Apparently when my Gran was a little girl her kitchen had a special wooden drawer into which was poured homemade porridge. This idea really caught my imagination. I would visualize gloopy oatmeal being poured into a drawer, which was presumably then closed up, hiding the contents from view. In my experience drawers were for keeping underwear in, which made the tale all the more fascinating! I would ask about this over and over. Each time I was told that the porridge was left to cool. Later it was cut into blocks which were given to family members to pack with them for lunch. Frugality was the order of the day; I've no idea whether there was anything other than porridge available at those meals, but I suspect not.
Nowadays I'm not a true Scot. I eat my porridge with dried fruit or with honey, and not just with salt. I'm totally spoiled and always have milk available to make it creamy. I even, more often than not, resort to the microwave to make my oatmeal. I've not forgotten my Scottish roots though and I own a real wooden porridge spurtle, which was passed down to me from an older generation. When the mood is right, I enjoy stirring my oats while they bubble and gloop. With a touch of patience my porridge turns creamy and smooth ready to "stick to my ribs" and keep my appetite satisfied until lunchtime.
Here are some porridge and oat related learning links for you to explore:
- Scottish porridge tradition and trivia and The World Porridge Making Championships where the winner gets the Golden Spurtle!
- Porridge has it's place in history. Read about porridge then learn about Scots history with an Edinburgh experimental archaeology group.
- Here's a little insight on peas porridge and cooking in medieval times.
- A musical lesson on Oats, Peas, Beans and Barley Grow.
- Recipes at Quaker Oats - they have a whole section of kid pleasing recipes.
- A very comprehensive lesson plan that explains all about the different kinds of oats and the benefits of having them in your diet (suitable for elementary ages).