OK I know this might be a bit off-track, but I'm at home sick today, so tried to make myself feel better by cooking up a big pot of delicious porridge. Even me saying that will put half of you off won't it?!
I've come to realise lately that people are divided into porridge lovers and porridge loathers.
Every time I have ordered porridge so far this year I have been completely disappointed. Some have been average, some inedible, some not even recognisable as porridge. The worst offenders are stalls at farmers markets, where I'm an easy target in the cold foggy, often drizzling morning air. Instant oats microwaved, then heated up for hours on a camp stove and served with a pathetic dribble of honey and a piece of hard, cold "stewed" fruit IS NOT PORRIDGE! Neither was the dish I had at an otherwise great cafe that appeared to soak its oats in water until they were softish and then heat them up in a microwave and serve with some cold fruit on top. If you can see the oats in it, IT'S NOT PORRIDGE!
Porridge has to be made from scratch, using milk - full cream milk and preferably non-homogenised - and not served until all the oats have broken down into a yummy, glutinous mass of deliciousness. Toppings can be applied to taste, but they must always contain a bit of cold milk poured on just as you serve and something sweet (unless your preferred method is the traditional dob of butter, which is also fine and delicious).
So here then is my method. I know it's not the only way, but it achieves the right consistency and I think earns the right to be called PORRIDGE:
Put 1 part oats (not instant!!) to 2 parts milk into a medium saucepan.
(When making it for myself - M is a loather - I use 3/4 cup oats to 1.5 cups milk. Now I know that's a lot of milk, so I think it's acceptable to use 1 cup milk and 1/2 cup water, but no more!)
Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat to simmer and stir for approximately 4-5 minutes until oats have completely broken down.
Pour immediately into large bowl.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Pour some cold milk over top (to take the searing heat out of it so that you can start eating straight away)
That's it, simple and delicious!
Are you a porridge person? What are your favourite ways of eating porridge?