Being tasked with producing nettle oatcakes for a Dumnonika booking at the weekend I went in search of the necessary. Anything not available in SW England in the correct period (50BCE to 50CE) can't be used:
Nettles - yes plenty in the garden
Oatmeal - no but have some organic rolled oats
Butter - yes
Eggs - yes
Salt - yes
Rubber gloves (!) - yes
Nettles are like spinach; you need to pick at least twice as many as you think you'll need and then a few more for luck. I ended up using two carrier bags full of fresh young nettle tops. It's at times like these I'm glad I have a wild garden.
No quern available so I put the rolled oats through the food processor to make a coarse oatmeal
The oatcakes are easy enough.
Pick over and wash the nettle tops discarding any thicker pieces of stem that may have sneaked in and then cook like spinach in just the water clinging to the leaves and a pat of butter.
This is the amount of cooked chopped spinach produced by the two carrier bag fulls.
Add to bowl and beat in an egg and add some salt. Stir in enough of the oatmeal to make a soft dough and then leave to stand in a cool place for an hour or so. It firms up significantly and is then easy to shape.
Roll into small cakes and fry in butter until golden on both sides. I used my iron bakestone for this.
I just hope I've made enough.....