Friday, 3 November 2006

Doing time

I pottered around for a while this morning. Tidied up, read and answered emails, wrote letter and readied it for the post. It was not until twenty to ten that I thought about breakfast. For the first time this autumn, my mind went hungrily to porridge.

The Sage and I often have porridge for breakfast in the winter. But rarely do we cook and eat it together. Apart from the fact that, today, he had breakfasted and gone out long ago, this is for several reasons.

I cook it quickly, boiled fast so that the grains don't break down and there is still some texture as I eat.
He likes to simmer it gently for a long time, so that it is smooth and - is there a non-oily word that gives the same effect as unctuous? Without me actually mentioning wallpaper paste?

I add a pinch of salt before cooking.
He, virtuously, does not.

I make it with half milk, half water, as little as possible so that it is not too sloppy.
He makes it with half milk, half water, but plenty of it so that it is not too dry.

I add a few grains of dark brown Muscovado sugar, for flavour more than sweetness.
He adds a spoonful of white sugar for sweetness.

I add a few extra drops of milk, just enough that it doesn't actually set.
He adds plenty of milk.

It would be just too poncy to stand stirring two pans of porridge at the same time, but really, neither of us likes the way the other cooks it. Though we will be polite and eat it of course, if it has been, kindly, made.

Better to breakfast alone really.

However, if you do make porridge, maybe best not to take it back to the computer and idly read a few blogs as you eat. Not JonnyB, at any rate. A sudden laugh catching you unawares can eject a mouthful. Porridge is not easy to remove from a keyboard and must be done at once. Otherwise it sets, with properties not dissimilar from concrete.

17 comments:

The Murphmeister said...

I always think that men and women want different things from their Oats.

Z said...

Excellent point Murphy.

At frequent intervals, with complete and lingering satisfaction does nicely for me

The Murphmeister said...

Hot and steamy on the breakfast table covered in treacle is my favourite.

Z said...

You are quite some dog, Murphy.

Tess Tennison said...

Well, it's a bit racey over here this morning.

Well, I haven't had any oats in ages. Porridge ones that is. I haven't had a lot of the other sort either this week but still, that is of my own making. Someone has to keep Wendy company in her wall-climbing activities.

I had grapefruit for breakfast!!

Z said...

Tess, you are a woman of virtue and an example to all.

I trust this state of affairs is temporary.

The Boy said...

I grew up with prorridge as a breakfast staple, but have quite fallen out of the habit. The post has made me reconsider. I tend towards your methodology Z, it needs some texture and the bit extra brown sugar can bring.

Z said...

Also has excellent cholesterol-lowering properties, Boy. As long as you don't add cream........

Tess Tennison said...

More of a glue than a staple, surely?

haha funny re the virtue. Not sure many would agree with you there. You are too kind. As you say, it won't last!

Wendz said...

Tess virtuous? Oh I am rolling on the floor laughing....just as well I am not eating any porridge. But she IS funny.

Ummm...porridge...I like mine with the grainy effect too...lots of maple syrup and butter dolloped on top...no milk added, but rather cooked with full cream milk and not much water.

We grew up with porridge but my boys loathe it and I don't think the French do porridge *never really looked though but can't imagine it somehow) so we just don't have it.

I think I'd like to come and live with you.

Z said...

Where else should I put my tongue but in my cheek?

Always open house to you, honey.

Jamie said...

My grandfather worked for Quaker Oats, so I was indoctrinated early. I am actually not particular about texture; I love it smooth and cooked-to-death just as deeply as I like it chewy and firm. Sometimes I have it with cinnamon and sugar; other times brown sugar; other times maple syrup.
Regardless, though, the piping hot oatmeal should have a little cold milk poured on top. And there should never be raisins. I don't know why restaurants so often give people raisins with their oatmeal, because it is a crime against humanity.

Z said...

Mm, cinnamon. What a good idea, Jamie. I don't add raisins, but last winter, a few times I added a few almonds and some crushed cardamon pods. My purist soul found it slightly sacrilegious, but it was good.

Penny said...

Loved this post! I don't know why, exactly and/or specifically, but I thoroughly enjoyed it, wholly!

Z said...

Penny, hello and welcome - and thank you very much.

How do we know said...

Zoe.. this is also such a sweet post!! small things like thisget logged somewhere in our heads . Another time, another day, we may live to call them "memories".. maybe the day you and Sage start to like the same kind of porridge.

Guess what time it is here now.. 0415 hours.. and i need to get up early tomorrow.. its a festival of my faith and I also plan to catch a good play here.. Wish me luck!
BTW, would you have any advice on the problem at my blog?

Z said...

4.15? Hardly worth going to bed, whatever have you been doing? Working, I suppose.

All the luck in the world, honey, I wish to you.