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1.25.2013

A small revolution

You good, good people. Before I say another word, I want to thank you for your many comments, your e-mails, and the incredibly kind card - a real, three-dimensional paper card - that one of you sent to me at Delancey. Your kindness blew me away. I thought for a long time before deciding to write that last post, and I want to thank you for making me feel not only safe in deciding to do it, but very, very glad. I remember my doctor saying to me, one day in mid-December, that I would not only recover, but that someday soon, I might even have a hard time remembering exactly what postpartum depression felt like. Though he’s been my doctor for years, and though he knows us very well - he’s Brandon’s doctor, too, and June’s doctor, and he delivered June - in the privacy of my mind, I thought, Riiiiiiiiiiiight. Suuuuuuuure. Well! Turns out, being wrong is my new favorite thing.

In other news, June is a champion. She’s my new favorite person. She sleeps with her arms straight up by her ears, like she’s cheering very, very quietly about something, or like a gymnast who’s just stuck her landing. She thrashes around like a rodeo bronc when in the nude, and if you sing "Katy Too," by Johnny Cash, with the words "Baby June" subbed in for "Katy too," she will grin and stick her tongue out. This is because she has just discovered that she has a tongue. Every day is a small revolution.

I’ve been cooking more regularly, which is a great development, except that I haven’t been cooking particularly well. I have long had a special talent for making bland soups, and I guess it should be some kind of consolation that, with so much change in my life in the past year, this, at least, has remained consistent? On the upside, I’ve been roasting a lot of rutabagas, and I highly recommend that. And the other day, I made braised endive with prosciutto for the millionth time, and for the millionth time, it was excellent. And last night, after dinner, I fell down a rabbit hole of Bon Jovi videos, which has nothing to do with food but was also excellent. When I was eight years old, I had a Bop magazine poster of Jon Bon Jovi, shirtless and wearing a fringed scarf, on my bedroom wall. I think that explains everything.

I have a recipe for you today. Not the best photographs, but a recipe.


For years now, I’ve followed the site 3191 Miles Apart and the work of its co-creators Maria and Stephanie. Two years ago, they began publishing a quarterly, which is filled with photographs, recipes, projects, travel guides, and anything else they feel excited about, and it’s always beautiful and beautifully produced, printed on matte paper that feels nice in your hand. One night last weekend, while June was sleeping and Brandon was working, I climbed into bed with 3191 Quarterly No. 9 and promptly fell onto Stephanie’s recipe for oatcakes.



I should say that oatcakes are not actually cakes.  As Stephanie explains, they’re sort of a cross between a cookie, a cracker, and maybe a biscuit - a small, crunchy, nubbly thing that you could eat at pretty much any time of day.  The concept is Scottish, although I’m going to be totally blasphemous and uncouth and American and admit that I like Stephanie’s version better than the oatcakes I tried in Edinburgh. In my defense, my friends who live in Scotland - and one of them is Scottish by birth - didn’t love the oatcakes we ate that day either. No idea what the brand was, although I can tell you that we bought them at Mellis. Anyway.

I like to eat oatcakes with sharp cheddar, though you could also treat them more like a cookie and dunk them in a cup of tea.  This week I’ve been eating them with peanut butter and slices of apple, as a second breakfast. (I eat my first breakfast around 6:30 am, while sitting next to June on a blanket on the kitchen floor, singing "Baby June / Katy Too," and it’s gone long before lunchtime comes around.) They’re a little sweet and a little salty, and they somehow manage to come across as both wholesome and tempting.  Do any of you remember Carr’s Wheatolos?  Oatcakes don’t really taste like Wheatolos - maybe a cousin of the Wheatolo - but for me, they push the same buttons. God, I miss Wheatolos.


Oatcakes
Adapted slightly from Stephanie Congdon Barnes and 3191 Quarterly No. 9

1 ½ cups (150 grams) rolled oats
1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (60 grams) packed brown sugar
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. fine salt
1 stick (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, diced
¼ cup (60 ml) full-fat plain yogurt
Whole milk, if needed

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt, whisking to blend. Add the butter, and use your fingers, pressing and squeezing, to work it into the oat mixture until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the yogurt until a soft dough forms. (If your yogurt is on the thick side, you may need to add a tablespoon or so of milk, just enough to bring the dough together.) The dough should be a little crumbly. Lightly flour a work surface, and turn the dough out onto it, rolling or patting it to a ¼-inch thickness. (I found that the dough was a little too sticky to roll cleanly, but it worked out alright.) Using a 2-inch round cookie cutter, stamp out oatcakes, and transfer them to the prepared sheet pans. (A bench scraper comes in handy for transferring the oatcakes to the sheet pans and cleaning the counter afterward. I found that I could comfortably fit about 15 oatcakes on one pan and the remainder on the second.) (I am really into parentheses today.) It’s okay to gather and re-roll any scraps of dough.

Bake the oatcakes for about 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: about 25 oatcakes

P.S. Thank you, Stephanie, for allowing me to reprint your recipe. It’s a keeper.
P.P.S. This essay by Zadie Smith is wonderful (via Brian Ferry).

122 Comments:

Blogger Michelle Stiles said...

You are a very brave woman! Spring is rolling around which in the NW is bittersweet but there are more sunny days ahead. it can only get better from here.

2:30 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger kate said...

I haven't had children so I can't totally relate to your story, but I CAN relate to depression. I was in my own personal hell for more than a decade when I finally got help and my life has never been better today! I no longer deal with those debilitating feelings anymore and I live an awesome life. Congrats on taking the steps towards recovery and I am sure your story has been helpful to a lot of women!

thisiskatefunk

2:40 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, that sounds like exactly what I want to eat right now (9 months pregnant and always hungry), with some raspberry jam, and what I want to share with my toddler daughter for an afternoon snack. Can't wait to make a batch.

In other news, I'm so so pleased to hear that you're already starting to feel better. I had some post-partum depression with my first -- not bad enough to need intervention, but bad enough that it made parenthood way more difficult than it needed to be. I didn't really feel like myself again until I weaned her at six months and my hormones started re-balancing. I'm glad you didn't have to wait that long.

2:44 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger emily said...

Love those 3191 gals too. Thanks for sharing.

2:46 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Whitney said...

Thanks for posting this Molly! I am newly-ish pregnant (almost 13 wks) for the first time and I've enjoyed reading your recipes for sometime and now enjoy reading your experiences before and after birth. This is all so new to me!

This recipe sounds good and excites me because I think I can still eat a good hard, pasteurized cheddar cheese! Yippee! A biscuit, cheese and apple sound perfect.

2:46 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger CitricSugar said...

Nice timing - a Scottish recipe on Robert Burns' Day!

Glad to hear that things are revolving in a positive direction!

3:13 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Amanda Hawkins said...

Thrilled, first, that oatcakes give you such a thrill too. And thrilled, second, with this delightful post. There is somekindofmagic that happens on the upswing from postpartum, or any depression I guess. And from Bon Jovi to Scottish blasphemy, it just all made my day (complete already with bees buzzing on the tree outside--in January) even better. Thanks.

3:31 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Rosie said...

So much good here. It's nice to hear your voice again.

3:33 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A long time lurker and lover and user of your recipes here and I am so glad that there is light comings through the cloud for you all the very best to you and your family

3:53 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger In the Farm Kitchen said...

So happy that your days are now brighter. It just gets better and better with my little one, and I'm guessing it will be the same for you! Watching their personalities develop is one of the purest, greatest joys.
And these oak cakes look delicious!

4:19 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thank you for posting!! I check everyday hoping for an update. . .no guilt trip intended. . .just for you to know you have people "out there" who care and wonder what marvels you and brandon are discovering with Miss June!!

5:45 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like a yummy recipe. Thank you!

6:20 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Payal Shah said...

I was hoping you would write about this when I saw the pic on instagram. Cant wait to make it.

6:22 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Quinn said...

SO glad you are feeling better! June is clearly a magical companion :)

Thank you for the clear instructions on oat cakes; I have made them before but they were far too crumbly to be enjoyable. I'll try again, with yours for inspiration!

7:10 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous DK said...

I have these jumbo sized rolled oats. Would those work too?

7:26 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Cynthia said...

It's nearly 11PM here on the East Coast and you have made me want to head right into the kitchen and start cooking! Those oatcakes look sooooooo good. Perhaps after a good night's sleep??

7:29 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Julie said...

Aaahhh, I'm so glad the sunlight is starting to peek in again. It's nice being wrong sometimes, isn't it? Love oatcakes, but I had forgotten about them.. I'm going to give these a try. Thanks, and so glad you're feeling better. I can relate.

7:43 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

All my best wishes to you, Molly, that the clouds stay away and the light keeps streaming in.

And oatcakes -- yes, wonderful -- like a whole new creature! My favourite (with tea, in the afternoon) are dipped in chocolate and sandwiched with peanut butter icing. There is nothing better . . .

8:12 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Laura said...

Mollie, I didn't comment on your previous post, but I read it and felt your pain. I didn't experience PPD, fortunately, but one my cousins did. Sadly she didn't get any help.

I hope you get out of the fog soon, and will feel human again, I know it will happen.

Thank you for being so open about it, my favorite blogs are the ones where people spill a little of their guts out.

Best of luck to you three.

8:30 PM, January 25, 2013  
Blogger Emily said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better. And thank you for the recipe. My sonn's lunchbox has been begging for something new.

8:42 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration. And your writing is just awesome.

9:34 PM, January 25, 2013  
Anonymous Victoria said...

I'm so glad you are doing well!

I always ate Carr's Wheatolos and switched to McVitie's Digestive Cookies when I couldn't find them anymore. However, I think what Carr's Whole Wheat Crackers are pretty close (if not really, really close) but small. I'm sure you can find them; give them a try.

2:47 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Susan said...

The content of your blog is exactly what I needed, I like your blog, I sincerely hope that your blog a rapid increase in traffic density, which help promote your blog and we hope that your blog is being updated.

6:54 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous mav said...

Really honored that something in our little Quarterly inspired you. Been thinking of you a lot. Love, MAV

6:56 AM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Katrina said...

Oooh these look fantastic! I've been obsessed with Effie's Oatcakes recently...I can't wait to try these.

7:02 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Tracy said...

I, too, am a fan of 3191, and a huge smile spread across my face as I read your post. Ever since receiving that issue, I've been wanting to make Oatcakes! (As well as that Chocolate Almond Torte/Cake).

It was just at this time, 10 years ago (10 years - is that real??) I was caught in the grip of post-partum, yet didn't know that's what it was, and as a result was far too hard on myself as a new mom. (Probably part of the dark cyclical dance of that state.) I'm so glad you got help, and thank you for bravely writing about it here.

The way you write about your life and your lovely June is so beautiful. Wishing you good sleep, and more moments of discovery & joy.

7:43 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Linda said...

I've been looking for an oatcake recipe and now I've found it! Thank you! I shall spread lemon curd on them and serve them at my next Medieval dinner.

9:27 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Laura said...

That essay by Zadie Smith really is something. I've been recommending it around, too.

I knew it was going to be good when the second paragraph started like this:

"Perhaps the first thing to say is that I experience at least a little pleasure every day. I wonder if this is more than the usual amount? It was the same even in childhood when most people are miserable. I don’t think this is because so many wonderful things happen to me but rather that the small things go a long way."

That resonated with me. I assume it resonated with you, too, or you wouldn't have recommended. Feels so easy to be at a place where the small things give me pleasure, but since I haven't always been in this place, it also feels like a gift.

9:31 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Kathy said...

1125So glad you are feeling better Molly. I have not had children, but have had my own bouts with depression from chronic pain, and it really knocks you down and out. Your blog is a favorite of mine and it always a joy to get an e-mail notice that you have posted.

9:32 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Molly, I am so happy to learn that things are on the up swing for you. Just disappointed that you didn't post an up date photo of June. I need a June fix! And the oatcakes! I used to buy them regularly; loved them, don't remember where I bought them, as it as been a few decades, but am so happy to have a recipe for them. They really hit the spot, and confer a warm glow of wholesomeness to boot. Susan

9:33 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Kate said...

Molly- You are doing just fine! And, thank you, THANK YOU for this recipe. I've been wanting to make these since I first had them in England. Kate

9:38 AM, January 26, 2013  
OpenID suddenlysamantha said...

I'm so happy things are begging to look up for you.
That Zadie Smith essay really blew me away, I've added the Blue Hour to my list of worthwhile blogs to follow.

(And those biscuits don't look too shabby either!)

10:11 AM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous wandering educators said...

I love singing to babies. There's nothing like that reward of their looks, and happiness, and joy.

I can't make a bean soup, but my mom's is awesome. So, totally relate to the soup issue.

AND! wonderful recipe - thank you - perfect for a very cold winter day in Michigan, and a reminder of Scotland, one of my favorite places in the world.

Thank you!

10:18 AM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Joy said...

this looks amazing. will definitely try!

12:59 PM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Rhett said...

I'm so happy to hear you're feeling better. I laughed out loud when I read about you falling down the rabbit hole with Bon Jovi videos. I'm pretty sure I had that same poster of Jon Bon Jovi on my bedroom wall. I still think he's pretty hot!

1:00 PM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Lizzy (Good Things) said...

Hello there... I quietly pop in and visit from time to time and just wanted to thank you for candidly sharing your experience with your readers and friends. This is such a brave step and wonderful that you're aware of what's been happening.

I suffered PND after my first, but didn't realise it until some twenty years later.

This storm will pass for you. Enjoy motherhood. Onwards and upwards xo

1:21 PM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Willow said...

Those oat cakes seem like fabulous kid food. Going to have to try them!

And your bland soups? They'll be the perfect thing in a few months when June starts eating solids! My Basil is almost a year and I'm just now starting to salt soups as I cook them again.

2:58 PM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Christine said...

Crunchy AND salty? Yes, please. Sign me up for a couple of those during a 2 a.m. baby playtime.

3:06 PM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous amy h said...

I'm glad things are improving. And I just read that Zadie Smith essay this morning -- it IS good!

5:13 PM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Deb Moore said...

June is adorable—congratulations! I just finished your book, Molly, which I loved! I'm not into cooking very much—I read it for the memoir part—but made the Eggplant Ratatouille Friday night. It was excellent! Thanks so much. I'm, trying the Ed Fretwell soup next....Deb

6:13 PM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Allison Backous Troy said...

As a long-time reader, and as someone who's expecting her first baby in July, I absolutely love your writing (and your cooking). Grateful for your continued work, in words and in life. And June is gorgeous.

7:15 PM, January 26, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog, but I read your terrific booka few yrs ago. I remember thinking that you came across as such a delightful person. I am glad you are on your way to feeling better.

I giggled when I read how June sleeps with her arms straight up "like she's cheering very, very quietly..." Perfect description of that charming thing babies do. It's so cute how their arms are so short that they barely extend beyond the top of their heads, isn't it? I look forward to trying the oatcakes recipe.

9:54 PM, January 26, 2013  
Blogger Meg said...

Oatcakes! My family loves them but the brand we can get in the stores (Nairns) is so expensive that they are a rare treat -- at Grandma's house only, really. I've been trying to make good ones for years and have largely failed. I have high hopes for these! Nairns make a stem ginger and a dried fruit version, which might be a worthy variation.

Glad you and June are doing well. Don't you love how babies sleep with their arms up? I never got tired of watching my girls sleep. Precious moments!

5:13 AM, January 27, 2013  
Blogger más allá de 365 sonrisas said...

Hi there! i´m a recent mum as well and i felt the same as you with June. It´s a really whole experience to be mums and we live all the changes in our bodies and minds in little time. That´s impressive and crazy at the same time but finally everything turns to be better, great and even unforgettable. Enjoy June and your moments with her, they are priceless!! Hug

7:11 AM, January 27, 2013  
OpenID naivecookcooks.com said...

I am always in love with the way you tell stories..so many small stories linked together in an effortless manner...amazing! The oat cakes are a must on my list!!

7:32 AM, January 27, 2013  
Anonymous Katie said...

Yay! I saw these on your instagram, and was hoping there'd be a recipe. I tried the Nairn's brand of oatcracker once here in the states, and they were awful, and then I decided to try them again when I went to Ireland. In Ireland we ate them with sharp cheddar, and salami while looking out over the ocean from a cliff, which, of course, led me to a great fondness for them. Can't wait to try these, especially if they stand a chance of sending me back over the Atlantic. Take care!

10:47 AM, January 27, 2013  
Blogger Tyler Mitchell said...

My great-grandmother (Belfast, c. 1910) gave an oatcake with jam to a neighbor kid. He returned shortly after, handed her the oatcake, and said, "Thanks for the jam. Here's your wee board back." I'm sure yours are nothing like that! Can't wait to try them.

12:04 PM, January 27, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Soup? One word, SALT!

1:17 PM, January 27, 2013  
Anonymous Liz said...

Molly, I am so glad things are slowly getting easier for you and June is such a wee gem. I love the Zadie Smith essay, especially the line "that strange admixture of terror, pain and delight that I have come to recognise as joy"....one of those moments where someone manages to express in words a feeling you have had all your life. Just perfect.

5:14 PM, January 27, 2013  
Blogger Maria Hitt said...

These sound yummy- I want to try them, similar to a pan of almond oat fig bars I made on Friday and are almost gone already, but simpler. I love the Carrs wheatmeal biscuits, wonder if they are similar.

So glad to know you're starting to feel better and be on the upswing.

6:36 PM, January 27, 2013  
Blogger yum said...

Love! May your days continue to brighten. I'll be brightening my morning with Oatcakes & Tea.

10:09 PM, January 27, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oatcakes? I'm so on it! And that is one gorgeous baby.

11:06 PM, January 27, 2013  
Anonymous Ann said...

I pulled these oatcakes out of the oven 20 minutes ago, and I have already worked my way through 4 of them, topped with crunchy homemade peanut butter and alongside a cup of coffee. Great pleasure! (As Z. Smith would assert.) I am thanking you from the windy, snowy Finnish capital of Helsinki today! Thanks for the intro to 3191 as well - great blog.

3:29 AM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Margo said...

I made oatcakes once from a recipe I now forget, but they had lard in them. They were okay, but not more-ish. I think I'll try this recipe you posted.

These remind me of rusks, which we cannot get through winter without. In a nutshell, they're South African biscotti. Here's the recipe on my blog: http://thriftathome.blogspot.com/2010/02/south-african-rusks.html

6:44 AM, January 28, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a brave and beautiful writer. Glad to have you posting recipes again! And congratulations on the lovely little June!

6:59 AM, January 28, 2013  
Anonymous HTBaking said...

So nice to hear that you are feeling better!!!

Bland soup has been my MO for a number of years too! Let me know if you figure it out and have any tips.

These oatcakes sound delicious and I can't wait to try them.

7:08 AM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Babs said...

I'm so glad that the sun is shining for you and your family. It's a magical time, when you start feeling yourself fall in love with your little one.

I just wanted to give you my secret weapon for defeating bland soups. A spoonful of marmite. It does the trick every time.

7:54 AM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Gemma said...

I had forgotten all about those not very good oatcakes but I can vouch for some of the other ones that Mellis sell - we'll make sure we're well-stocked with all the other varieties the next time you're here (or will fill our case if we're heading to your shores first) and maybe June will be ready to be introduced to some Scottish oatcakes and cheese by then...

8:24 AM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger sarah e blog said...

they say motherhood changes you..but from this readers view, your still the molly i love to read and the recipes and gusto for life i adore! but then, you are different too..in all the best ways a reader can recognize..so..welcome back..and nice to meet (the newish) you!

8:50 AM, January 28, 2013  
OpenID curlygirlpress said...

Hmmm, I'm hoping these are a bit like HobNobs, or the Carr's oat crackers (great with cheese or a glass of milk!).

Let me also recommend neck-nibbles to elicit gobs of baby giggles in the near future. Singing is, of course, always a good way to make them happy too!

10:37 AM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Effie said...

So glad to hear you are on the other side. I have been there myself (in fact, December marked my turn around and my daughter is a year old!) and it is not an easy thing to climb out of. Like you, cooking is a good sign that all is well with the world.Enjoy every minute of it and don't look back. It was a necessary journey, but one not to dwell in!

12:37 PM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Amanda said...

Just finished making these and am munching on them now w/ raspberry preserves or goat cheese. I just had my first baby in November and these first few months have been tough, so we can relate. Thanks for the oatcakes recipe. I'd been on a scone kick as of late so this was a good mix up.

12:56 PM, January 28, 2013  
Anonymous melissab said...

yum! these oatcakes look great. i literally just baked a random banana oat cake sorta dessert this morning with ground oats and thought, "why, i should bake with oats more often." thanks for the new recipe to try. oh, and the bland soup thing. i hear ya. i recently read an older book from my library that addresses such stuff: "dairy hollow house soup and bread:a country inn cookbook" by crescent dragonwagon. really excellent and fun reading/tips on making non-bland soups amongst other stuff. and, yes, don't ya love her name? p.s. glad you all are doing well!

12:59 PM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Jane said...

What a small world - I've just emerged from watching 75 minutes of Bon Jovi on the BBC iPlayer. By complete coincidence, the band has just given a concert for a BBC radio station for which 200 lucky people got free tickets (70,000 applied). I then decided to come by and see how Molly is doing - and Bon Jovi is here too! Serendipity. Bon Jovi and oat cakes -a must make recipe, I think - what a great combination. Your skill with words in conjuring up beautiful images is particularly evident in your description of June - thank you for sharing.

2:25 PM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Nan said...

Oh hello! Other than the yogurt (which I cannot believe would be a standard ingredient in traditional oat cakes) this recipe resembles that of my mother's Scots Oat Cookies. It is one of the few hand written items I have of hers. She would have inherited it from her mother, who though a third generation Canadian, was a Scot through and through. I am sure there is a reliable encyclopaedia of Scots cuisine, but I think I will check out what Elizabeth David has to say about oat cakes in her volume on all things English and bread-like. She actually casted her net for recipes north and west of the English borders. I believe her research was scrupulous. This is just my own little pursuit of esoteric information. I am sure the posted recipe is delish.

So pleased you are through to the other side of your bout with post-natal depression. I ached for you and so appreciated your honesty and simplicity in telling your story. It brought me back 25 years to my own experience. Happily that young lad is a superlative chef and makes me dinner often.

2:58 PM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Unknown said...

These are my new favorite versatile substrate! Topped with peanut butter I thought they tasted like Do-Si-Dos, those peanut butter Girl Scout cookies. My kids went crazy for them with Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter.

4:32 PM, January 28, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

really great post, once again. It inspired me to make the oatcakes alongside a lentil stew/soup tonight since we are iced in here in the northeast. They were amazing on their own or with very thin slices of cheddar and ripe Comice pear. Soon you will be offering Comice to June--one of the few fresh fruits which babies seem to be able to gum and enjoy. Watch her face light up with that little pleasure.

6:00 PM, January 28, 2013  
Blogger Margaret Pinard said...

I love that you posted on oatcakes (I have featured them in cooking classes-- delicious Scottishness) and I love that you posted on 3,191 Mornings! I knew I had seen a book with that subject, with a number in the thousands-place, with mornings probably in the title, but more than 1 bookseller could not locate the title for me!
And I'm glad things are looking up. :)

7:14 AM, January 29, 2013  
Anonymous Natalie said...

Mmm, these sound right up my alley... I will make them with wholewheat flour and turn them into an orgy of wholesomeness! And eat them with butter and strawberry jam. Or maybe gooseberry jam, since it's already open.

I'm so glad that the sun is coming out from behind the clouds. Depression is...oppressive. When it's smothering you, it's hard to imagine that anything else exists.

Feb. 2 is coming soon, and in some pagan tradition (Celtic?) it's called Imbolc -- the day when plants start to feel stirring in their roots in preparation for srping! I like to feel for stirring in my roots on that day. (And watch Groundhog Day for the hundredth time -- it's always just as good.) I hope that you too will feel the excitement of spring coming.

Oh, and your writing always makes me happy, Molly, no matter what you write about. That has a lot to do with the fact that it's so...real. Thank you.

9:00 AM, January 29, 2013  
Blogger Amy said...

I'll have you know I thought about these all yesterday, and how they would make such a nice work snack. So much so, that I turned on the oven the minutes I walked in the door. I am without a biscuit cutter and cut these with a cowboy boot cookie cutter. I've taken to calling them "oat booties."

9:10 AM, January 29, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It gets better, but you won't forget. I still get that sadly familiar knot in my stomach when I think back to those days, but that knot is no longer with me on a regular basis which is such a blessing. I love your work, I miss you in Bon Apetit. Interestingly, I just printed out your blueberry oatmeal scone recipe today and plan to make some tonight. But I can't tell my husband they are scones (he has a mental block against them for some reason) so I will bake them in an oblong pan like a sort of coffee cake. Then I am going to make your oatcakes! Hang in there honey. It feels wrong to be unhappy at such a time but change is enormous and takes some adjusting.

11:34 AM, January 29, 2013  
Blogger leya said...

yay for oatcakes and yay for babies discovering their tongues! looking forward to making a batch of oatcakes, slicing a bit of sharp cheddar, and sitting down to ooooh and ahhhh over my baby sticking his tongue out at me. hugs to you.

6:16 PM, January 29, 2013  
Anonymous Emma said...

I always think the babe's are being bunny rabbits when they sleep with their arms up like that. It's a sleeping posture of safe abandon too it seems like to me, utterly open & content. Go you good Mama.

11:08 PM, January 29, 2013  
Anonymous Anthony W. said...

You know, I just recently caught the cooking bug, and I think it is terminal. Was looking for food blogs and came across yours. So very glad that I did. Not only instructional, but also very inspirational. Thank you for exposing your heart, soul, and fears to us readers. You have tapped into what makes all of us humans. And for that, I thank you. Be strong, young lady!

6:31 AM, January 30, 2013  
Blogger beckster said...

I am so glad for you that you are feeling better! As someone who suffers from seasonal depression every year, I can tell you that you will be stronger after this. If it ever happens again, God forbid, you will have the wisdom to know that "this too shall pass away". Thanks for the oat cake recipe. This is just what I have been looking for!

9:03 AM, January 30, 2013  
Anonymous Insha said...

Molly, I've been following your blog all the way here in Pakistan for the past two years. When I read your post about post-partum depression, I felt your pain and I know exactly how debilitating it can be. I had my son last March and my depression didn't kick in until he was 6 months. I recently wrote about it on my food blog www.hungerandhawhai.com. I started the blog as a self-prescribed version of therapy and I'd love for you to read the post. It's called, Motherhood: The Truth About Cats & Blogs. I'm hoping it'll offer some support and help you believe that there's light at the end of this tunnel. Take good care and I pray with all my heart that you pull through this soon!http://www.hungerandhawhai.com/2013/01/chickenpotpie.html

9:10 AM, January 30, 2013  
Blogger Rocky Mountain Woman said...

So glad you are feeling better. Depression can be a really difficult thing to deal with. It's amazing how just a little help and a little time can make such a big difference...

2:40 PM, January 30, 2013  
Anonymous Nikki said...

Hi Molly! I'm so glad that you are feeling like yourself again and that you had lots of love and support to help you through that difficult time. June is truly a little angel and you can definitely sense how much you adore her in your writing. I read your book last fall and started following your blog and listening to Spilled Milk (oh what a sad day when I was all caught up...you two crack me up!). I thoroughly enjoy all that you do so THANK YOU!

It is a stormy day here and I found that I wanted nothing more than to bake your oat cakes. They smelled heavenly while baking and I couldn't wait to taste them. I'd never had oat cakes before and I found them to be delightful little morsels! Perfect mix of sweet and savory and I agree that cheddar is the best accompaniment. Mmmm. Thanks for giving me the perfect activity for this stormy day (I also baked some Irish soda bread...recipe from Alice Waters' In the Green Kitchen cook book that I am IN LOVE with...and it was delicious with my dad's pumpkin butter!) and for giving me hours of entertainment over the past months. You're the best!

4:05 PM, January 30, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. I just read your previous post. My wonderful son is 18 and getting ready to graduate high school. When he was a baby, he barely slept more than an hour and a half at a time for months, and I could never fall back asleep after a feeding so I had intense insomnia and sleep deprivation that led to a deep depression. I told the pediatrician, I told the OB doc who was part of a teaching hospital team and wasn't too interested ("Well, you made it to this appointment so things mustn't be too bad!"), I told my family, and I told my friends, who couldn't understand why I was always complaining and miserable. No one suggested that it could be post partum depression. I'm soooo glad that you figured it out and are getting support. A favorite saying, told to me by a wise older friend, wduring this rough time: "The years fly by, but the days are endless!" I'll keep you and June in my thoughts.

5:37 PM, January 30, 2013  
Blogger tori said...

So thrilled that the kitchen is welcoming you back with open arms again. I adore the image of June cheering in her sleep. Nb, if you like oatcakes, you should look into Staffordshire Oatcakes. Same flavour, but the most gorgeous half crepe/half crumpet texture. They have saved me through my morning sickness.

2:33 AM, January 31, 2013  
Blogger linda said...

Hi Molly:

I'm happy to hear you are feeling better and beginning to cook. things are lookin up. stay positive and well.

5:19 AM, January 31, 2013  
Anonymous JackieD said...

Hurray!! I will cheer quietly for you too. Happy that you are so enjoying your baby June.

10:52 AM, January 31, 2013  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Things are always better with a wedge of cheese on the side. I made some savory oat pancakes last night that seem like they could be saltier, softer cousins of these beauties.

2:30 PM, January 31, 2013  
Blogger MB said...

I'm an infrequent visitor but a visitor nonetheless. I've always enjoyed your writing from my little home here in England.

Having a baby is a shock to the system. Motherhood can seem quite lonely in the beginning. Things get better and easier with practice and time. The very beginning of motherhood is like not knowing how to cook and being dropped into a restaurant kitchen thirty minutes before the dinner service begins!

I felt panicked and tired for the first couple months of our daughters life. Our daughter was born in England in December which wasn't easy. But I promise spring will come. It did for me and it will for you:) There are buds on the trees right now that are just waiting for a little sunshine:) It sounds cheesy but in the months after our daughter's birth I kept a gratitude journal. At the end of the day I'd try and write something I was grateful for. Somedays I was just grateful that the day was over and that I had a soft comfy bed to snuggle up in. Other days offered up something better.

You are not alone and this too shall pass...

1:59 PM, February 01, 2013  
Blogger the wild magnolia said...

you are refreshingly candid.

thank you for sharing the Oatcakes Recipe.

4:30 PM, February 01, 2013  
Blogger jenmolin said...

I suffered from post-partum too.. it was more psychotic... very scary times but God pulled me thru and now my 7 and 5 year old are doing wonderfully as am I. Nothing could have prepared me for it all except that yes... I fell into melancholy easily. Being 15 or being 37 it was so many of the same emotions... desperation and wanting out... These oat cakes look amazing as does Baby June.... I am so glad you are finding your way out... it's so exhausting and dark... blessings

10:15 PM, February 01, 2013  
Blogger ck said...

Last night I got a craving for cinnamon buns and it reminded me of one of your Bon Appetit contributions. I believe it involved a tormented relationship with yeast! I shared this fear of yeast until I read your article and I laughed so hard that I challenged that miniscule foe and triumphed. I also thought about how the last time I read your blog you were expecting and guessed that you had recently delivered. June is beautiful! Congratulations to you both. You are wise and brave to get help for PPD and just for acknowledging that it is real. I cried on and off for six weeks after my first child. I discussed PPD with my doctor and I may have had some combined with mass sleep deprivation, hormonal upset and loneliness. And, children are worth it. My children have made me a better person. But back to cinnamon buns, I can't see your recipe in the collection. Is there any chance you could re-post it? I dearly miss your contributions to BA - you are my favourite foodie writer!

6:01 AM, February 02, 2013  
Blogger zuzazak said...

Glad you're back! These oat cakes sound like my kinda thing. And here are some spicy ginger and honey biscuits for you:

http://cheesy-mash.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/honey-and-ginger-biscuits-and-most.html

zx

4:17 AM, February 03, 2013  
Blogger Sobrina Tung said...

i'm glad you are feeling better! thanks for the recipe--I'm sharing it with a friend who ALWAYS gets oat cookies whenever she has a chance.

3:24 PM, February 03, 2013  
Anonymous Erin said...

These were really great, especially with peanut butter. They reminded me of a better version of those peanut butter sandwich Girl Scout cookies. I used some whole wheat flour because I'd forgotten I was almost out of all-purpose, but it worked out well! Thanks so much for the recipe!

8:00 AM, February 04, 2013  
Anonymous Ann said...

Picked up your book in my local library a few weeks ago.Enjoying your blog.
Hope you are feeling better, new baby being a somewhat greater adjustment than new courses... :)
Seattle is a frequent destination. Excited to try both your spots soon.

11:47 AM, February 04, 2013  
OpenID mamarise.com said...

My dad bought your book for me. I just read about your french romance. I am thoroughly immersed. I love it!

I have two little ones at home, and oh my, yes. Yes, hormones are real and intense and so incredibly over whelming. My second child I felt a bit better afterwards - it makes some, okay most squirmy - but it has to do with the placenta... and making it into little pills. Ok, there I said it. I write about life with my boys on a blog too. Anyways, I look forward to visiting your blog in the future. It's my first visit, and i love it already.

3:56 PM, February 04, 2013  
OpenID mamarise.com said...

you have an amazing community here. my boys put me through the ringer (and still do!)... I am reading your book, and quite in love with it. My dad bought it for me. It is inspiring. Thank you.

4:05 AM, February 05, 2013  
Blogger Ellen said...

You are a lovely writer.

I made these last night and they are just right. I'm in the throes of first trimester and wanted BAKING NOW, and these hit the spot.

I subbed whole spelt flour and sucanat, which worked perfectly, and only had Greek yogurt so I definitely needed the milk. They are delicious. For me, they press the same buttons as scones, just less breads, which is better for my digestion. Thanks!

5:50 AM, February 05, 2013  
Blogger lilysgrannie said...

Made the Oat Cakes yesterday according to your recipe but added a full container of vanilla yogurt. I used my small scoop to scoop them out instead of rolling the dough. Baked for 14 minutes. They are delicious and I'm looking forward to having them with coffee for breakfast this week. Thanks so much.

7:05 AM, February 05, 2013  
Blogger knittingbytiah@gmail.com said...

I am so excited to try these oatcakes. After my first trip to northern Scotland I fell in love with Oatcakes & cheese with tomato apple chutney. It is so hard to find Oatcakes in American stores, & I have never found an easy recipe. Now if only I can find a good tomato & apple chutney. Thank you for posting!

4:19 PM, February 05, 2013  
Anonymous Jeff @ Cheeseburger said...

This oatcakes will be a delicious treat with milk.

9:57 PM, February 05, 2013  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

I had postpartum depression for 2 years after my first pregnancy. Nothing with the second....until I stopped nursing at 18 mo. What helped me with the first time around was www.flylady.net I was so overwhelmed, so anxiety ridden and I felt so very much alone. My job as a stay at home mom was new, and I didn't know how to get it all done. The second time around I went to acupuncture right away, and then about 6 months later I went to see a Natropath. I wanted to get help, but within my own desires- no antidepressants. I have found out that the depression was a symptom of the real problem which was hyper cortisol issues (I make too much adrenalin) so when my body is put under stress, it over reacts and uses my progesterone as a coping agent and not a hormone. (And with kids there are many stressors!) I still have tough days but they are now what my good days were back then- I've said goodbye to the deep dark hole forever. Thank you for sharing your story, it is so important to so many women who feel they are the only ones. I cannot wait to try your recipies and explore your blog! You are a wonderful writer!!

10:59 AM, February 09, 2013  
Anonymous Matt said...

Looks and sounds delicious!

Glad to be reading some positive news - best of luck.

2:04 AM, February 11, 2013  
Anonymous Juliann said...

Love the second breakfast! My kids eat at 6 on school days so by 9:30 I'm starving. May have to try these. So glad things are looking up for you. :)

7:07 AM, February 13, 2013  
Blogger tp dennison said...

So happy to hear you are coming through to the other side. Love the Oatcake recipe. I just have to say your June is one of the cutest babes I've ever met. congrats and peace to you and your family

4:29 PM, February 13, 2013  
Anonymous susaninfrance said...

i had it too, with my 3rd child shockingly (aaaand she had colic too). i was living in france and had just stopped working--it was altogether too many changes at once. but i did see the other side; lucky me i didn't have it very long. But now I have a 13, 11 and 8 year old and can only remember the crying, weeping and that I lost my baby weight really quickly which was the only nice thing about it. my doctor at the time would not medicate me--he said to try other things first. I'd have taken the meds, but I did get through without. you'll get through it, seems you already have. best of luck xoxo

7:27 PM, February 13, 2013  
Blogger hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Oh it's good to hear that you are feeling better.
When the sun comes out in our Pacific Northwest it will brighten your spirits even more. I too feel rather gloomy when the skies are foggy and grey.
Am reading your book and loving it! You have a great talent Molly!
I posted a picture of your book on my blog this morning and linked to your blog.
Take care,
Leslie

8:17 AM, February 15, 2013  
Blogger Madame Fromage said...

So lovely. As usual. There's an oat cake sky hanging over Philadelphia. Thanks for giving it shape.

8:49 AM, February 16, 2013  
Anonymous Ann said...

Thanks so much for the oatcake recipe. I just made them and have already tried them with onion garlic jam, peanut butter, cheese and plain. Love, love, love them, maybe it's my Scot's Irish heritage.

12:07 PM, February 16, 2013  
Blogger Michelle said...

Hi Molly, I am a longtime follower of your blog, and from OKC. Twenty-six years ago (this week, as a matter of fact) I gave birth at Mercy hospital to a beautiful baby boy. Let me tell you, childbirth is a shock to the system. And I struggled alone. (I don't think postpartum depression was even a part of our vocabulary back then.) Anyway, I justed wanted to say, it does get better. By the end of summer, after plenty of sunshine and and an occasional margarita (I stopped breastfeeding because baby was lactose intolerant) things did get better. So hang in there homegirl. And, oh, yes ... my daughter was recently in Mercy, and while there, I saw a plaque on the wall and I think it was in honor of your dad. It was comforting to see.

5:42 PM, February 16, 2013  
Blogger Library Lauren said...

One day you will have the pleasure of baking these with June. I baked them with my 9-year- old and almost-4-year-old today. Baking with my kiddos is one of the great joys of being a parent. Thank you for sharing the recipe, and I am so glad you are feeling better.

11:35 AM, February 17, 2013  
Blogger mikey fernández said...

Such a brave woman. As always, loving every post.

Thanks for your writing!

12:26 PM, February 19, 2013  
Anonymous AnnaP said...

Molly, you are not alone. So many suffer with depression and it's sad that we don't all talk about it more openly. Thanks for being brave. June is such a pretty baby. So totally cute. Congratulations and I hope the sunshine keeps getting brighter for you.

3:04 PM, February 19, 2013  
Blogger Susan Lindquist said...

Sooo glad to hear that you are coming out the other side of the post-partum period and beginning (small steps!) to make your way back to the kitchen, the writing, and your routine. Of course, June and Brandon are central, but your passions and interests count too ... it's a fine finesse making your way to a balance. Glad you got the help from the doctors and friends and fam! Keep on keepin' on, Molly! It just keeps getting better and better! Your June is just so very beautiful ... congrats, Mommy!

5:08 PM, February 20, 2013  
Blogger Sara said...

Having been through that roller coaster of post-partum depression (3 times now!)...I just want to hug you through the computer. It DOES get better. And you will forget just how painful it was. But, you will remember just enough to lend encouragement to other mothers. Thank you for writing about it! It's not talked about enough...and certainly not as bravely. You rock!

9:20 AM, February 27, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For anyone interested, here's my tweaks to make these oatcakes gluten free.

3/4 cup + 2T. oats (GF if needed)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 T.-1/4 cup sucanat (ground fine)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 T. butter
2-3 T. yogurt

Roll out on brown rice flour or other gf flour.
Makes about 17 cakes

4:36 PM, February 28, 2013  
Anonymous Ellena said...

And thank you so much for putting the weight in grams for the ingredients! So much easier than trying to compensate for your cup measure being different to my Australian cup measure!

6:26 PM, February 28, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These were lovely. Just perfect for me, with a mug of milky tea, in front of a roaring fire, on a wet, windy, cold Day on the island of Kodiak. My toddlers loved them too. My son even did a little jig of delight, that I joined in on when my daughter called them "moon cookies." I wouldn't change a thing about them! Having said that, desperate to share them with GF friends, I am halfway through the preparation of a batch made with rice flour. Thank you for sharing this.

11:23 PM, March 04, 2013  
Anonymous Julie said...

The humble oatcake: such a restorative food. Funny your post should come along now... An ex-pat Scot, I'm always disappointed that few places sell them here in the US. So I recently decided that I should just make my own. I'm yet to try the recipe, but thank you for the reminder to do it. I bet they do taste a lot better than the 'ready-made' ones. By the way, I like to spread salted butter on them & top with sliced banana - delicious.

5:27 PM, March 06, 2013  
Anonymous Sabores said...

that is one gorgeous baby!!!and nice recipe!!

11:08 AM, March 13, 2013  
Anonymous Michelle said...

2The hardest thing I have ever done (other than giving birth) was ask for help for my post-partum depression. Even curled up immoblized on my bed, I was convinced that it was my fault I wasn't a good enough mom or that I should just suck it up and be stronger.

Wrong. Being strong is loving yourself in all your weakness and strength, in your vulnerability and power as a new mom. Good for you for being open and helping others through their pain.

Just keep telling yourself: you're a good mom. You're the best mom she'll ever have.

If you have spare time (hah!), I have written a bit about my experience on my blog: http://mapleleafkitchen.wordpress.com. We're in Seattle too.

1:23 PM, April 08, 2013  
Anonymous laura said...

delish, delish, thanks- just made the oat cakes, and will definitely enjoy them with my green tea!!!
I just discoveredd your blog and thanks
By Chance we have a worker at work whose daughter just came gave birth. At work we are mostly women, (a day care center for seniors in Israel) and we have been helping the young mother. She stays with us during the day with the baby, all giving support. Thanks for sharing. Sharing is what's needed.

1:46 AM, April 26, 2013  
Anonymous Ena said...

These were so good and all gone in a day! Everyone at the picnic thought I purchased them at a store and couldn't believe I made them myself. :)

11:46 PM, April 30, 2013  
Blogger Brittany and Donny said...

Hi Molly,
I just made these oatcakes for the millionth time since you posted the recipe. This time, I used 50% rye flour and 50% whole wheat...and just like your rye crumble recipe, the nutty flavor of the rye flour made them even more unbelievable! Yum!!!

8:37 AM, May 09, 2013  
Anonymous Vona said...

I've always tried to make those but always failed. *sigh* I guess I'm gonna try again and see how it goes.


I had oat cakes in a shop once , and they were soooo yummy !!! Jeez everytime i try to replicate something i eat in a shop I end up making really disgusting food.

6:15 AM, May 11, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I have been looking for an oakcake recipe! I just made a batch. Literally still cooling, but of course I had to have a nibble. YUM.

I added dried apricots for a little tangy-ness. Also, in an attempt to cook a on the healthy side, I used coconut oil instead of butter and dark brown sugar. Because the coconut oil isn't as moist as the butter I had to use 6 oz. of yogurt. I would suggest taking them out about 5 minutes earlier if you plan to do the same. That is the awesome thing about oakcakes they can be open to adaptations. Thank you again!

8:47 PM, May 14, 2013  

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