Steel-cut oats can make a hearty and healthful breakfast, but as Martha Rose Shulman recently discovered, oats are a great grain at dinnertime too. She writes:
A couple of years ago in the course of touring Bob’s Red Mill, the whole-foods purveyor based in Portland, Ore., I learned a new word: spurtle. A spurtle is a wooden dowel-like implement used to stir oatmeal. They are common in Scotland, where an international porridge-making competition called the Golden Spurtle is held every year in October. There are two sections to the competition: one for plain porridge made with steel-cut oats (also known as pinhead oats) and nothing more than water and salt; and one for specialty porridges, in which the steel-cut oats are used in a dish with other ingredients, sweet or savory.
Bob’s Red Mill entered and won the traditional porridge competition in 2010, which was quite an honor. This inspired the company to create its own oatmeal contest, offering the winner an all-expenses-paid trip to Scotland to compete in the Golden Spurtle.