Very Easy Oatcake Recipe

Thank you Diana who gave me this very easy recipe for fantasticly morish Oatcakes. It’s from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstalls section in the Guardian.

I particuarly like the instructions to open a bottle of wine but am sad that the instructions to drink it are missing. As my sister said, it must be a typo.

Bill’s Rona oatcakes

This recipe is Bill Cowie’s, island manager of Rona in the Inner Hebrides. He made a batch when we were filming and fishing with him in July. We devoured every last one, with cheese and homemade chutney. Makes about 20.

140g medium oatmeal
140g porridge oats
10 twists of black pepper
½ tsp salt
A small handful of sunflower or other seeds (optional)
75ml extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and dust two baking trays with flour. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour the oil into a well in the centre, then pour in enough boiling water to bind it into a firm, not sticky, dough. Work quickly. Don’t worry if you over-water a bit – you can remedy the situation by adding more oatmeal.

Form the dough mixture into a ball and leave it to rest for the time it takes to open a bottle and pour a glass of wine. Roll out the dough on a floured surface (dust with flour, too, if it’s sticky) to about 5mm thick.

Cut out discs with a cookie cutter (I use a 6cm one). Place on the baking trays and bake for 20 minutes, then turn and bake for a further five to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container.

Guest Poem – Screw you Poppet by Queenie

illustration by Lisa Cole
illustration by Lisa Cole

Screw You Poppet

Freezing my arse off
Planting violets in a grave yard,
To inconspicuously gather
Goofer dirt,

It was simpler,
Choosing the fabric, black silk
Symbolic of you’re annoying slickness,
Matching the colour of you heart.

Now I sit, needle and thread.
Unleashing my domestic goddess
I damn as I darn.

I stuff you soundly.
With dirt, your scribbled signature,
A photo, complete with
Ingratiating smile.

I name you.
I feed you.
I bind you.

With ruby ribbons,
Your hateful mouth,
Your woeful groin,
Your interfering hands.

A last kiss
Before I bury you deep
In the frozen earth.
A final thought

Screw you poppet.

More by Queenie can be found at

Guest Poem – Toolbox by Angela van Son

illustration by Lisa Cole


If I had a hammer
I’d hammer your skull in the morning
I’d hammer your toes in the evening
All over your shoes

If I had a drill
I’d drill your eyes in the morning
I’d drill your ears in the evening
Blood all over your shoes

If I had a wrench
I’d wring you neck in the morning
I’d wrap myself around your middle in the evenings
Lick your shoes at night

If I had pliers
I’d pull your nails in the morning
Put them back in the evening
Say sorry at night

If I had a screwdriver
I’d screw you in the morning
I’d screw me in the evening
There’s a screw loose each night

Reposted with permission from Angela van Son

You can see more of her words at

Fields Patchwork Quilt – Now you can have outdoor sex in the comfort of your own home


.Fields from above patchwork quilt

I’ve always wanted to make a patchwork quilt of the view you see out of an airplane. This is it. Golden fields of rape sit next to pretty flowers and shades of clear brown and green.

I made a paper pattern following pictures I had taken out of a plane and as the pattern has now been destroyed, this is a one off, totally unique quilt. There will never be another like this.

It measures 195 x 138cm

The fabric is cotton or poly cotton mix, depending on the pattern and colour.

The back is made from khaki polar fleece and the whole quilt has contour lines stitched into it. There are hilltops and valleys.
It is machine washable at 40 degrees

And it’s in the Rag Baby Folksy Shop –



Live Below the Line Day 3 – I give up

Enough.  It can be done but only if you are prepared to forage for free veg, are happy eating someones leftover apples and don’t mind being constantly hungry.

I mind all of that.

What have I gained? I’m proud that I managed to eat reasonably good food for 2 and a half days on £1 a day.  Apart from feeling so hungry I can’t think straight I feel healthy, not bloated or strung out on additives from cheap supermarket food. My skin is fantastic from drinking pints of lemon balm tea. I’ve learnt that you need a whole carrier bag of nettles to make a small portion as they boil down to nothing. I’ve missed avocado and spinach. I’ve not missed sugar or tea.

I’ve proved to myself what I already know;  people with money don’t have to spend so much to live.  People with money can buy bigger boxes and 3 for the price of 2 bargains to fill their cupboards with and eat next week or the week after. People with more money have big freezers they can pack with yellow ticketed bargains they get when they see them, because they have spare change on them.

I didn’t go into this to raise money so a charity can set up another retro shop selling overpriced Primark. And, as we have plenty of poverty in the UK it didn’t seem right to me to raise money for overseas. Also, £1 a day in the Republic of Congo can buy you a whole lot more than £1 here, it’s not a fair comparison. I just wanted to see if it was possible to live below the line and not eat supermarket crap, not bulk out on carbs and chemicals.

I live on an insanely low income but we eat well, purely because I have a buffer of savings so I don’t have to only spend £5 a week. I’ve spent most of yesterday and all of today fantasizing over what I will eat on Saturday (I’ve been dreaming of decent portion sizes), which makes a mockery of the whole thing. I’ve no sense of what it is to be actually so poor I’d have to eat on £1 a day on Saturday too.  I can only imagine the lack of light at the end of the tunnel, with good luck I hope I’ll never experience it.

I’m worried that the government will see the Live Below the Line site and think it’s actually possible, and reasonable to expect people to live like this, then cut benefits to the poorest of us who are the least able to fight back even more.

On the whole I just feel angry about this, it feels like I’ve just played a little rich kid game of being poor. I’m Marie Antoinette playing in her mock farm. It feels patronising and somewhat insulting to those that have to live below the line in real life, in this country, right this minute.

An avocado is calling to me, must go.

Living Below the Line Paleo style – Day 3 – I cheat

Weight 10st 7.4lb, no change from yesterday.

Yesterday I was hungry, more I think because the cats and my son had kept me up a lot of the night and when I’m tired I get really snacky.

This is what I have left for the next 3 days.


From the left, clockwise:

  • A tub of chicken and herb stock
  • almost half a buttenut squash
  • most of a leek
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 small red peppers, 1 small yellow, 1 large green
  • 7 coconut and herb meatballs
  • 8 meatballs with apple
  • wild garlic
  • tiny bits of celery
  • half a block of coconut cream
  • small portion of samphire
  • one asparagus spear
  • wild garlic
  • chard
  • spinach (boiled up and chopped)
  • also I have one and a half sweet potatos.

I’m too hungry to meal plan.

Breakfast, spinach, red pepper, wild garlic scrambled egg.

Lunch; 3 meatballs, wild garlic and butternut squash soup made from chicken stock

Chicken stock soup with butternut squash and wild garlic
Chicken stock soup with butternut squash and wild garlic

The soup was actually nice and it’s probably what I’ll have for most of tomorrow but meanwhile. I cracked and ate this. Non paleo, well out of budget but I’m too hungry to think straight, I’ve got a meeting to go to in half an hour and I need to be sentient. Fuck it.

This isn’t the end of the week for me though, I’ll stick to what I have for the rest of the week. Maybe.