“No sir, I do not want some more.”

As it turns out, we are not only without a stove for a while at my house, but we are also out of a kitchen floor. So I will be unable to cook anything for a while, which is annoying.

It is probably a good thing, though, that I am not able to cook the Dickensian gruel that was served to adventurous eaters in London last week. Even the French chef who prepared it couldn’t do much to make “the barely-palatable meal composed of water, oats and milk, plus an onion” tasty, apparently.

The Royal Society of Chemistry didn’t publish the recipe they used, but there are gruel recipes here. Truthfully, it sounds a lot like the oatmeal porridge I’ve made for Jason in a slow-cooker. With the right added ingredients it could probably be good. But plain Oliver Twist workhouse-style gruel was probably never all that appetizing, though those in workhouses were hungry enough to eat it anyway.

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