“Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;
Some like it hot, some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot, nine days old.”
… from Mother Goose’s Melody, circa 1760
What is pease porridge, and where did it come from? The above verse is an old English and nursery rhyme and clapping chant. Porridge is any dish made from grains or legumes cooked with water or milk until smooth, thick and the grains are mushy. One British version of porridge is pease porridge made with dried peas and served with bacon or sausage.
Every culture has its own porridges, safe, healthy and inexpensive foods for families, especially those living on very slender incomes. Porridge is an old English term for what we, here, mostly call hot cereal. These days consumption of oatmeal has risen due to its tendency to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. However, when it comes to savory corn grits laced with lots of sharp Cheddar cheese, shrimp and Bay Seasoning, we have crossed the line into dinner time. Congee, or Jook, is a rice porridge popular in all of Asia and is rice cooked until it looses its shape and often made with chicken.
Make any of these porridges on stovetop, or in a slow cooker or rice cooker.
- Hasty Pudding
- All hot cereals
- Pease pudding
Porridges may be made from any of the following.
Porridge has been consumed in Northern Europe since antiquity while oatmeal has a strong Scottish tradition.
Toasting the grains in a dry skillet before cooking enhances taste.
Ratios of grain or legumes to liquid vary greatly, and so do cooking times. Therefore, it is necessary to read directions before starting to make any porridge.
Toppings for any porridge:
- Brown sugar
- Syrups or honey
- Milk, creams
- Dried or fresh fruits
- Herbs and spices
- Cooked eggs
- Sharp cheese
- Soy sauce
- Hot peppers
Foodsites with porridge recipes.