In the kitchen, I am a compulsive and passionate stirrer. My wife observed this trait early in our marriage, and the two disparate statements heard most frequently in our kitchen when we’ve been cooking together are, “Rob, I need you to stir this for me”, and, “Just leave it alone and let it cook, for goodness’ sake!”
Our Scottish friend, Av Fries, gave my wife a spurtle* last year as a gift. It’s a stick used primarily for stirring oatmeal, and when I saw it I was frankly unimpressed with the technology. “How can you stir anything with this contraption?” I asked myself. “It’s a stick, for crying out loud! It needs to be flatter–it needs more surface area.” (In addition to being an ardent stirrer, I am fond of canoeing.)
I was wrong.
I introduced myself to Scottish oats not long ago, and decided that to produce an authentic bowl of porridge I needed to stir it with the spurtle. I did so, and discovered the merits of this pretty little stick with the carved thistle at its butt end. Not only does it do a great job of agitating oats, it fits perfectly into the contoured bottom edge of the pot and leaves no oat unturned. Great rig.
Just the other week I was listening to an interview with John Boa. You’ve heard of him, right? He’s a world champion, albeit in the somewhat offbeat discipline of porridge cooking. He is the most recent winner of the Golden Spurtle,** the coveted prize of porridge cookers the world over. Hoodathunkit?
Want to really cause a stir in the kitchen? Get your hands on a spurtle.