It has come to my attention that October 11th is the World Oatmeal Porridge Championship competition held annually in the small village of Carrbridge in Scotland. Aside from the jolly good edible fun that will be had by all holding spoon in hand, the competition is raising money for Mary’s Meals, a Scottish-based charity that provides food to hungry children in Malawi. Everyone all over the world is invited to host events to raise funds for this charity.
The U.S. will be represented at the Porridge Championship by my pal Matt Cox of Bob’s Red Mill, whose whole grains are among my favorites. Matt has been preparing for the competition for months and you can follow the excitement on the BRM Golden Spurtle blog. (By the way, Bob’s Red Mill has guaranteed gluten-free oatmeal for those who need it.)
What’s a spurtle? It’s a roundish stick traditionally used to make oatmeal. Bob’s Red Mill is now selling myrtle spurtles, in case you want to go traditional.
In case reading this blog whets your appetite for porridge, here’s a recipe by Duncan Hilditch, former Chef/Proprietor of the Ecclefechan Bistro, Carrbridge. and four times World Porridge Making Champion.
- Cup oatmeal
- Half teaspoon salt
- Two teaspoons sugar
- Half cup buttermilk or cream
- Take one cup of oatmeal and put into a saucepan with four cups of cold water.
- Stir gently over a medium heat until it reaches simmering point, lower the heat and continue to stir – to avoid any lumps – for five minutes.
- Add half a teaspoon of salt and two teaspoons of sugar, and half a cup of buttermilk or cream.
- Give a final good stir and serve in a warm bowl.
Duncan’s ideal way to enjoy porridge… Wait for a grey, cold day in winter. Sit down with your porridge, sprinkle with some soft brown sugar, drizzle some double cream round it, put on a Phil Cunningham and Aly Bain tape and eat your porridge. For a short time at least you’ll think that you’re in heaven!