What’s a spurtle, you ask? It’s a 15th-century cooking implement, of course, a “rod-like instrument that is traditionally used to stir porridge and prevent it from becoming lumpy.” Porridge, in this case, meaning oatmeal.
All clear? No? Keep reading, I have a story to tell.
Once upon a time, there was a delightful man named Bob who opened a mill up in Oregon. This mill produces a ton of delicious products, one of them being steel-cut oats. A couple of years ago, Bob sent one of his employees to enter the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland…and he won!
Now Bob and Co. have opened up the contest to amateurs, civilians, home cooks, people, in short, like us. Last year a woman named Merry Graham (that’s “Merry with an e,” not to be confused with my friend “Mary with an a” Graham) won the U.S. contest with her recipe for Black Bean Porridge Patties with Pico de Gallo.
You know what’s coming, right? I am SO entering this contest. So is my friend and office cooking cohort, Kerri…but that still leaves one slot in the U.S. finals for you. (Kerri and I are obviously destined to take two out of three spots, but you’re welcome to fight it out for the other one. We’d love to meet you and–with all the love in the world–kick your butt in the Oregon cook-off).
So here’s the scoop: To enter, you need to create a unique recipe that makes use of Bob’s Red Mill’s Steel Cut Oats. Then submit a video of you making your dish—just pretend you’re one of The Next Food Network Star finalists. Better get to cooking and filming, though; the deadline to enter is July 20.
From the entries, three finalists will be flown to Portland, Ore. to compete in a live cook-off in early August. The winner of the cook-off will receive an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Scotland, including $2,500 in cash, to help represent team Bob’s Red Mill in the 19th Annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship this October.
So….you in? Before you say “aye” here’s a fun little twist from the official rules: The recipe should demonstrate a creative use of the oats – or, as the Scots say, a “blending and harmony of the porridge with the other ingredients.” Dishes can be sweet or savory – they just need to be cooked on the stovetop using only two burners and able to be created from start to finish within 30 minutes. Oats may be soaked or toasted prior to the start of the 30 minutes, but they cannot be cooked in any way.
The degree of difficulty just ramped up, didn’t it? Never mind, it just requires a little extra creativity. Here’s a link to the official rules and whatnot. If you enter (and I hope you do) let me know where to find your video and I’ll post a link to it. Once Kerri and I have our videos up I’ll post links to them, too.
Good luck, lads and lasses! It’s time for “a brawl of epic proportions.” Game on!
P.S. This isn’t a sponsored post or anything, I just wanted to give you fair warning about my upcoming trips to Portland and Scotland. Not that I’m overly confident or anything (perish the thought!) but I do feel pretty good about my recipe.