When I was growing up in my nanas house , which was more often than naught. My Grandpa used to buy these big sacks of porridge (they call them rolled oats now). My nana had a big house on avenue G in Saskatoon. There were three levels counting the basement.
Nana and gramps had four children (not including foster children), one very ‘gifted, talented and intelligent’ one (which according to my mom was herself). They produced 25 grandchildren between them and I think everyone of us lived in that house at one time or another.
Also living in that same house was my great grandma and gramps’ mom. Gramps mom passed away when I was really to young to interact with her.. she was bedridden and I was scared of her in that big dark bedroom that she was a fixture in.
Along with great grandma and nana and gramps there would be at least one or two families and their kids living under one roof.. it was never dull. I think it was ‘normal ‘ back then to look after each other. Families living together along with aging parents was pretty common, they mostly immigrated to Canada from other countries where that is common place.
My cousins were like siblings and god forbid if you thought you were going to get away with anything just because your own parents weren’t around. Every one of my aunts and uncle were like parents and we (including cousins) were not immune from getting a scolding or a hug from one of them. It was kinda cool actually, having such a big family and being so close.
I wonder how nana and grandpa felt about supporting all these people at one time or another? Hell.. I even remember grandpa moving an old two room house (or maybe it was even one room) from the farm into his back yard. They let an immigrant family from Poland live there for awhile (no running water and I don’t know what the heck they used for a bathroom).
I do remember a young boy coming to the door to get water from the basement, we also had a small bathroom in the basement (just a toilet), and a large tub type sink. I thought all this was normal except I do remember feeling sorry for those people not having their own water, but the boy was kinda cute.
Grandpa had his own fuel oil station as well as a couple service stations. He serviced the farming community as well as residential with fuel oil. He worked long hours and was a man of few words. We lived on the top floor then, moving to the basement when my mom left my dad in BC to move back to Saskatoon, six kids and how many years later?
I remember him coming upstairs with a HUGE bag of rolled oats (I think it was a fifty pound bag). How I hated that stuff! We were always eating porridge, it was like a sad movie in an orphanage.. eat your porridge! The worst was the mice droppings (thank god I was too young to care about that stuff) but the mice made me mad because they bored holes through the middle of the bread! … and then we had to eat porridge again!
One day nana came home with a shipload (this computer changes my words but shipload sounds alright too) of ice-cream in one pint cartons. She called everyone over and cut each pint in half with a big knife and each of us kids got to eat a whole half pint of ice-cream.. even the neighbor kids were included!
I still remember to this day crying because my best friend (and next door neighbor), got a strawberry one and I had to settle for a vanilla! I should have got the strawberry, I was the grandchild and she was only the neighbor kid!!!!
Some memories you never forget, so it is with the porridge and the ice-cream. What brought me back to this memory was my purchase of a bag of steeled oats (that’s what they call it now) it is ‘Rogers Porridge Oats’. My girlfriends journey with type two diabetes has me wanting to share this with her, and for that I need to eat the dam porridge again! (check out my other posts relating to this .. parts one , two and three)
Did you know that porridge has, in only 1/3 of a cup, 8 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber? The iron is a bonus at 2mg.. 14% of Daily Value. This particular one I have is a steel cut oat blend (oat bran, wheat bran and flaxseed). I decide to give it another go after many decades of abstinence! I also decide that if I have to eat it.. then by god I am gonna make it edible!!!
I peel and dice an apple, then I add some cinnamon and sugar (I want some raisins too but don’t have any) I nuke these in the microwave until semisoft. The porridge is cooked old fashioned way, I/3 cup oats to 3 cups water simmered for 15 minutes. I add the two together and look at this.. I think I have a winning combination.. oh, and going for broke.. I added a teaspoon of wheat germ!
This is not gramps porridge.. that was served up in the orphanage! Hell no.. this is good stuff, I decide I am now ‘holier than thou’ because I am going to eat this everyday on my way to living healthier. (I can do this!)
Finally I am on my way.. and.. I have found my sneakers! My feet however have refused all of their advances …dam!
Ah well…one step at a time….