Porridge for Cold Mornings and More
Marty Martindale


“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.

  • Congee/Jook
  • Farina
  • Grits
  • Gruel
  • Hasty Pudding
  • Kasha
  • Mush
  • Oatmeal
  • All hot cereals
  • Pease pudding
  • Polenta


Porridges may be made from any of the following.

  • Oats
  • Rice
  • Peasemeal
  • Barley
  • Cornmeal
  • Semolina
  • Wheat
  • Buckwheat


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
  • Yogurt
  • Milk, creams
  • Dried or fresh fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Herbs and spices
  • Butter
  • Cooked eggs



  • Seafood
  • Sharp cheese
  • Salsa
  • Soy sauce
  • Scallions
  • Mushrooms
  • Hot peppers
  • Greens


Foodsites with porridge recipes.






Marty Martindale

About Marty Martindale

Foodsite Magazine and Marty aim to help the cooking-challenged avoid dependence on others due to lack of cooking knowhow. We concentrate on quick breakfasts, portable lunches and “good-4-u” night meals. With readily available web translation, the magazine explains separate foods, a little of their history, their nutrition, suggested “go-withs,” serving ideas and links to foodsites with recipes.

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