Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"Tomorrow's just your future yesterday." goes a line in the theme song for the Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson. How true, how true. "I KNOOOOOOOW." says Craig with that twinkle in his eye. Ah, the Scotsman tickles my fancy. It's that face, smile, body, laugh, all-round pleased with himself attitude.

So when I discovered The World Porridge Making Championship Contest "The Golden Spurtle" is in Scotland, I saw my chance. Perhaps Craig will notice me if I make it to Scotland in 2010 to compete in the Oatmeal making contest.
"But wait," Allergy said. "You don't eat oats. Gluuuuteeen will get ya."

steel - cut or rolled?

After some investigating I found a loop-hole. If the oats are grown out there, away from wheat and rye and barley, out there is a field far far away, chances are there will be no gluten to deal with. I tried McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal and my internal flora are happy. But I have to find Hamlyn's Pinhead Oatmeal from Scotland, only because that name is Divine. Pinhead? Is there a Scottish/English dictionary around here? Which term do you prefer? Steel Cut or Pinhead? (No wonder CF giggles. His country has the better English.)

When you go to the Golden Spurtle website there is a dictionary of terms that doesn't include Pinhead. But how about this: Athole brose - honey or meal mixed with whiskey chiefly Highland. For breakfast? Or Luggie, a small wooden bowl with one or two handles formed from projecting staves ..... Not what we mean when we say luggie. Here's one that's fun. Snap and rattle - toasted oatcakes crumbled in milk.

Back to the kitchen and the task at hand. Winning the Golden Spurtle. I don't own a spurtle, but I have a wooden spoon. I think it will work. My oatmeal today will be the first in an attempt to dazzle the judges and get me a place in the 2010 competition. I will use my Medjool dates, and since it's almost Thanksgiving, I will let the holiday and it's traditional flavors guide me this morning. Dates, pecans, pumpkin pie spices (a Trader Joe's product: a blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom.). Can't use honey. Hmm. Maple syrup. And if I love it, it will be submitted. If you love it - let me know. May my first Spurtle be Golden.

What to call it? Something that makes the morning jolly. How about -
Medjool Gruel

Serves One:

3/4 cup rice milk
1/4 cup steel cut oats
pinch of salt
1 medjool date, fresh, diced
1/4 tsp Trader Joe's pumpkin spice
1 tablespoon pecans
drizzle of maple syrup

Bring rice milk to a boil, add oats, date, salt and pumpkin spice. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover pot and continue to cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Add pecans and allow to sit off the heat for a minute.

Pour into a bowl and drizzle with maple syrup. Eat it up. Delicious. Sweet, smooth, warm, delightful.

The Medjool date is soft and almost melts into the oatmeal. If you are substituting a drier date you might consider soaking it for about 10 min in a little boiling water. Then drain and add the softened date to the pot.
I think it's good enough to enter into the contest.

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