Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Zen and the Art of Making Porridge

The prospect of making porridge annoys me
but the measuring of the oats
and the gentle stirring
and the warm, malty smell
all combine to make a soothing start to the day.

36 comments:

  1. I'm sure it tastes even better from such lovely china.

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  2. The whole china thing so endears you to me. (Does that read correctly?)
    Not with milk, thank you, with Golden Syrup. It's almost cold enough for me to want some.

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  3. Do you use pinhead or rolled oats? Not a porridge day today I don't think. It's going to be 77F!

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  4. I shall never GET porridge. Sorry.

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  5. But it's so worth it when you taste that first mouthful - porridge is the original comfort food :o)

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  6. My favourite start to the day but without the Zen element. I'm a philistine who makes it in the microwave so no stirring.

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  7. Lovely porridge, but it never fills me up like it is supposed to. Golden syrup for me too.

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  8. I love porridge, but our weather is turning and soon it will be too hot for that! Drat.

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  9. Ooh G and I had porridge this morning, but our bowls weren't nearly so lovely.

    K x

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  10. MrM wondered why MrsM was so eager to let him do the washing up on Sunday morning - I didn't have any porridge so felt especially virtuous washing up someone else's breakfast stuff.

    I am working on the basis that washing up ten porridge saucepans = 1 coffee cake.

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  11. Tsk, tsk........ Mr M got his guesstimation seriously wrong there, didn't he? Washing up 10 porridge saucepans AND a new handbag for your wife = 1 coffee cake (walnuts extra).

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  12. I do mine in the microwave. You are sighing now. I can hear you.

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  13. I would just like to say that if MrM mentions coffee cake ONCE more he will seriously damage his prospects.

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  14. Poor Mr M - and no porridge either? I am suspicious of people who don't like porridge - but perhaps he was just having a lie-in!

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  15. sounds as if I shall be doing porridge rather than having it...

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  16. (whispers) I'm a microwave queen too. But I have mine with banana instead of sugar since AWT promises me it's better for my blood sugar level. Humph.

    Though to be honest I couldn't stomach porridge in any form until this spring so I am making big advances. Big.

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  17. Oh! Am I supposed to measure porridge oats? Oops. Seems to turn out quite well though even if you skip that tech bit. I am a proponent of developing porridge-cooking techniques.

    Current theory shows us that by heating the solid and liquid fiercely for a short time before resolving to a gentle simmer for the rest of the cooking period gives a creamy end product. Practice bears this out as valid.

    In hilltop venues the default for porridge is brown sugar (demerara if no soft is available) but maple syrup has been known to be used on occasion.

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  18. Mr. M? If you would be so kind as to wash up the porridge pot 10 times at my house I will make you a coffee and walnut cake.

    My assistant is no longer allowed to do the job as bit of porridge were lodging in her nose and making her sneeze.

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  19. Everyone has their own way of doing porridge, don't they? Oatmeal soaked overnight, cooked with water and (always!) a pinch of salt, with soya milk and - O sacrilege! - sugar or golden syrup to serve. Comfort food for a cold morning. Rolled oats will do, if I've forgotten the overnight soaking. But I'm always hungry mid-morning - that bit of the porridge story doesn't work for me.... And I have to do my own washing up.

    Lovely china, BTW.

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  20. I am in complete agreement and slow cook mine every morning with sultanas that plump up,then syrup that goes runny from the heat. It is pure heaven.

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  21. My soaking porridge pan drives my husband potty I hadn't considered that a cake might soothe the tension.

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  22. White sugar? !!
    And you were brought up on dark brown muscovado.

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  23. forget the type of sugar - I hope that everyone is using a proper spirtle

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  24. Definitely worth the effort, but I know what you mean about the thought of making it. Husband buys oats from a local shop that rolls them to order as you wait, but it always makes me think of buying horse food. Resultant porridge is very good though!

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  25. "Oats: A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people."

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  26. Porridge is one of those things that is far nicer than it ought to be! I really love porridge - I put date syrup on mine which is just delicious; (this stuff tastes so good but has no added sugar - just the dates which are naturally very sweet. Otherwise I have brown sugar which isn't so nice but still good. Sometimes, if I don't want to have dinner I will have a nice big bowl of porridge

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  27. Such a beautiful bowl of porridge. I make porridge about 300 days a year, and dash to stove to stir frantically in between all the chaos of the school day morning. It is my son's absolute favourite breakfast and he would gladly eat two helpings. I occasionally join him in a bowl, enjoying mine with brown sugar and milk but naturally I do not allow the children to indulge in sugar, sometimes I allow a spoonful of jam. They watch longingly as I gently spin my wheel of porridge, nibbling at the sugary edges.

    I must add that such a hearty breakfast is followed very well by a mid morning slice of coffee cake. Just saying....

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  28. Ooh Porridge. Just the thing to calm the nerves after that scary story reference.

    (OH my goodness!!! Just guess what the word is for verification? Calmia )

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  29. Aha! "Oatmeal" it's called here. I do make it in cold weather, with steel cut oats, cooked over low heat til creamy-soft and then served with a little butter and milk, and maple syrup. Wish I had some right now! It's not cold weather yet, but as others have said, it really IS wonderful comfort food!

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  30. Yes!
    Steel cut oats!
    And now it's 80 here - so not fair.

    (The washing up is truly an evil chore.)

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  31. just to add something to the growing store of knowledge on this whole which appears to have taken MrsM by surprise - underestimates her readership I fear

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porringer

    Porringer
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
    A porringer is a small, usually pewter, dish from which Europeans and colonial Americans ate their gruel or porridge, or other soft foods [1].

    Porringers were usually cylindrical, between 4" to 6" in diameter, and 1½" to 3" deep; they had a flat, sometimes ornately decorated handle, or sometimes two handles at opposite sides [2], on which the owner's initials were sometimes engraved; and occasionally came with a lid. Porringers resembled the quaich, a Scottish drinking vessel. A spoon of the same material – or possibly wood, silver, Sheffield plate, or britannia metal – was used to eat from the porringer, and occasionally other materials were used to construct the porringer itself.

    All authentic porringers today are considered to be rare – especially those made in America prior to the American Revolution because, when there became a shortage of lead for making bullets, the Americans and the British are said to have raided the nearby kitchens of all their pewterware, which was thought to be soft enough to use for their purposes.[citation needed] One can discern authentic porringers in much the same way that silver can be authenticated from the touch marks that were stamped either into the bowl of the porringer or on its base.

    The most famous porringers are probably those made by Paul Revere.

    An average porringer will appear to be formed from one sheet of hammered metal, the handle’s simple ornamentation may come from being drilled, sawed, filed and stamped, but in fact it may only be cast.

    It should also be said that in more modern times, some manufacturers of porringers have produced them without handles. These types of porringers appear to be a deep bowl, with the sides being nearly totally flat. Porringers are also used less and less, as a bowl will suffice for most people; Porringers, however, are still circulated, mainly as a gift for the Christening of a child.

    A second, modern usage, for the term porringer is a double saucepan similar to a bain-marie used for cooking porridge. The porridge is cooked gently in the inner saucepan, heated by steam from boiling water in the outer saucepan. This ensures the porridge does not burn and allows a longer cooking time so that the oats can absorb the water or milk in which they are cooked more completely. Also the porridge does not need stirring during the cooking process which means the oats maintain their structural integrity and the porridge has a better mouthfeel and texture. The lower heat may also degrade less of the beta-glucan in the oats, which gives oats their cholesterol-lowering properties.

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  32. BTW you should contact the BBC, posting comments from beyond the grave is surely newsworthy?

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  33. Almost time, but still too warm here . . . maybe in a month or two.

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  34. all of this is excellent preparation for the Golden Spurtle competition on 10.10.10

    http://www.goldenspurtle.com/

    I think that MrsM should go as a roving reporter ... with twitter updates on a regular basis

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  35. My mom always told me oatmeal was what the goyim made their children eat for breakfast.:-0

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