Dickensian mornings : porridge
We are cursed with the alarm clock, but blessed with breakfast, don´t´ you think? After caffeine and a bit of wasting time reading the news, I want food. But I don´t want anything too in-your-face. Blandness is key. And what´s more bland than porridge?
Most people I know don´t like porridge, which is Spanish is called gachas de avena, an unappetizing name, really. Not that it looks any good. I must admit, the first time I saw it, at boarding school in England, I thought I´d strayed into the Oliver Twist scenario from hell. It turned out not to be so bad, though. The porridge was dickensian, but the school wasn´t, and I was allowed to stick to toast for the whole year I was there.
And that was that for a long long time, until this summer in Estonia I came across it again, everywhere, from the smallest b&b to the swankiest hotel. I fell in love, and had it every day, with bilberry jam (oh, the North and its berries, how exotic)
I started with Quaker´s oats, but soon switched to organic, and they´re so much better, they really are. I still keep the Quaker´s label stuck to the glass jar, though. Respect design classics.
The recipe is adapted for a Thermomix from The Ballymaloe Cookery School.
Porridge was traditionally stirred with a spurtle. It sounds like a Quidditch term, but it´s only the wooden stick used to stir porridge. I´ve decided that we could call the Th the Electric Spurtle. You don´t have to stand and watch your pot when your brain is only half awake. The Th takes care of all that, and then beeps. Neat, uh?
I don´t know why I bother to give this recipe, because inside Spain nobody eats porridge, and outside nobody seems to have a Th, but anyway, here goes:
Boil 500 ml. water, which is approx 4minutes at Varoma, speed 1. With the machine still on, sprinkle 80 gr. of oatmeal, then turn the heat down to 90º, cover, and program 11 minutes. Sprinkle some salt in, and scrape into two bowls. Don´t leave out the salt, otherwise it will be bland beyond belief, and it´s pretty bland even with it.
Inmediately, fill the machine with water. Dried porridge is no fun to clean.
Since my other half doesn´t eat breakfast, I stash the second bowl in the fridge, covered in clingfilm. It looks revolting one it´s cooled, Goldilocks had a point. But she didn´t have a microwave, which makes it perfect next day, and truly instant, and would have solved many a problem at the house of the bears.
I like to eat it with a splash of milk and plenty of brown sugar. I´m telling you, it makes up for all the alarm clocks in the world.