Healthy Living on on September 6 2011 by Guest
In Her Words: Spar for the Spurtle Winner Merry Graham
It was as if I had been whisked away to Scotland! The bagpiper started playing, beginning the processional that led two competitors and me to our cooking stations. I was a stew pot of nerves, excitement, confidence, and giddiness! My time had arrived. Could I make the winning steel cut oat dish? Would my 15 practice sessions before the cook-off give me an edge? Would my extra effort of renting a butane burner which I used during my practice sessions before arriving on Bob’s turf, help me to stay calm if the burners went wacko or failed? Prior to the cook-off, while we were preparing our ingredients, a butane burner caught fire, but I remained calm. During the cook-off in the middle of frying my black bean patties, my butane burner stopped, but I simply moved it to the next burner. I guess you can say practice sometimes makes perfect; my Black Bean Porridge Patties were declared the Spurtle champion! So, let me back up to the beginning of my experience with Bob’s Red Mill Spar for the Spurtle Ultimate Oatmeal Throwdown. I’ve enjoyed Bob’s Red Mill products for 30 years. My children grew up on Bob’s oatmeal and pancake mix, so much so, that my son’s first sentence was, “More . . . pancakes . . . please!” So when I heard about the contest, it was a given, and I had to compete. When I began thinking about my recipe, first I played with titles and thought that "Black Bean Porridge Patties" smoothly rolled off the tongue. After selecting the name, my strategy was to concoct a savory porridge in patty form! The patties turned out crisp on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. I was hooked! I knew the porridge patties were a winner! When I received a call from Julie at Bob’s Red Mill announcing that I was a finalist, I spilled forth with way too much enthusiasm and excitement! She patiently lent a listening ear, as did the judges at the Throwdown, as I bubbled with pride and passion talking about my black bean porridge patties. I’m still in awe of it all! To become a finalist was exhilarating, and to travel to Portland, Oregon for the cook-off seemed as if I was going home. There was something so familiar in it all! Many of Bob’s Red Mill’s staff had their hands in the porridge pot, making the cook-off a success. They were all so kind, helpful, detailed, and informative. When it comes to my first trip to Scotland to compete in the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship, I sure won’t feel like I’m going home. Yet, I’m confident that the Bob’s Red Mill team will continue to be detailed, kind, and patient with my “spillovers.” To wrap this blog post up, there is only one thing I’ve done to prepare for my trip to the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championships in Scotland: I purposely didn’t unpack my prized myrtle spurtle from the suitcase!