I’ve always been a fan of porridge. It’s one of those things that fit in perfectly on a cold morning at the cottage: a steaming bowlful of warm oats, topped with some stewed fruit and a dollop of natural yoghurt is just the thing to set myself and Little Missy up for the day. She eats the regular sort, which I grind up with my immersion blender (always useful but now indispensable) before cooking, but I’ve gotten hooked on Flahavan’s Pinhead Oatmeal this winter.
It takes a little longer to cook than the rolled oats but when you’re up around 6am, time is not exactly in short supply! I use cook mine with half milk, half water (LM gets expressed breast milk, or a little regular milk, plus water in her ground up oats), pop it on the cooker at a low setting and it cooks away by itself, with a couple of stirs from me between getting showered and dressed.
When I’m with it enough to soak the oats overnight it does shorten the cooking time a little but if I was super-organised what I’d do is cook a whole pot in advance, as recommended in Super Natural Cooking and the New York Times (steel-cut oats in America = pinhead oatmeal in Ireland) and reheat as necessary. And then there are porridge toppings. Stewed pear and allspice are popular here, as are apple and dried apricot compote or poached cinnamon plums, always with natural yoghurt and, for the members of the family with more than two teeth, a sprinkling of toasted nuts or seeds.
Porridge makes the best breakfast, being cheap, nutritious, easy – and local. What better way to start the day?