Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

16.6.09

Email me your email address and I'll email you a recipe.

Recipes were flying through cyberspace between Tracy and her mother. Mother is not great with email and took three goes to get the message through. Kept putting spaces or capitals or @ signs where spaces or capitals or @ signs should not go. A letter in the mail used to be such a beautiful thing. Now you have to telephone someone three times to get their correct email address because the telling of it does not flow like normal human communication; i.e., words. What is all that underscore and backslash rubbish anyway?

Then they go and change their email address on you.

The recipe could have been described over the telephone. But mother had to go off and find it in a book somewhere, and she has six million cookbooks. It must be in one of them, she said, as if that meant looking through six million books were not a great deal.

Potato scones.

A month later, an email arrived with the recipe. We could have googled it, but that's just cheating and, furthermore, it would have rendered the complicated email interchange a complete waste of time. Just be patient and wait. You haven't eaten a potato scone in your life; what's the hurry now? Potato scones are not scones in the sense of pumpkin scones; they are more like potato pancakes. Aside from that, our 'scones' are known as 'biscuits' in some places.

The recipe involved a few boiled potatoes mashed with either bacon fat or butter (not margarine, the use of which is a capital offence in Scotland, and oil goes in your car's engine) and quite a lot of salt, and then combined with just enough flour that it does not become too dry. The mixture is then rolled and flattened into discs and these are quartered and pricked all over, for air when cooking, and then fried on a griddle dusted with flour.

Why don't you just squash a gnocchi, I ventured. It's much the same thing, isn't it?

Tracy glanced at me a look that could have darkened Culloden.

They were tasty. You can grill two of them together with cheese in the middle as a variation, and they can be eaten hot or cold. I wouldn't want them cold, especially in this weather. Perhaps I could add a scrape of vegemite in the cheese variation. The combination is all the rage right now, but it's nothing new; I've been eating cheese and vegemite sandwiches for years.

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