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Perfect Porridge




Feeling your oats is one of the nicest ways to look after your heart and to start your day in a nutritiously tasty way. I reckon I have oats in at least one form or another every morning.  As tasty meusli, mixed with nuts and fruit, or as granola, or sometimes, (don't die of shock) as oatmeal cookies!  Naughty me, I know!  


The most comforting and delicious way of all however  . . .  and one of our favourites is as oatmeal porridge, and I don't mean the instant kind.  I mean the good old fashioned cook-it-from-scratch kind. That our favourite way to get our days off to a good start, especially this time of year when the days and mornings are getting a lot cooler! 



Porridge oats are grains of oats that have been rolled flat until they are about to lose their shape completely and turn into a coarse flour; in other words as fine as possible while still retaining their shape as a flake. This means that they are fairly powdery and will therefore absorb liquid quickly, which is why you only have to cook them for 2 or 3 minutes to get porridge.  


Jumbo oats are coarser. They are rolled flat but that is all and because they are not broken down so much, they retain their shape. 

Porridge oats go pastey when they get wet but jumbo oats stay firm. Jumbo oats will break down like porridge oats, but they need cooking for much longer. Jumbos are much better for things like biscuits and flapjacks where a crisper or firmer texture is required. Rolled oats and oatflakes are just 2 other words for the same thing and both words can be used for either porridge or jumbos depending on which part of the country you are in. A classic example of a word meaning one thing in the north and the opposite in the south. 


Oatmeal is a meal (a coarse flour). It comes in varying degrees of coarseness ranging from the roughest, usually referred to as pinhead, which is an oat grain cut into about 8 pieces; to completely smooth which is just like a wholemeal milled from wheat. 


Porridge to me, is the perfect breakfast . . .  not too hot, not too cold . . . and cooked just right.  We had porridge every morning when we were up in Scotland, but it was salty.  They like salt on their oats up there.  It was okay, but I prefer mine a bit sweeter than that and so does Papa Bear.


*Perfect Porridge*
Serves 4


There is nothing like a tasty bowl of porridge oats to warm the tummy on these cooler mornings.  I find a bowl of this keeps me going for more than half the day.  It's most comforting and quite nourishing.


1 1/2 pints of whole milk (3 1/2 cups)
225g porridge oats (2 3/4 cups)
1 TBS golden syrup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
pinch salt
7 fluid ounces single cream
75g sultanana raisins (1/2 cup)
Brown sugar to serve and additional milk or cream



Place the milk in a large non-stick saucepan. Bring to the boil and then whisk in the oats, syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and salt.  Reduce to a slow simmer and then cook, stirring from time to time, for 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked.  Whisk in the 7 ounces of cream and heat gently.  Spoon into warm bowls, sprinkle with brown sugar and pass the milk!


It may take a while to cook the perfect bowl of porridge, but believe me when I tell you it is worth every minute of time and effort taken.  This is delicious.  Plain and simple.  I hope you will give it a go, perhaps this weekend when you have a bit more time to indulge!  Bon appetit!


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Marie Rayner
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2 comments:

  1. I wish I loved porridge:)I love oats and I think I liked this as a child;) Looks perfect!

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  2. I was the absolutely opposite Monique. I hated it as a child, but as an adult I am enjoying a love affair with it! xo

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