stories

Routine foods: porridge

left: original artwork, right: the tea towel itself (creased, stained and used)
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Many people consider porridge the boring option; as nothing better than a bowl of gruel, but I find it the most versatile, nourishing base to start the day in an interesting way (stay with me). I look forward to it every morning, using whatever I can find to disguise the gruel-ness. My porridge is half oats with rich almond milk, half toppings with a generous balance of sugary tastes. The toppings change throughout the year, as does my choice of milk (coconut in the summer, hazelnut if I can get it).

In the mornings before work, I save just about enough time to sit at the table to eat porridge and scroll through the news before rushing to get to my WFH office in the adjacent room (leaving the porridge pan to soak so that whoever gets up for the first coffee break is treated to a nice little washing up job). 

In winter months my porridge cools rapidly while waiting for me beside the old sash window, where the wind creeps through the cracks of the condensated glass. When I have time, I mix in plums, pears or apples, quickly stewed in cinnamon and golden syrup. In the summer our flat is sweltering; I sit by the open window - which fails to provide the relief of a summer’s morning breeze - with my still-boiling porridge which will be topped with fresh slices of peach or nectarine. Last year my mum gave me some damsons picked from the countryside, which I cooked down into a quick jam - too sour for porridge. I always keep frozen blueberries and raspberries to cook with the oats when I have less time to slice or stew fruit, and every bowl is topped with a big tablespoon of crunchy peanut butter (tasty, sugary Sunpat or deep roast Manilife for a treat) and a little spoon of set honey.