Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Most important meal of the day

As if there is an unimportant meal of the day or ever for that matter. I have a love hate relationship with porridge.  Done well it can be the most wonderful way to start the day, and healthy as well.  You may think that it is because of the layer of honey, golden syrup or brown sugar that is amassed on top it is such a comfort food.

Alas as I child I wasn’t allowed to have sugar on top as it would make me fat, well I dunno what happened, there must be some other explanation. I never add sugar to coffee or tea and would usually opt for a savoury plate rather than a sweet (unless it’s a crisp coconut biscuit), so there must be hidden sugar just waiting out there to get me.  

If I did some research it would probably freak me out to see all the hidden sugar there is and I’d end up just eating home grown mung beans, so best not research I say.

Done badly and porridge has us all thinking back to our school days and that bottle of Clag with the lid that didn’t make all the way back on.

My jaded past with porridge stems back to a hotel buffet breakfast, that had a great selection of delights but was poorly laid out. Who would put the chipolata sausages behind the porridge in the bain maire?? No really who would do that; you know where this is going.  

Needless to say 1 pair of over heated tongs and the next thing there were sausages performing Olympic synchronized diving straight into the porridge.
Dilemma do I stay and fish them out or do I just walk away very quickly, you know we would all just work away quickly.  So to the vegetarian that only had the porridge to look forward to that morning, I am truly sorry.

Rest assured that each time I stay in a hotel now there is a sweep of the porridge to sausage location proximity just to see if I am able to proceed unaided.

2016 update: During my stay in Stockholm for Eurovision there was a concerning moment when I realised the porridge was right next the sausages again! 

Thankfully there are no international sausage related incidents to report on...

Date and Almond Porridge.
·         1 cup rolled oats
·         1.5 cups milk (full or light or non dairy)
·         ½ cup pitted dates (dried or fresh)
·         ¼ cup almonds (slivered, flaked, whole, choice is yours)
·         ¼ tsp. cinnamon

·         Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and simmer on medium heat till a soft porridge consistency, about 15 minutes
·         Add brown sugar/honey to taste (remember the childhood fat warning, or not and live a happy guilt free life)
To speed up the cooking time you can soak the oats in the milk/water, in the fridge overnight.

Some recipes say boil and then simmer, but I go for a slow simmer as porridge is very easy to catch on the pan. If that happens to make cleaning simpler, soak pan in a small layer of water and about half a cup of bi carb soda.

Just be wary of stray sausages in the porridge, if ever there is a life lesson to be learned it is to be wary of stray sausages!

Post updated with new photos July 2016

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