Sunday, May 29, 2011

for want of a spurtle

Today's soundtrack:
"Take a Minute" by K'naan
"Love Song to Canada" by Jason Collett
"Skinny Boy" by Amy Millian

Last fall when Miguel travelled to St. Andrews for his job interview, I asked him to try to find a porridge stirrer. I gave him - I thought - an excellent description based on my parents' porridge stirrer. "It's a stick for stirring porridge. A porridge stirrer," I explained simply. Too simply, as it turned out. Miguel returned home porridge stirrer-less, which was a disappointment... although he did get the job, so I suppose it all evened out in the end. There were no porridge stirrers in all of Scotland, and certainly none with a thistle on top.

In light of my past blog post and after making a larger batch of porridge, I thought I should really reignite my porridge stirrer search. Miguel remained skeptical of the whole plan, as well as more than a little confused as to what a porridge stirrer really was. So a-Googling I went and discovered, to my utter amazement, that a porridge stirrer is really called a spurtle.

I suppose that would have been good information for Miguel to have had before he went around to all the souvenir shops in St. Andrews, asking bewildered clerks if they had any porridge stirrers.

Spurtles, it appears, have been around since the 15th century and are easily found in any kitchen shop. So common and well known is the spurtle that the prize at the Annual World Porridge Making Competition in Carrbridge, Scotland is The Golden Spurtle (this year's competition is on October 9, one day before World Porridge Day. Mark your calendars).

And so, while up in St. Andrews yesterday, I ducked into Mica (a kitchen shop) and one minute later, I had my very own spurtle. It even has a thistle on top.

Mission accomplished.

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