Cheese Bannocks (amidst salsa making)

Merry Meet

tomatoes everywhere

I was up to my elbows this morning blanching and peeling tomatoes, roasting ripe jalapenos (yes! ripe! in northern Idaho!), chopping chiles (cayenne, banana and poblano, i.e. what was ripe and available) and onions, and making a lovely salsa. Will can it tomorrow. Pressure canner, so I don’t have to add vast amounts of vinegar or lemon juice. I have learned that you can make whatever combination of veggies you want as long as you process the batch according to the veggie that takes the longest amount of time… in this case, onions. It’s gonna be good.

As promised, here is the recipe for Oatmeal Cheese Bannocks, which are comforting, fragrant, biscuit-like, and welcome any time, especially during the cool days of Autumn.

Oatmeal Cheese Bannocks
2 cups rolled oats, ground in the blender to make some fine, some coarse
plus a little extra for kneading
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (half a stick) cold butter
1 cup (about 4 ounces) grated sharp cheddar
1/2 cup warm water
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a baking sheet. Stir the ground oatmeal and salt together in a bowl. Grate the butter into the meal, stir it up a bit, then stir in the cheese. Add water and mix, kneading by hand when dough is too stiff to stir. Divide into two parts, then roll eash part into a circle about 1/2-inch thick. I find it helpful to roll out the dough between two sheets of waxed paper, dusting with the extra meal if necessary. Place douch circles on prepared baking sheet and carefully cut each circle into ix wedges or “farls” as they are called. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly golden. While they are delightful warm from the oven, the cheddar flavor is stronger once they’re cooled.
rolled oats

Just in case you were wondering, rolled oats are good medicine on the outside of the body too. You can take a muslin bag or even a washcloth and tie up a handful of oats and put this into the bath. This becomes soothing and cleansing, easing the discomfort of skin ailments such as eczema or chicken pox. In fact, you can add chamomile flowers, calendula petals or even lemon balm leaves to the oats for a sweet extra; this is especially useful in the children’s bath. Don’t be surprised if the kid falls asleep as soon as they’re out of the tub!

Oatmeal also makes a good facial cleanser. Simply grind up some rolled oats in the blender, add some warm water to make a paste, and wash away — you might want to do this in the shower. You can even add honey or yogurt to the mix, although the temptation to try and lick it off your own face may be strong. Perhaps a good friend could help…!!!

Well, that’s it for now. I will let you know how the salsa turns out. Earlier this week I made what I call Golden Cha Cha Sauce, made with Ida Gold tomatoes and Bulgarian Carrot Chiles, with the addition of a bit of onion and some chopped apple and applesauce. Hot-cha-cha-cha!

Merry part…
Peace, Doreen