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« Scottish Tablet Recipe Now Available | Main | Scottish Tablet, Candy Alchemy! »

You Say Porridge, I Say Oatmeal

We've run out of oatmeal. Normally not a big deal, but this was really good oatmeal and we can't get it anymore because the four-hundred year old water mill that made it is closed for the winter. These oats were ground on a big-ass millstone powered by the stream that ran past the mill. We even got to watch the oats being ground and bagged. The miller would scoop them into each bag, carefully apply a bead of Elmer's glue to the opening and hold it shut for a few moments before moving on to the next bag. I'll say it again. It was good oatmeal. The bar has been set very high.

So now we're oatless, as I said, and we're at the grocery store. I left Brenna in the wine aisle and ran over to the oat aisle. Remember, this is Scotland -- I had choices. Many, many choices. I stood back and surveyed, but each time I thought I'd made a decision, I would remember the sound of the water driving the millstone and the smell of the oats and grain hanging in the air of mill. No one lovingly scooped any of these oats into any of these bags. How could they possibly be as good?

My kitsch factor fave was Scott's Porage Oat's. On the box is a drawing of a shot-putting kilt clad Scotsman. The problem was that there's no way we would have finished the huge box before we left Scotland. I thought of dumping out one of Brenna's toiletry kits and filling it up with the leftovers. They probably would have lasted until we hit Italy this spring, but I figured a smaller box might be a better idea.

I zeroed in on a candidate and was about to pick up the box, when I heard a Scottish voice say to his wife, "Is this the one?" as he grabbed a bag of oats. I recoiled from my obviously inferior selection and pretended to be reading the tampon box in my cart while I peered over to see what brand he'd picked. He's a Scotsman, it had to be the right choice.

I'd no more than reached for the bag when a woman, obviously confident in her oats, rolled past me to pick out a different brand. Again I quickly stepped back. Now what the hell do I do? I kid you not, I had oat anxiety. Before I could choose again, a scrum of oat buyers pushed through. There was a run on oats in Tesco. I waited until they cleared the aisle -- I just wasn't confident enough in my choice and I didn't want to look like an amateur. Again, this is Scotland and oats are not to be trifled with.

About now I was wishing I had an iPhone. I could have hidden in any of the pickled onion aisles while I Googled, "Best porridge oats review."

I finally grabbed a bag without looking and moved back to the more familiar wine aisle with Brenna. My oatmeal is the Tesco store brand.

When I got home I did that Google search. I should have gone with the Scott's Porage Oat's.

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Reader Comments (10)

I'm moving to Scotland...right now.

Nov 18, 2009 at 7:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMelinda

I thought the guy on the Scott's Oats looked like Bob at first glance!!!!!

Nov 18, 2009 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterpamela

Can you bring some home??? We can sell it on eBay and start a rage!

Nov 18, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterKim

There's oats and there's oats... then there's that scotsman walking down the street in a wife beater. I want my husband to eat what that guy is eating. Sorry for your oatxiety, Bob. Next time remember Acoms razor.

Nov 18, 2009 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered Commenternoho1960

Are there any steel-cut oats? Or are they ALL steel-cut?
That's my new favorite - I love a hot bowl of steel-cuts in the morning with a drizzle of maple syrup and a dash of milk.
I can't even LOOK at that smiling Quaker on the round canister any more because I just envision the cardboard-y, blah flakes inside!

Nov 18, 2009 at 9:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterIris


This makes me want to find the Scott's Porage Oats here, so I can hold a spoon like the guy in the ad and be a real man. (Is it my imagination, or does the guy on the box look like Mel Gibson?)

Nov 18, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterDad

What a great laugh, brilliant!

Nov 18, 2009 at 10:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

might just be the best yet..only you bob!! def top 1,2 or 3 blog to date. If brenna just thinks of you as a 'minor God' i must be the biggest bum in the world.

oat anxiety....still laughin

Nov 19, 2009 at 6:45 AM | Unregistered Commentertravis


Thanks - As Always - for bringing a LOT of laughter to my day. And ... This should be a lesson to trust your instincts! You know a Good Oat when you See One!

Love to All - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ELLA!!! : )


Nov 19, 2009 at 6:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterCCTriumph: Brenna's Sis

I'm with Cheese- I want y'alls life! And now all American oats are crap to me. So now I can't get anymore of my favorite Scotch cause they don't export it from Scotland, and now I want oats I can't get outside Scotland! Dadgummit!

Nov 19, 2009 at 2:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn D.

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