One spring day in Montana’s Big Sky country changed my creative life forever. An imaginative oil painting of mine was drying in the living room. My tiny, efficient kitchen brimmed with Spanish tapas. I was entertaining the arts and entertainment editor of the Billings Gazette, whom I knew from my acting world. She was going to review my article on the historical buildings of this largest city in Montana. My hopes were she would publish it. She spoke prophetically over me as we indulged in our lavish repast: “Leave these other artistic quests; seek your true strength of creating quaint, delectable foods; start catering!”
Thus I launched my business in 1982 with all the passion of my former poetic attempts. My first catering assignment was that June. This editor published an article on my French dinner, thus giving the needed exposure to my new dream. It was a marvelous meal of bouillabaisse (fine fish stew) with all the trimmings. This memorable evening marked the beginning of my knowing the joy of my life’s calling.
This fire in my soul originated in southern Montana, but in a very short time my eager endeavors spread north: I catered elegant historical feasts in my home town of East Glacier Park and the surrounding area. Groups would have me return each summer to present my “latest creation”.
One such group had me cater my delicacies to them yearly, for several decades. How they blessed me: They treated me like fine gold as a guest in their home; they paid for blessed, needed massages during my intense labors; there was a memorable night out on their sailboat on Flathead Lake; and so much more…
Another old-time friend invited me over for this scone recipe during one of these trips north. I fell in love with this slightly sweet, nutty breakfast delight from Scotland. I have been making these scones ever since that morning in the early 1980’s. I am convinced you’ll be sold on them, too.
Scottish Oat Scones (Yields: 12 servings.)
2/3 cup butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/3 cup milk or cream
¼ cup sugar (coconut or cane sugar is best)
1 ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (or grind 1 cup soft, winter wheat berries to make 1½ cup flour)
½ cup unbleached white flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill)
1 ¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats (organic is best, available in bulk at most supermarkets)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cream of tartar (much cheaper when you buy in bulk food section)
½ tsp salt (Real Salt is best, available in the nutrition center of your local supermarket)
½ cup currants, raisins, or cranberries
spray oil (coconut spray oil is best)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Beat egg in a large bowl. Mix in butter and milk. Add sugar and beat well.
- Place all other dry ingredients except fruit in a sealed storage bag. Shake well. Add this to above liquid mixture. Beat thoroughly.
- Stir in fruit; let sit for 10 minutes.
- Shape dough to form a ball. Pat out on a cookie sheet, sprayed with oil, to form an 8-inch circle. Mark 12 wedges in dough with a sharp knife. (Note: You may bake this on an ungreased stone, which will require almost double the baking time.)
- Bake until golden brown in center of oven for about 12-17 minutes. (Time will vary with cookie sheet vs. stone; stone will take up to 30 minutes.) Center should be slightly moist. Do not over bake.
- Remove from oven and cool on pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to serving plate; may serve warm, or at room temperature.