Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Mess of Pottage or a Dish of Porridge?

Once upon a time I wrote a post about porage/porridge. I've dragged it out of the dusty archives, brushed it down, slightly expanded it - makes a change from staring, eyes wide shut, at the US political scene!

The word porridge itself has several historical variations in its spelling, porage/porridge being the two surviving. The word, and the food is an altered form of pottage. Porridge's long history and variations are set out at Wikipedia.

My old post was inspired by a 2008 article about the World Porridge Making Championship.
One line from the article had tickled my astrology bone:
"They managed to source their own oats and all came up with very different quality of porridge. They were all varied, which is amazing considering they only have three ingredients of oats, water and salt. "

Three ingredients/elements or, if one adds the necessary heat for cooking, four. Astrology also has four elements/ingredients: Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Porridge: Oats, Water Salt and Fire .....hmm!

The four astrological ingredients can combine to produce very different personalities, just as the mix and proportion of porridge ingredients produce different tastes, textures and flavours.

In the porridge-making contest was a special section for more exotic porridge presentations. The winner of this section:
"Addy, a 38-year-old professional Dutch chef, made his special porridge with a mixture of marzipan and home-made ice cream with an 18-year-old Glenfiddich."

In astrology also, it's the addition of special ingredients to the basic mix which adds spice and interest to a personality. Neptune conjunct Sun emanating as a gifted artist or writer; or a Jupiter/Venus/Uranus stellium in Taurus - a feeling of overdoing the good stuff (as in the above special porridge recipe, perhaps ?) Combinations of ingredients, beyond basics, are endless in both porridge-making and astrology.

Astrology and porridge have much in common. Who'da thought it?

There's this too, from the linked article:
Over the centuries, porridge - described as "Chief of Scotia's food" by poet Rabbie Burns - has been surrounded by myths and customs in Scotland.

Traditionally it should only be stirred in a clockwise direction using the right hand to avoid invoking the devil, while legend dictates that porridge be referred to as "they", and should be eaten standing up.

The kitchen dressers of Highland crofts often contained a "porridge drawer" which was filled with freshly cooked porridge that could be cut into squares when cold and taken onto the hills for sustenance.
Relate that to astrology ! Alrighty! Erm... not sure about the clock-wise right-handed stirring, nor any devilish input... but the porridge drawer with handy squares of cooked porridge could be likened unto newspaper, or online, Sun sign columns/websites consulted while at work or during travel. There ya go!


R J Adams said...

Sod the astrology - I'm with Addy!

JD said...

Every morning, without fail. Best way to start the day :)
Somebody mentioned grits in the comments here. I had some grits once upon a time - they were vile, disgusting!

mike said...

I always eat my porridge breakfast of steaming-hot brown rice, milk, and raisins, while reading your posts, Twilight...multitasking. When it comes to oatmeal porridge, I prefer whole grain oats or steel-cut oats lightly toasted, then long-simmered. Oatmeal in the USA is almost always rolled oats, which isn't too bad, but nowadays to save time, it's become instant rolled oats, ready in two minutes...ugh...bland mush. A pat of butter or a bit of cream is a nice touch, but I rarely have them on hand. No sugar for me...I prefer the slight sweetness of the raisins.

Many of my Latino friends enjoy a steamed or baked sweet potato, mashed, and moated with some milk. I've had that a couple of times and like it, but I don't often have left-over, baked sweet potatoes.

I doubt that too many Americans have porridge for breakfast, instead opting for the commercial, ready-in-a-box cold cereals. Maybe a Pop-Tart or two.

My mother often made us cornmeal mush...over-firm corn porridge...poured into a loaf-pan to firm-up overnight, then sliced like bread and fried in butter, and served with honey or syrup. Yum.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams, JD and mike ~ Thanks y'all ! All porridge fanciers. :-)

Cracker Barrel do a rather manly, sturdy bowl of porridge on their breakfast menu - steel cut and mighty chewy, with all manner of side nibbles to go with. I prefer the milder Scott's Old Fashioned Quaker Oats when making it for myself -loyal to family name ;-) All that chewing could tire a gal out!

I eat just Greek yoghurt for brekkie nowadays, but sometimes have a nice big bowl of porridge for lunch, especially during cold weather.

I've not yet sampled grits - not tempted! I suspect they must be something like coarse semolina pudding - the kind we used to have for dessert at school dinners. ;-(