Friday, 23 September 2011


This blog is rapidly becoming a guerilla cookbook. I want to talk to you for a moment about porridge. I had porridge as a child in Kent because both my parents were either (in my mother's case) genuinely Scottish or (in my father's case) was brought up from an early age, went to school etc in Scotland. We also had a Scottish nanny in the Mary Poppins sense, rather than in the mother of one parent sense. I therefore know exactly what porridge should be like, and all too often is not. First and most important it should never, ever be made with milk. It should be made with water and salted. In the plate, it should be faintly blue at the edge. You can add milk to the porridge once it is in your plate, even sugar if you like. When porridge cools it should be possible to transport in a wedge eg in greaseproof paper, as a snack. One makes porridge once a week in a large vessel which you reheat as required.

The really magical thing about porridge is that if you make it to a satisfactory consistency (say) on a Thursday and eat a helping, and leave the rest in the pot, by the following morning you will be able to add enough more water to the original batch to more than double the quantity without in any way detracting from the quality of the dish. A small enamel mugful of oats will last you for four or five days.

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