Don’t pour any scorn on porridge

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Did you ever hear the like? An American telling us how to make porridge! My old granny will be turning in her grave.

Everyone knows that the Scots make the best porridge – apart, it seems, from the organisers of the World Championships held in Carrbridge at the weekend.

This year’s Golden Spurtle – and if you don’t know what a spurtle is, you’ve never made proper porridge – was awarded to a man from Oregon in the United States.

Can you believe it?

Claims he has been involved in wholegrain food all his life and true, aged 87, that is quite a number of years but no mention if everything he knows about porridge came from his granny.

We were given porridge every morning growing up, no sugary cereal for us – and no little toys out of the cornflakes packet either, remember those? My mum followed her mother’s example and used to soak oatmeal overnight, yes, I’m talking about ‘real’ porridge.

And there was no milk in it. Only water and salt, but we were allowed to pour milk over it – and it was great if you got to the milk bottle first and managed to get the cream from the top. You certainly don’t get that out of a plastic cartoon!

Daughter Emma is reading this over my shoulder and laughing that I sound like some old biddy. But I’m just remembering how it used to be growing up – some people make a fortune putting their memories on paper.

I remember my grandfather, who used to be a farmworker many, many years ago, telling me that his mother – my goodness this is a tale of family history – would make a huge pot of porridge and pour it into a drawer to set.

Hope she took out all the rubbish first!

Then each morning she would cut out slices and wrap it in a bit of cloth, giving it to her husband and sons for their lunch.

Do you think this was an early version of the meal deal?

He lived well into his 80s so it didn’t do him any harm. And I also read this week that some old boy who was celebrating his 105th birthday was giving the credit to his daily bowl of porridge for setting him up for the day.

I’m still eating my porridge every morning, but whisper it, I use those little sachets which make it very easy. Don’t think my granny would approve but if it helps me hit my centenary then I’ll be happy to give the credit to the wholesome breakfast!

*For those who don’t know, a spurtle is a wooden kitchen stick-like implement which you use to make lump-free porridge.