Monday, September 27, 2010

Snappy September - Day Twenty Seven - Putrid Porridge

Like most people older than Justin Beiber, I'm on Facebook.

I don't play poker, send virtual flowers or win baby foals on Farmville, but I'll admit to enjoying reading about what everyone else is up to.

I'll also admit to reconnecting with more friends than I'd ever be able to do in real life and defend my willingness to do so in this soulless, technological age of constant communication versus declining face-to-face interaction by saying that in one application I can see what 150 people that I like are up to and that's a helluva lot easier than enduring the mindless agony and boredom of hand-writing 150 Christmas cards (or receiving them, especially with those photocopied 'Dear whoever' annual summaries inside) or trying to visit around 150 different locations.

Whilst I'm in a confessional state of mind, I'll also tell you that you're free to be my
Facebook friend. Hey, if you're here reading my writing, then I'm honestly really pleased, flattered and not a little proud that you are, and I'd gladly want to have a coffee with you in real life or cyberspace. I've got nothing to hide other than my naked body and even bits of that has made it onto this blog of late.

Okay. Facebook. I'll post an update every now and then, but it amused me recently that the one that got the greatest response - 2 'likes' and twenty six written comments - was one about porridge.

I wrote: 'Katherine Lockett (yeah it's my full name on FB) believes that porridge is just God's own vomit and should be banned from being considered a breakfast food!'

The sentiment expressed was true. I know that porridge is considered a superfood and has a low glycaemic index and no fat and some kind of amazing ability to soak up scary things like carcinogens and cholesterol and low self esteem and instead provide the wise eater with wisdom, long lasting energy and an enviable sense of style but it tastes like lumpy clag to me.

John is Scottish and used his heritage as an argument: "That's no' how you make porridge. You have it with salt. My grandfather used to pour the leftovers into a drawer and eat the hardened stuff later on for lunch."

Katie tried to sell it as a convenience food: "It's soft and mushy, so I don't have to be very awake to eat it, unlike muesli which is just hard work."

Carmel tried to sweeten the blow by suggesting that I should "Just add chocolate and stir." Little does she know I've tried that many a time (also with meusli - add a few chocolate chips to the general nuts and bolts in there so that all that time spent chewing has the occasional bright spot).

Two correspondents went so far as to say that porridge for breakfast 'rocks' (hello Simon and Paul) and six friends said they 'love' it. Yes, they went on a public forum and said loudly and proudly that they love love LOVE it - Lynda, Jill, Wah Chin, Karen, Paula and Lucy - really? You love it?

Mostly though, the comments gave me ways to disguise the texture and taste of God's vomit - blueberries, rosehip jelly, honey, flavoured sachets, yoghurt, cinnamon and sultanas.

Dear, sweet, intelligent and full-of-empathy Angus said it best: "If it WAS actually God's own vomit you could sell it on eBay to any number of US casinos for a lot of money. But yes, given the choice between eating porridge and eating my own rancid faeces, I'd have to think it over carefully." He's a karate black belt too, so don't you dare argue.

I'll keep trying though. *sigh*


franzy said...

Three years and still Facebook free.

But a question: if you hate it, why are you eating it?

I don't mind it when I've had it, but have you ever noticed how most supposedly healthy stuff (porridge, tofu, cracked wheat, lentils, etc) only tastes good when you cover the flavour (or lack thereof) with something else? And that the only reason people started eating it in the first place was because they were poor and starving?
Why are we all persisting with starving people food? Are we not sitting atop the pyramid of the military-agri-industrial complex? Have we not access to the finer things with which to fatten ourselves until the hun descends and takes it from our greasy fingers?


mele said...

I am as perplexed as you on this one. My mother is Italian so I did not grow up with porridge as a kidlet. Oddly, I keep trying it because I think I'm missing out on something.

Cat J B said...

My kids eat porridge sometimes, without complaint and occasionally it's even requested. While I wouldn't compare it to vomit, it does not ring my personal bell for breakfast.

About Facebook, I did join up a while ago, but I never actually go on there and see what's happening. I find it too easy to get sucked into everyone else's lives spend too much time online.

WV - 'poptaing' lol

Cat J B said...

That would be 'and' spend too much time on line. Gah, my brain's addled, I spent too much time at the pool with the kids today, think I've been chlorinated...

Kath Lockett said...

Franzy, I haven't forgotten that I tried to find you on FB, send a friend request and then, later that same week you wrote about how you were quitting Facebook! But hey, I dusted myself off, dried my tears and now write about things that really get that community going, like porridge.

And yes, away with my porridge but, after trying a few times (I like your point about us going for poor people's food) I'm finding that I actually prefer it plain. Adding bits and pieces just makes it less real and more sugary sickly.

Mele, it's like KFC with me. Every decade I find myself trying it and realising that yes, it's still crap and still should be avoided for much longer intervals than a mere ten years.

Cat - 'Poptaing' - the short burst of smugness someone feels after polishing off a bowl of porridge; soon fading when they feel a bit full on the stomach and do an unappetising 'oat' burp on the train in to work.

Chestnut Mare said...

I LOVE porridge....raw sugar sprinkled on while it's still hot, then milk added. If that bottom photo is anything to go by - If yours looks like that bottom photo, I'm not surprised you don't like it!!! It should be 'creamy'...

Kay said...

Kath, I would be honoured to be your FB friend but I see that you are terrified of cardigans and unfortunately I have several in my wardrobe. Are we able to get past this hurdle???

And I hear you on the porridge!

River said...

You know that I'm going to disagree with you here.
Because I love porridge. Always have. I've even tried the Scots style porridge, made with water and salt, but I prefer my mum's version, made with milk and sugar.
I also add extra oatbran, a smidge of a high-fibre mix and a teaspoon each of ground linseeds and ground sesame seeds. This all makes the porridge less creamy, but I'm considering my health here. I have an electric coffee bean grinder which I use to grind the seeds, a weeks supply at a time. Sometimes I skip all the "extras" and have the porridge plain or maybe with chopped dried fruit added. I stir in a teaspoon of Malt Extract just before eating.(lots of B vitamins in that)My dad used to stir in a little butter for flavour, I've done that too, but it must be BUTTER, not margarine.
If you're determined to eat oats, why not try making your own Anzac biscuits? yummy and healthy.
I'm also Facebook free and quite determined to stay that way.

Miles McClagan said...

I'm Scottish

And I hate Porridge

But I'll let you in on a secret

We've kept all our good food just for us

And imported the worst...

Sssshhhh. Keep it to yourself. If they ever import the proper stuff, there would be a riot...

Helen said...

I can't eat porridge, it's too rich for me and then I feel sick all morning. I do use it to bake choc-chip cranberry biscuits though!

Annoying person said...

I LOVE porridge. And things like lentils and tofu and brussels sprouts... and pumpkin!! That said - I'm not really all that healthy, so...

Helen Balcony said...

...Ooops, hit Post too soon. I was going to say: you're doing it RONG as far as I can see in the photos - it's severely undercooked. Not that I'd really mind it, but the photos are of slightly warm oats with milk, rather than porridge!

w/v Whedines: New wheaten cereal for whining children - soaks up ennui. Great for skool holidays.

Elisabeth said...

I don't eat porridge anymore but it does not bother me much one way or another.

My children seem to enjoy porridge, but they never went to boarding school where it was once weekly compulsory eating and often badly cooked even burnt.

I'd love to be your Face Book friend. And you can be mine if you like.

My husband - a non-believer - calls it Faeces Book. This seems an apt link to your description of what you'd rather eat than porridge.

Pandora Behr said...

You've done it again Kath - started a rant from a number of miles away....onya.

And I'm of the occasional porridge, hot with sugar and cold milk. Magic. just can't be lumpy.

Vanessa said...

I Love porridge. I often eat it for lunch as well as breakfast on a cold winter day. I love it plain but often add either a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, sultanas, dried apricots or grated apple. I make mine by putting one third cup oats with one cup hilo milk in a large bowl. I cook for three minutes in microwave and it is milky and creamy and so convenient. One of the first phrases from my baby number two was "Mumma, I awake now, I want porridge"' from her cot.
I am on Facebook but never use it. Decided it was worth keeping an account just so I can keep a check every now and then on my kids' peers. No, they don't have accounts but was interested to learn recently that some bullying had taken place and when I investigated, how little security so many kids have.
I am on my way to Melb next month, would love to catch up for a coffee.

JK said...

Kath, I agree with you wholeheartedly on Facebook (I am a late convert and I now realise the benefits, especially once I found out how to block Farmville - happy day!).
But you have my jaw dropping about porridge - I LOVE it. It is my winter weekend breakfast, I grate a whole apple into it and a sprinkle each of cinnamon and brown sugar, and YUM. Keeps my tummy warm and full for half the day and stops me eating rubbish until at least lunchtime.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

Porridge - YEEUCHH!!!!! It may be loved by my Scottish neighbours (and Mrs PM) but I hate it. It reminds me of the crap you see at the bottom of a bird cage (and tastes similar too).

Also, I am on Facebook (thanks to Mrs PM) but most of my friends my age consider it to be for "youngsters" and the likes of me shouldn't go near it.

So I don't - well often anyway.

But I might look you up on there - maybe...





nuttynoton said...

porridge is lovely with half water half milk 2 mins in the microwave add jam or honey yum and I do not get peckish mid morning unless I am bored!!

Deep Kick Girl said...

My kids love the processed porridge stuff... you know the satchets of flavoured porridge powder... and I love it because it's a quick easy breakfast for them and I can kid myself I'm giving them a healthy, nutrious breakfast (I try and avoid thinking about the copious amounts of sugar contained within each satchet).

Personally I don't mind the nutty flavoured ones but it takes me all winter to get through one box of 12 satchets. I'm just not a cereal for breakfast person. Give me an egg on toast any day, or avocado and thinly sliced tomato with a sprinkle of sea salt... mmmm...

As far as "real" porridge goes... I agree it's not fit for human consumption and should be left alone to be used as prison food... if that doesn't deter them from a life of crime I don't know what will.

Kath Lockett said...

Crikey! Porridge really DOES get the comments flowing, here and on facebook!

Louise said...

Great post. I never realised that porridge was the cause of such a schism in the populace! I'm definitely in the love it camp. I make it at home for most of the winter. I've got my son eating it. I make my own porridge mixes with different grains besides oats. I make Bill's Banana Maple Porridge-oh my- what God serves for breakfast in heaven. I order it in cafes when I'm lucky enough to be out somewhere cosmopolitan enough to have cafes that serve breakfast. I fondly remember one in NZ one time, that was served with a fairly stiff shot of whiskey. I think it was even flaming- perhaps that's just the memory addling effects of time. Woo hee. Now There is a Breakfast. Pity it's too hot for porridge now. I could see me whipping some up in the morning. And I agree, your bottom pic looks a bit watery, mine is rather thick and creamy. But seriously, once you're over a certain age you can just add things you don't like to the ever increasing list that life is too short for.