Hamlyns of Scotland, producers of Scottish Oatmeal and Porridge Oats are celebrating their 50th Birthday this year. That's a lot of porridge for breakfast even by Goldilocks and the three bears standard. Their traditional range of Oats and Oatmeal is produced from premium Scottish oats, grown and milled in Scotland - 100% Scottish from seed to mill to finished product. Hamlyns work closely with a network of farmers across Scotland, with the majority of their supplier located in the north east of Scotland, near their oat mill at Boyndie in Banffshire, in the heart of Scotland’s oat growing countryside.
Hamlyns sent me the full selection of their products to try out. I was already very familiar with their Porridge Oats and Oatmeal but they also offer the convenience of new porridge sachets and instant porridge pots. These are a quick and convenient way to cook delicious porridge just in two minutes. Both products are available in three varieties - Original, Golden Syrup and Mixed Berry. If you prefer to make your porridge from oats or oatmeal, their traditional range includes Scottish Oatmeal, Scottish Porridge Oats, Scottish Porridge Oats & Bran and Pinhead Oatmeal in a re-sealable tin. All four varieties can be used to make a delicious porridge, each with a different distinctive taste and texture. A general rule is the finer the porridge oats or oatmeal, the shorter the cooking time required. The cooking time is reduced further if you choose porridge oats, as the oats are lightly steamed in the mill before they are rolled.
The eternal question is of course how do you take your porridge? I'm salt all the way whilst my children love it with sugar, honey or syrup. Unlike my sassenach offspring I just can't do the sweet thing. Scottish traditionalists will insist that porridge should contain nothing more than oats, water and salt. That's a wee bit too austere and brose like for me. I like milk in mine and a good sprinkling of oatmeal on the top is an absolute must. My childhood porridge came in a Royal Doulton Bunnykins porrindger and was always accompanied by a bowl of milk on the side and the rhyme "How many rabbits running round the plate? Quick eat it up before its too late!"
There's a lot more to Porridge Oats and Oatmeal than breakfast. Cranachan and Skirlie are particular Scottish favourites and of course oatmeal features in haggis and black pudding. A quick look back through my own posts found plenty of baking recipes for Oatcakes, Muffins, Crumble and Flapjacks.
I used some of the pinhead oatmeal to make an affa fine tea. Real traditional fare but it fair hit the spot. Herring in Oatmeal. Make up a paste with English Mustard and a wee splash of milk. Brush it on the herring fillet and press on a coating of Pinhead Oatmeal. Pan Fry oatmeal side down in Scottish Rapeseed Oil until golden then flip over and fry the skin side. It received a lot of love on my Facebook page along with a comment which I absolutely loved which one of my likers shared. Her mum had a saying about herring "fry me belly then my back said the herring to the fat!"
Hamlyns have provided a fantastic 50th Birthday Celebration Hamper as a giveaway for readers of Foodie Quine. Worth around £200 it contains a Sophie Conran for Portmeirion white china breakfast set for two, a Hamlyns teddy and apron, a wooden spurtle and the full range of Hamlyns traditional and instant porridge and oatmeal.
Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget below. To enter, let me know in a comment "What do you put on/in your Porridge?" For additional bonus entries you can follow me and Hamlyns on Twitter, Tweet about the Giveaway or like me on Facebook. Giveaway ends 13th May 2015 12:00am. Good Luck!
Disclosure - Hamlyns provided me with product and commissioned me for writing this post. All views expressed are my own.