
225g fine oatmeal
225g wholewheat flour
1 tsp salt
butter or oil, to grease frypan

Heat milk and water to lukewarm in a large mixing bowl.  (I did this in microwave but you could do it on the stovetop in a saucepan.)  Stir in yeast and sugar.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes until yeast starts to froth up.  Measure out oatmeal, flour and salt.  Add to the frothy milk and yeast mixture and stir well.  The batter mixture is creamy to stir but drops off the spoon in lumps.

Cover with a cloth and set aside in a warm dry play for an hour.  At the end of the house it should have risen a bit and have a spongy texture.  While you are heating a frypan over medium heat, give the batter a stir.

Lightly grease preheated frypan with butter or oil.  Drop about a cup of batter into the frypan and spread into a large circle of 20-25 cm diameter with the back of a spoon.  I found that the batter followed the spoon and it was easier to spread if it had a few seconds to firm up on the pan side before spreading the rest of the batter about.  Don't worry if there are lots of humps and valleys in the batter as it seems to even out once cooked. 

Fry for about 3-5 minutes until mixture has dried and when you flip it over the oatcake is a light golden brown.  Fry on the other side for about 2-3 minutes and then flip onto a plate.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Spread warm oatcakes with filling such as cheese, spreads or jam and roll up if desired.

NOTES: I blitzed my rolled oats to flour in my high speed blender.  I used 375ml each of milk and water but I think I would try more liquid next time, hence the suggestion of 500ml.  I used soy milk and margarine so my oatcakes were vegan.

On the Stereo:
You got me singing: Jack and Amanda Palmer