According to the VisitScotland website, today is World Porridge Day and the coveted Golden Spurtle* will be awarded to the winner at the end of the World Porridge Making Championship which will take place today in the small Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge. Porridge preparers from around the world will all be hoping to snatch the title and prize.
Porridge is often seen to be a typically Scottish foodstuff, but it’s popular elsewhere too. In fact, “traditional” Scottish porridge is something I cannot stomach as it’s made with water and salt so it resembles wallpaper paste in both texture and taste – completely unappetising! I prefer to make it with milk (one of the few times I will use the full-fat stuff) and use either sugar or honey to sweeten it, occasionally sprinkling some berries and flaked almonds on top. I like it rather thick too – it’s a great start to the day on a cold winter morning and fills you up till lunchtime!
Xan isn’t quite sure about porridge just yet, but he’ll occasionally have a spoonful of mine when I’m having a bowl. In the meantime, I’ve been entertaining him with porridgy stories like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and The Magic Porridge Pot.
1. Heat the milk in a pan till it just starts to bubble slightly – DO NOT BOIL
2. Add the oats and a pinch of salt and stir continually with a wooden spoon or spurtle* till the bubbles start appearing again
3. Add the tbsp of honey and continue stirring as the porridge simmers till it reaches the desired consistency (fine oats will cook faster than rough oats – I like the rough ones!)
4. Pour into a bowl and top with whatever you fancy – a swirl of cream; a drop of honey; a sprinkling of brown sugar; a little nutmeg or cinnamon; some raisins; or a handful of berries and nuts
Right, I’m off to enjoy a bowl of poridge right now!
* A spurtle is a Scottish kitchen tool used to stir the porridge as it cooks. It’s not a spoon – it doesn’t have the bowl at the end – and instead it’s more like a wooden rod.