I received a spurtle for Christmas this year and must admit-I use it all the time. I make real oatmeal a few time a week and somehow feel like I am connecting with women from long ago when I stir my pot with a stout stick! The spurtle (or "spirtle") is a Scots kitchen tool that dates from at least the fifteenth century. It evolved from a flat, wooden, spatula-like utensil that was used for flipping oatcakes on a hot cookstone.
Over time, the implement changed shape and began being used specifically for stirring oatmeal and soups. The rod-like shape is designed for constant stirring which prevents the porridge from becoming lumpy.It looks like a fat wooden dowel, often with a contoured thistle shaped end to give the user a better grip. It is in common use throughout most of Scotland.
The Annual World Porridge Cooking contest is held in Scotland every years. Cooks compete for the "Golden Spurtle". This contest was won last year by a cook using Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats-readily available in the natural foods section of most grocery stores.It takes about 20 minutes to cook but the tasty result is well worth the effort