Saturday, 5 October 2013

Putting Jack in a Flap

I know, I know, it's a piece of cake. Well, no, actually, it's a piece (in fact loads of them) of Flapjack. Or, in the case of many residents of that huge country across the pond, pancakes. Pancakes? Where are you comin' from guys? In the UK a pancake is a Crèpe (well, almost). Not an oat in sight.

Anyway. Simple it may be, but, since my wife makes arguably the best flapjacks in the UK-English-speaking world, I'm gonna share her secret with the rest of you. If you've ever wondered how a big huge man like me (I can dream) gets from 6.30am (breakfast) on a Friday, when he does the Halki trip in summer, to around 1.30pm, when he finally gets to eat at one of his fave tavernas on Halki harbour-front, without flaking out from starvation, this is the answer.

My beautiful and considerate wife (a few points scored there then) regularly sets to in the kitchen, regardless of the heat generated by what she's about to selflessly do, even in the heat of July or August, to produce a batch of flapjacks, just so that her hardworking (LOL) hubby doesn't collapse from malnutrition whilst out on his excursions twice or three times a week. 

Now, I know that there are zillions of recipes for Flapjacks, but to be honest, by far the majority will have you suffering from diabetes within the week - they're that sweet. So, my thoughtful and ever-health-conscious, better half adjusts the ingredients to significantly reduce the sweetness, thus bringing out the flavour of the other ingredients, whilst also sparing me the bother of having to source huge quantities of insulin in later life. So, here goes folks, a recipe!!!

Flapjacks à la Y-Maria:
300gm butter 
(she doesn't use "marge", which is only a molecule away from petroleum, read this and be very afraid)
You can use olive oil instead of butter, if you want to be even healthier. The taste is almost identical, but the slices do tend to fall to pieces rather too readily.

300gm of healthy runny thyme honey 
(you can use whichever type you like, only make sure it's not the mass-produced sugar-processed stuff that sells really cheaply in supermarkets)

600gm of porridge oats 
(which the Greeks rather charmingly call Kwacker, after the fact that they usually only see oats for sale in cardboard tubes with the brand name Quaker on them! We, of course, have a regular chain of supply smuggled from the UK of oats in sacks from Tesco, Asda or Sainsburys!!)

Teaspoon of Cinnamon

Dates, or mashed banana - included in the honey weight allowance.

Melt the butter, add the honey (and whatever) and cinnamon, beat with hand whisk until a bit caramel-ish. Then add the oats and mix well.
Place in a tin, the one Y-M uses is 22x29cm and it's this one...

Yea, it's pretty battle-scarred, having served faithfully through many a culinary campaign. But still serving faithfully nevertheless.
Once it's all evenly spread in the tin, shove in a pre-heated oven set to 180ºF (82ºC) and bake for 20 minutes. Cut when warm, remove to cool when, ...well, ...not quite as warm! Be prepared to slap away partner's hands as they reach for a sample before you're ready to allow such a thing.

So, when I reach the Butterfly Valley at, say 9.00am on a Friday, I'll cheerfully send my guests off to explore, grab a frappé from the kiosk and head back to the coach, where I extract my small tupperware container from my rucksack and tuck in. 

Flapjack and frappé. Who says there isn't a God?


  1. I am going to try out the recipe as they look really nice!!

    Love from

    1. Wonderful!! As you're vegetarians, any other simple and straightforward recipes would be appreciated! I know how good Greek food is. Really enjoy your blog - so evocative.

  2. Sounds delicious!!!! But what i would give just for a simple bowl of Quakker oats right now in the freezing temparatures we are experiencing here!!!! Where am i ???? Southern Crete, 10 degrees!!!! Best regards, "porridge oats"

    1. That'll teach you to go to Crete Margaret!! Only joking of course. Where precisely are you, since I know some parts of Southern Crete? Incidentally, you need not worry on the temperatures front, they are due to return to normal from today onwards, though its' true that it's been more like a Southern Grecian January this past few days!!!

    2. We are based in Plakias but have spent some time at Damnoni beach which is a lot like Agathi, (but sadly without despina and Vasili) to escape the winds,the temparature is a little more acceptable this aftrernoon however!!!!! For any Harakians reading this? We have bumped into. A well known character, Alistair which was a nice surprise! enjoy those flapjacks and best regards "Porridge Oats"

  3. Who says there isn't a God?
    Well I do, surely your (domestic) goddess was responsible for the flapjacks?!


    1. Whilst I do, of course, worship the ground she walks on, I'm not about to enter into a debate about the greater deity's gender!!

  4. hi John. just eaten our first slices of the flapjack, still warm
    very very tasty.
    By the way we buy our oats from the supermarket in Afandou
    The brand name is Captain Quick [ very Greek ] & comes in 500 gm bag

    1. Yea, Trev, we don't go to Panagiotas (that the one you mean?) very often, more's the pity. We'll look out for those oats though. Glad you like the recipe.