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Goldilocks, Spurtles and World Porridge Day

World Porridge Day was established five years ago by the Golden Spurtle—the organizing body of the World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland—along with with Mary’s Meals (a charity striving to feed schoolchildren across the world). On this day, humans and bears join to break the fast with a bowl of porridge while also making an effort to feed small children who are hungry for food and knowledge (whether they be golden-haired or not).

You may be wondering, ‘What is a spurtle, some kind of squirrel/turtle hybrid?’ Well to the world-class porridge maker, a spurtle an essential cooking utensil that is the only thing separating us from savages. You see, when stirring your porridge, the broad concave design of a spoon tends to collect the oatmeal into globs resulting in a lumpy and chunky porridge, but a spurtle is evenly convex on all sides, and so it helps to maintain a smooth and even-textured porridge.

Reductionists may say, ‘Well, that’s just a stick’, but if we’re going to start accusing things of being sticks couldn’t you easily say a rolling pin is just a stick or chopsticks are just…sticks? A spurtle is much more than a stick, it’s the porridge maker’s magic wand transfiguring grain kernels into creamy, fiber-rich goodness like only Professor McGonagall could. In terms of aesthetics, a Scottish “thistle top” is traditional, though I suppose a broad, wooden dowel will do for those who hate fun.

Spurtles aren’t just for oatmeal either. Technically porridge can refer to oat porridge (oatmeal), wheat porridge (cream of wheat) or even maize porridge (grits or polenta) which all benefit from the spurtle’s power to please fussy little eaters. Speaking of which, did you know that in Robert Southey’s original tale of the three bears, the character of Goldilocks was initially a mean old lady? And Goldilocks didn’t always have locks of gold either. For a while she was known as Silver-hair.

Oat porridge is a nutritious and delicious slow food, so why not try this recipe for honey and ginger porridge from none other than the Porridge Lady (because if there’s anything bears love more than porridge, it’s honey). Or you can search through these award winning recipes to find one that’s just right. Go ahead, take the morning to break out your trusty spurtle, welcome in any would-be home intruders and help feed a hungry child.