Former World Porridge champion from Suffolk loses crown in virtual contest
PUBLISHED: 19:00 12 October 2020
The former World Porridge Making champion from Suffolk has lost her crown and come runner up at this year’s virtual competition.
Lisa Williams, from Trimley St Martin, was crowned winner at the championships in Carrbridge, Scotland, last year and claimed the prestigious Golden Spurtle 2019 prize.
That competition saw entrants from Sweden, Canada, France, Belgium and Poland create their porridge using just the key ingredients of water, oatmeal and salt.
This year’s contest was slightly different as it was held virtually and judged on a three to five minute video and written recipe.
Judges made the final call on ‘virtual taste’ – meaning they chose which recipe they wanted to try the most.
The title of Virtual Spurtler 2020 was awarded Chris Young from Perthshire for his Crunch sa Bheul – Gaelic for crunch in the mouth – a Scottish take on croquembouche, made with oatflour, sugar and butter, piped with cream and dipped in caramel.
Mrs Williams was still thrilled to be involved with her ‘Porridge of Hope’ made with pinoat butter, honey bananas and chocolate, served with a rainbow fruit kebab.
She said: “I was really happy to come runner up, I had only wanted to make the top ten so to reach this far is amazing.
“The fact it was online did make it a little different but actually meant it was way more inclusive as people didn’t have to travel all the way to Scotland.”
The 49-year-old runs the Stennetts Community Cafe for adults with learning disabilities and has been uploading cooking videos each day on Facebook for staff to get involved in, while the cafe doors stay closed due to Covid.
Charlie Miller, from Carrbridge Community Council which organises the competition, said: “While we were of course hugely disappointed not to be able to host the World Championships in Carrbridge this year, we’ve been delighted with the response to the Virtual Spurtle.
“Many thanks to everyone who entered, congratulations to our top 10 finalists, to our winner and runner up, to our judges, and to everyone who has watched the videos online today.
“We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Carrbridge next October for the 2021 championships.”
Lisa’s Porridge of Hope recipe
• Pinoat Butter
• 150g Pinhead oatmeal
• 15g Honey
You may also want to watch:
• 20g light vegetable oil
• 3g flaky sea salt
Lightly toast the oats in a dry frying pan, keep moving them around, they will start to smell like popcorn, do not burn them, toast them until they are lightly golden.
Add all the ingredients to a food processor, process for several minutes until you have a peanut butter like texture, it will be drier in texture to a jar of peanut butter but keep processing until it looks slightly damp.
Taste it – if you want add more honey or salt to suit your palate then you can.
While I like bananas and peanut butter on porridge, I am not keen on the raw texture of the bananas and so I tried lightly frying them in honey and I liked it a lot.
I used Cuban honey as it’s from the Caribbean as are bananas and so I thought for a special occasion they would work well together – the Cuban honey is rich and dark, but runny at the same time and it brings a lovely flavour to the dish. Equally local honey would be good and when in Scotland I really enjoy heather honey.
Just chop the bananas and toss in the honey, cook on each side for about 30 seconds that is all, it’s just to take the rawness not to make the bananas mushy You can use the same frying pan that you toasted your oatmeal in.
My grandchildren get one square of chocolate in their porridge, but this is a special occasion and calls for celebration, so I chose milk chocolate, white chocolate, and some smarties buttons as they are a bit like a rainbow.
I chopped the milk and white chocolate into small chunks so that the heat of the porridge would melt it and it would be melted and warm.
The fruit kebab adds the rainbow, it balances out all those calories and brings us back to the health benefits of a bowl of porridge.
It’s part of the celebration bringing some fun and colour, but fruit also works really well with porridge so it’s not just there for its looks, it’s there to be enjoyed, too.
This is a really tasty bowl of porridge but it’s also one you can make with children, there are skills they can use and learn and cook safely
It’s also a hug in a bowl, it’s colourful to cheer you up, it’s warming and it’s tasty, so that is why it’s my porridge of hope.
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