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.
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.