The Perfect Bowl of Porridge

It is simply sacrilegious to be making oatmeal in the microwave in Scotland — but I admit with great shame that I’m guilty of it. One part quick rolled oats, two parts water, give it a quick mix, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir again, pop it back in for another 30 seconds, season, add a dash of milk, and that is sadly my breakfast on most days.

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Then one morning I decided to treat myself and follow a recipe for the perfect bowl of porridge. The author describes the porridge as “just right”, but trust me, this bowl of porridge is much more than “just right”.

Having a perfect bowl of porridge on a cold Scottish morning is like falling in love. It gives you that tingling warmth at the bottom of your stomach that rises up and warms through your entire body and soul and puts the color on your face. It is a bowl of purity and innocence and simplicity that makes you reminisce and smile.

I promise you get all that in a flash within the first spoonful, so a perfect bowl of porridge in the winter made with patience and love and care is much more than “just right”, much more than mere comfort food — it’s love.

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This porridge recipe’s perfection lies in the equal parts of milk and water with a mixture of rolled oats and steel-cut oats, with the addition of the seemingly cumbersome process of stirring continuously with love and care for twenty minutes. Bring 3 parts water, 3 parts milk and a generous pinch of salt to a bare simmer in a pot before adding in 1 part rolled oats and 1 part steel-cut oats. Cook over a gentle heat while stirring frequently. Pour into your bowls and you can perk it up with some honey, fruits and nuts but I find perfection in its simplicity. It’s like a pretty girl that doesn’t need any make-up.

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It has a lovely consistency because the rolled oats will be mushy but the steel-cut oats will have a slight bite to them. As it is with milk and water, it’s not too heavy but still rich. And somehow with all the magic that occurs in the process, it achieves a natural sweetness that really removes the need for adding additional sweeteners.

I know we’re all busy in the morning, but take the time to make this perfect bowl of porridge one day — you won’t regret it. It’s the best feeling to have in the morning.

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