The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418 Message #1800105
Posted By: Rapparee
02-Aug-06 - 06:34 PM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
The spurtle as we know it today evolved from this, which was found in an Tin Age house in the Outer Orkneys. Indications are that the "hussywyfe" used this to stir the porridge as her "hussiban" lay in the corner in a stupor brought on by too freely imbibing the local "whoopywattr" (actually he was still in the corner sleeping it off when the house was discovered in 1897).
The spurtle's evolutionary trail split when the perforated spurtle, or chanter as it is called today, was inserted into a sheep's stomach filled with oatmeal porridge and blown. The resulting sounds were so incredulous that not even the Highlanders themselves could believe them and adopted the sound of the so-called musical instrument as their racially-identifying mating call.
Because of this, a movement towards non-perforated spurtles gained tremendous momentum and resulted in the kitchen utensil of today.
The word "spurtle" comes from the "spurt" of porridge which comes when a perforated chanter is inserted into a pot of cooking porridge and blown.
The forgoing was adapted from Chinook and Hausenpfieffer's definitive work Highland and Lowland Spurtles of the Outer Orkneys and Scotland in General (Edinborough: Hamish & Wee 'Uns, 1906).