Dad’s Famous Tattie Scones

Other than beer, there were three things that my Dad cooked.  One was stovies, another soda scones and the third, tattie scones.  My mother claimed she couldn’t bake anything, let alone scones.  Realistically though, neither of these scones were never baked – baking happens in the oven, right?  Rather, they are cooked on a girdle (or as the other than Scottish call it, a griddle) and on the stove top.

Soda Scones on a girdle.

I wish I knew what had happened to our girdle.  I remember its arrival – some time in the early 1970s.  Somewhere between my leaving Grahamstown at the beginning of 1986, and my parents’ departure from this world, the girdle disappeared.  I never remember my mother using it.  Only my father did, and it was always and only scones.

My Dad at 42. Photo: Grocott’s Mail, 1970

He didn’t make them often and it was generally on a Saturday or Sunday morning.  Dad only ever used a recipe for the soda scones, but never for the potato scones, so until I consulted Google, I’d never seen one and I always make them by memory and from watching my Dad.  He always made them when there was left over mashed potato.  I am not a fan of mashed potatoes and even less of bubble and squeak but if they’re going to end up in scones, I’m in. That said, there are some dishes that work best with mash.

Like this leftover chicken dish – a winter favourite – that works best with mash. A couple of blog pals have suggested that I share how I plan meals – especially that I also plan for leftovers.  Technically, that means, in my head, that they’re not leftovers at all!  So, the idea’s on the ever-growing list and promises to keep.

Tattie Scones

Potato scones are really easy.  Really.


Left over mashed potato

I leave the skins on the potatoes, so my mash is always a little rustic. Of course, mash is best with milk (or even yoghurt), butter and salt and a good grinding of black pepper.

The other ingredients are cake flour – about 150 – 250 ml and then extra for dusting the working surface and for the dry fry.  Some recipes include baking powder.  My Dad never did.  I don’t.  Perhaps I should.

What to do

Turn the mashed potato on to a generously floured surface and break it up and sprinkle more flour over it.  Work the potato and flour to bring it all together to form a firm dough – add flour as you need (you see what I did… ) – until it comes together to form a light dough.

Then, roll it out to about a 1 cm thick on a floured surface.

Use a knife to cut the dough into triangles.

Heat a heavy pan and sprinkle with flour and dry fry the scones until they’re golden brown. Keep warm on paper towel while preparing the rest of the scones.

Serve warm with butter and toppings of choice. I prefer just butter and freshly ground black pepper.  I generally do them for lunch and depending on the quantity, sometimes there’s soup or something else to fill the gap.

As easy as pie, and as delicious.  A printable recipe is available here.

A last word or three

During last year’s hard lockdown, a friend started a Facebook group – What’s for dinner? I may have written about it in previous posts. The point is, I made these during that time and, as one did (because what else did we do?) I shared pics.  More than one person asked for a recipe.  I know I sent it to her.  I thought I’d blogged about it.  Clearly not.  So perhaps I dreamt it all – along with a whole lot of other things during that very weird time.

I started this post last Sunday – Fathers’ Day.  Kind of apt, I thought.  As I finish it, and prepare it to post, there’s a strong possibility that we’ll be returning to some sort of harsher lockdown.  I do hope that sanity prevails on the part of government and people.  We cannot afford a shut down. We cannot afford for people not to be sensible and take the appropriate steps to stop the spread of this awful virus and its variants.

Until next time, be well
The Sandbag House
McGregor, South Africa

Photo: Selma

Post script
If this post might seem familiar, it’s because I’m doing two things:

  • re-vamping old recipes. As I do this, I am adding them in a file format that you can download and print. If you download recipes, buy me a coffee. Or better yet, a glass of wine….?
  • and “re-capturing” nearly two years’ worth of posts.

I blog to the Hive blockchain using a number of decentralised appplications.

    • From WordPress, I use the Exxp WordPress plugin. If this rocks your socks, click here or on on the image below to sign up.

    • Join Hive using this link and then join us in the Silver Bloggers’ community by clicking on the logo.
Image: @artywink
    • I also share my occasional Instagram posts to the crypto blockchain using the new, and really nifty phone app, Dapplr. On your phone, click here or on the icon, and give it a go.