Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Porridge for winter

Its cold, I seem to be cycling through one winter bug to the next one, hence my silence of late and lack of blog entries since Winter Magic, but the thing that keeps me going on the cold, dark mornings is sitting down to a large steaming bowl of hot and creamy porridge.

Porridge is such a lovely breakfast cereal for winter, in summer I make my own toasted muesli, but in winter its porridge. I make it the way my mum taught me and she learnt from my Scottish grandparents, so its traditional but still surprisingly quick and easy even on a work weekday morning. The family trick is to soak your rolled oats overnight in the pot with water, this softens the oats so they cook quickly and go delightfully creamy and smooth.

Porridge is best with organic old style oats, don't waste time on packet mixes or 'quick oats', get real oats or as @tomatom says on his Tomato blog 'I buy the cheapest home brand rolled oats. And I cook them slowly, which is the key.' here our methods differ as mine is relatively quick, however his method is a good one, so check it out.

Porridge like my Scottish grandmother made
1 cup rolled oats (I use organic and she probably did too in pre WWII Oz)
2 cups water
Salt - a good pinch

Put the oats, salt and water into your pot, a good heavy bottomed one is best. Leave overnight to soak on the stove. In the morning, put a slow flame underneath it, stir occasionally, the porridge is ready when its thick, creamy and making slow plopping sounds, this takes about 15 minutes and then you have two large bowls of creamy, smooth porridge to serve up and eat.

My family's traditional way of serving porridge is a lovely way to eat it, put a large dob of real butter in the bottom of your bowl, pour your cooked porridge over this, sprinkle on brown sugar and then pour in some cream, eat and enjoy!

I vary the above method at times by adding dried fruit to soak overnight, but if I do this, I don't add sugar or butter when I serve it, but add yogurt instead and maybe some milk. I also add add some nuts and seeds at times, but mostly its butter, brown sugar and cream. Perfect!

Then there's savory porridge but that's a post for another time.


  1. I've just learnt to make oats with some water - its much nicer. I add soy milk though and have it with honey. You've just reminded me about the fruit. I always forget about fruit. Might try that tomorrow.

  2. Yes, give it a go and let me know how it went. Not one for soy milk myself, full dairy me :)

  3. Haven't tried it yet - been too busy for breakfast (sad but true). However, I have swapped the soy for dairy too and it's much better =)