Tag Archives: pease porridge

Let’s Just “Gruel” in the New Year

Let’s Just “Gruel” in the New Year

When I used to watch old movies as a child; gruel was served to orphans as an economic necessity. You certainly couldn’t feed hundreds of children steak and eggs on the city’s dime and Dickens loved using gruel as a metephor for cruelty. The Dickensian delights of the Victorian workhouse, immortalised in the moment when a starving Oliver Twist dares to ask for some more watery gruel.

In my family–the gruel came with much praise and many comments every day in January — undoubting the decision of its wholesomeness along with a small side bowl of prunes for everyone’s constitution. In today’s realm it would be much like yogurt attempts to advertise for the thoughts of regular constitution.

Gruel can actually be quite tasty they say. Mary Louise Deller Knight’s was not. Like the 1976 tune “Give Peace a Chance” I was instructed to give gruel a chance- every single day. The thin porridge has had a bad reputation with me ever since. My grandmother decided the month of January should be dedicated to getting everyone’s body ready for the rest of the Winter and layers of morning gruel lining my intestines would do it.

You know maybe if Grammy had followed the old recipe above I might have given it a chance. But- she made her slushy gruel, containing oats, water, milk and onion. That’s right — onion. As my grandfather would say:

“There’s no flavour at all without the onion.”

I begged to differ.

As she rejoyced about it ‘sticking to my insides’, today I would have retorted, “They call that Dysphagia!” In yesterday’s life it was “eat your meals or starve.”

Today, in these nutritionally conscious times, gruel is an all-rounder. It’s got all the carbs and water you need to barely survive for another day. For the health-conscious gruel can be made more interesting by adding bee pollen, maca, hemp seeds, coconut butter, lentil sprouts or fermented tree-nut cheese. Consider yourself warned this might become a new food trend!

Me? I think I will just eat my ethically-sourced, fair trade hat and avoid it like the Black Plague.

More gruel recipes click here.

Pease Pudding in the Pot, Nine Days Old

Pease Pudding in the Pot, Nine Days Old

Pease Pudding in the Pot, Nine Days Old


Pease pudding in the pot, nine days old. Some like it hot, some like it cold, … The dish probably started out as pease porridge, but after the pudding cloth was invented, it became a pudding, often eaten with salt pork. Puddings, in those days, were not the creamy thickened desserts which we call pudding today.


In 1947 there was was a strange advertisement by Dodds and Erwin of Perth, headed “Some Like It Hot.” People thought it might be about boogie woogie but instead it was. about “peas brose”  Ever hear of it? “What’s better than a nice cup of pease porridge right now?” asks the ad.

This goes on: “They say it was pea brose that made Scotland the second best nation on earth (the first being Ireland.) “Others say it was pea brose that drove the Scotsman away from home. So tastes differ.”

It was said that it could be found at Snow Road, and Flower Station. (Both were on the old Kingston and Pembroke branch of the CPR).



Pease pudding is an English dish consisting of boiled peas which are seasoned with salt and other spices, and then cooked together with bacon or ham for extra flavor. The final result is a thick porridge with mild, yet rich flavors. Originally, pease pudding was cooked in large cauldrons which were hanging over an open fire.

Traditionally pease pudding is served with pork and was often cooked in a muslin with the ham. Today, it is even available in cans throughout the United Kingdom.

Recipe here CLICK





Dodds & Erwin has been serving the agricultural community for over 99 years. Established in 1918 the business is now being operated by 4th generation Erwin’s! We supply feed and farm supplies to all the local farms as well as purchase most of our grain locally off those same farms! We also have a wide variety of wild life feeds and pet foods to suite your needs. In the summer months of May-October we have a vast bulk landscape supply depot as well as every variety of lawn seed to garden seed you desire! Stop into our Feeds n’ Needs outlet at 2870 Rideau Ferry road, 1 km south of Perth on county road 1.




Funky Soul Stew was Once Cooking in Carleton Place

Cooking with Findlay’s — Christine Armstrong’s Inheritance and Maple Syrup Recipe

Food Review of the Smorgasbord at The Queen’s Royal Hotel 1947

Fight Over the “Restaurant on Wheels” 1899 — The First Food Truck Fight