New York City and the East Coast is tucked in under a layer of snow that continues to fall hour after hour. It’s the perfect day for slowly working, reading in bed, countless cups of tea, and the perfect bowl of Oatmeal!
I grew up eating a ritual of overly sweetened oatmeal made in enormous 60 quart heavy pots, bursting with plump raisins and spooned hundreds of times each morning before my carpool would pick me up from the breakfast shift at Martin de Porres where I worked along side my mom. At home I never remember eating oatmeal but rather the smooth even bowls of Farina cream of wheat. As an adult I have experimented with oatmeal of many varieties – instant in college, quick cooking for years, steel cut with its hearty bite, and cold oats in the summer, but all of my hot bowls of oatmeal have left me wanting something, that is until recently.
All of my oatmeal dreams came true in one recipe from April Bloomfield, its not complicated, doesn’t take much time, and ultimately changed how I look and feel about my morning bowl of oats. I have loved this warm and hearty bowl of oats a combination of both rolled oats and steel cut leaves a consistency both soft and smooth with just the right amount of bite and give between the teeth. Cooking them in milk and water makes them richer and more flavorful. I have made them lightly sweetened at times or completely unsweetened at other times; I have finished them with a slick of syrup, or some berries, or a banana and peanut butter, or completely on their own. The recipe makes 2-3 servings and I like to make it and then warm up each bowl on the following mornings. Sometimes the easiest things are the best things.
I hope you are warm, dry, and if you are lucky I hope you will be able to snuggle down and eat a bowl of these oats in the very near future.
April Bloomfield’s English Porridge from Food 52
1½ cups of milk (any kind of milk – I have used coconut, almond, soy, and dairy and they are all great)
1½ cups of water
1½ teaspoons salt
½ cup rolled oats
½ cup steel-cut oats
Optional – about 2 tablespoons of sugar during cooking process
- Combine the milk, water, and salt in a saucepan and set over high heat. As soon as liquid comes to a gentle simmer, add both kinds of oats and lower heat to low.
- Cook the oats at a steady simmer, stirring frequently and lowering the heat as necessary to maintain the simmer but not bubble over.
- After about 20 min the rolled oats will have turned soft and almost melted, while the steel cut oats will be tender and have the slightest bite, and all of the liquid will have been absorbed.
- If you wish to sweeten the entire pot of oats use 2 tablespoons of sugar when you add the oats.
- Finish with berries, banana, nuts, maple syrup, or anything that makes you happy.