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Who's that man behind the spurtle?

The Spar for the Spurtle is over, and Texas resident Paula Todora will represent Bob’s Red Mill at the 20th Annual Golden Spurtle World Championships, held in Scotland in October.

As she packs her suitcase, there is one thing she definitely will take with her — a spurtle, a traditional Scottish kitchen tool used to stir porridge.

by: PHOTO BY: ELLEN SPITALERI - Tim Cebulla of the Medford area shows off his Oregon-wood spurtles at Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukie.But you don’t have to win a competition or be a gourmet cook to own a spurtle, you just need to pop into Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukie, or if you happen to be in the Medford area, you could visit Tim Cebulla, who makes the spurtles.

A few years ago a friend in the Bay Area told the Oregon man about spurtles, and he started making them and selling them on Etsy. Then came the life-changing call from a person at the sales and marketing department at Bob’s Red Mill, asking Cebulla if he could make some spurtles for the store, using wood from Oregon.

“I made ones from myrtlewood. That’s as Oregon as there is,” he said.

Then in 2009, when Matthew Cox, marketing director at Bob’s Red Mill, became the first American to win the Golden Spurtle at the World Porridge Making Championships in Scotland, the demand for spurtles “exploded,” Cebulla said.

Myrtlewood

Myrtlewood is a large, hardwood tree native to Oregon, parts of California, and the Holy Land, Cebulla said.

“It is a dense wood, one of the few woods that doesn’t float, so that makes for a good kitchen utensil,” he said, adding that its color ranges from white-blonde to ebony black.

He uses his own spurtle pattern, but after Cox won the Golden Spurtle, Cebulla incorporated the thistle into the kitchen tool, because the thistle is the symbol of Scotland, he said.

He buys the myrtlewood from sellers on the Oregon Coast, and turns the spurtles on a lathe. He then finishes them with beeswax and mineral oil, so the tool is completely safe to use in hot liquids. The finish can be renewed by wiping the spurtle with mineral oil occasionally. Cebulla advises people not to use cooking oil, since that can become rancid.

Cebulla’s spurtles are available starting at $12.95 at Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Store, 5000 S.E. International Way, Milwaukie. Call 503-607-6455 for more information.

Spurtles also may be purchased online from Cebulla’s Etsy site at: etsy.com/shop/WoodIKidYou, or you can email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..