Prompt: What is porridge to you?

Porridge is a literary object, turning up in many stories of old. I always had in mind it was sort of an oatmeal, but have never looked it up. Clean simple living, or a pauper’s meal, depending on the context. Wooden bowls and spoons, hand-carved. Giant kettles cooking over an open fire or in a huge walk-in fireplace. Women in long brown calico skirts. Gaunt London tots with enormous eyes and pale skin, shivering. I see a dirt floor and a broom with bristles made on twigs. There is always a long-handled ladle; sometimes the porridge is scooped into tin cups. Once I thought of porridge and there was a tidy, large country kitchen with steaming bowls of porridge on the table in front of a rosy buxom family, pots of jam and brown sugar and butter to pass. Rarely does Goldilocks come to mind, but when she sneaks in, the bowls are blue floral ceramics, and the spoons are very plain metal. That table has a gingham cloth on it.

I have never been offered actual porridge. Have you? Is it extinct?

1 comment:

  1. When you are in England oatmeal is often listed as porridge on the menu. Not so much in London but out in the rural areas. Or at least that's what I noticed. So yes, I've had Scottish porridge/oatmeal both in the UK and here. Boil it for 20 minutes and you actually can chew a cereal and not eat wallpaper paste. :>)