| perfect porridge

April 26, 2011

It is the end of a delightfully long weekend. Sarah and I have both been in Melbourne this year, in a city that’s quiet, with most of the houses dark at night. I like the vibe of an emptied Melbourne, it’s so chilled out. Sometimes it’s quite lovely to have a holiday at home, with time to cook and garden (I’m making a vertical pallet garden for the balcony) and eat.

From the balcony on Sunday there was music and the smell of smoky lamb from very early in the morning, and when I looked out across the backyards there were two consecutive lamb spits. I wanted to watch it cook and then lean over the fence for a succulent morsel but I was driving out of town for lunch and had to abandon the apartment before the spit was ready.

But after four days of eating rich, fancy foods I just want to eat something simple, something with only a couple of ingredients that makes me feel comforted and homey. So Sarah and I have been making porridge. It doesn’t take any effort, just a little patience.

This isn’t so much a recipe – it is incredibly easy. The difference, we think, in how good a porridge turns out, is simply in the time it’s cooked. It really tastes much better if you let it cook for a while. I am usually too impatient to make a perfect porridge on a weekday, I rush it and it turns lumpy and then I burn my mouth. But whenever I visit my uncle in Tasmania he makes me porridge and he’s always up before me, and usually left for work but the porridge will be there simmering incredibly slowly, and tasting creamy and smooth. It makes me feel like a kid. Porridge with its moat of milk, and island of butter and brown sugar in the middle. The perfect spoonful getting a little of everything.

Perfect Porridge

1 cup organic rolled oats
2 cups hot/boiled water
1 cup milk
a pinch of sea salt

Add the hot/boiled water and a pinch of salt to the oats and let soak for fifteen or so mins (while you have a shower!) in a saucepan on the stovetop. After soaking add the milk and simmer for at least half an hour on the lowest heat possible. A simmer mat is great here. Add a little extra liquid if it gets too thick/dry and if you like, some chopped dates, or grated apple, or sliced banana or sultanas.

Serve with cream or milk, a nob of salted butter, brown sugar. Serves two hungries.

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Category: breakfast, recipes
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perfect porridge: 13 comments

  1. Siobhan Says:

    I just tweeted about this today. I made porridge on the stovetop for the first time ever for my kids. Usually hungry as rabid dogs exactly 10 minutes after waking, I’ve resorted to microwaving quick oats with rice milk every morning. I add some mashed banana, and if they are being nice to me, some honey. The resulting concoction looks like Clag glue or diarrhoea, depending on the consistency. I’d forgotten what proper porridge looks like, let along taste like, so I thought I’d be a good mother and put the kids on a leash (aka cartoons on the TV) and take some time to make the real deal. I may as well have asked them to eat dirt for breakfast after the ensuing words of revolt and dagger eyes full of rage cast my way. While they proceeded to eat Vegemite on toast I ate proper porridge and I pondered if they really were children of my own making.

  2. kips Says:

    You can get the same effect by soaking the porridge overnight and just bringing it to a boil (while stirring) in the morning.
    Or you can put the porridge and water/milk/juice in a bowl, put the bowl in a slow-cooker (crock-pot), fill the crock-pot with water to halfway up the side of the bowl, and cook on low overnight. When you wake up, the porridge is ready, just give it a stir. And all you have to wash is the bowl and spoon.
    Yes, I eat a lot of porridge…
    One of my earliest memories is of my father stirring sugar into my porridge, taking a spoonful for me and blowing on it, offering it to me.

  3. Rocky Mountain Woman Says:

    Love me some porridge!

    Sometimes I make a big pot and then put it in the fridge and heat up a little every morning for a while…

  4. Nadia Says:

    We always soaked the oats overnight in my house! I forgot about porridge but am off to soak some oats now for the morning. I also like to use leftover porridge in an oatmeal spice cake! or just throw it in banana bread, anywhere really … it’s gluey and moist and great for vegan cakes! My dad used to make our porridge with sooooo much cream, brown sugar, ginger and giant tinned plums. xx

  5. Dan Says:

    I’m glad it’s porridge season. My gran always sprinkled muesli on her porridge which sounds odd but adds a lovely texture to the smooth cooked oats (as well as brown sugar or golden syrup for sweetness). I like it too.

  6. Steph Says:

    porridge is amazing, yes.
    BUT. you own a bison ceramics! <3 jealous.

  7. romy Says:

    It’s a good jug. But alas it is borrowed, our friend Kelly’s pretty ceramics.

  8. Lauren Says:

    I just converted a porridge hater into a porridge lover with this recipe. My chosen embellishments this morning were peaches, dates and toasted almond flakes. Yum!

  9. joey Says:

    I love porridge (referred to just as oatmeal over here)! I haven’t had a proper bowl in a while as it is summer over here and sweltering. But it just rained today so I’ll be keeping this in mind for cooler weather!

  10. Ella Says:

    I’ve been having porridge every morning lately and I swear by my microwave method: equal parts rolled oats, milk and water. Combine all ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes. Cook for 3 minutes or until thick, stirring every minute.
    Especially delicious if you add cinnamon, chopped apple (before cooking) and a sprinkle of sugar over the top. Perfect for weekday morning rush! I’m curious whether the slow cooking will win out in the time vs taste continuum.

  11. Andrea Says:

    You may not call it a recipe, but it’s been a wonderful warming start to each of the freezing cold mornings of my first winter in a while. Mine is enjoyed with a dollop of rich greek yoghurt, some stewed fruit and honey. Thankyou!

  12. I looked on the bright side | second last chance Says:

    [...] feel them anymore. When I got home I made some delicious and perfect porridge, thanks to the trotski & ash recipe.  Here ends my rant about the On The Bright Side Festival and [...]

  13. Kate Says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. This is the first time I’ve ever made real porridge (not just the instant kind) and now I get porridge, I understand how delicious it can be. This is indeed perfect porridge – thanks for enlightening me!

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