A Conversation on the Subject of Porridge/Porage/Parritch

Dear Volka,

Breakfast, and a winter (multi-?) cultural experience, for two (brought to mind, and own breakfast table, by thoughts of steak-and-kidney pudding):

Boil/simmer a cup (cup not mug) of porage in two-and-a-half cups of milk for, say, 5 minutes, stirring frequently to stop it sticking/burning on bottom of pan. (Once it starts to bubble, it will continue to do so on low heat.) Serve, adding, to taste, maple syrup and whisky or–if your politics go still further in this direction–either (but not both) brandy or rum. (Please … don’t experiment with gin … not for breakfast or any other time.)

If you want the true (mono) cultural experience … make it with water not milk, in the same proportions but in a sort of wholesale quantity; add lots of salt; cook; pour into a drawer and leave until cold and solid. Then every day throughout the winter (i.e. early August to late May), open the drawer and cut out a slice for breakfast … and lunch and (battered and deep-fried) dinner.

The great Doctor Johnson (God bless him and rest his soul) defined oats as ‘a food eaten in Scotland by men and in England by horses’.

May the Nations never become One.