Measuring porridge

I like porridge, especially as the days get colder. But I get put off by the instructions.  Take these, from a packet of Quaker Oats, for example:

Mix 45g of Quaker Oats with 340ml of milk or cold water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.

45g? 340ml? You need to get the scales out, and a measuring jug, unless you happen to have a brain that’s finely tuned to metric measurements. In a rush, on a cold morning, that doesn’t happen. You guess, and you hope.

So you can imagine my pleasure when I bought a bag of Pimhill’s porridge oats, and found these instructions:

For creamy porridge use 1 level cup of Pimhill Porridge Oats and 2 cups pf cold water or milk.

Cups? Cups! Everyone has cups, and they’re usually close at hand in a kitchen. You don’t have to be on Masterchef to realise that you can use small cups or large cups depending on how much porridge you’re planning to make, as long as you use the same cup for both oats and liquid. And it’s so simple that once you’ve read it you’ll remember it – even when faced with instructions that expect people to think like computers. A wonderfully simple piece of user-based information.

The picture at the top of this post was taken by Andrew Curry. It is published here under a Creative Commons licence: some rights reserved.


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