Wednesday, 16 April 2008


Posted by Joanna at Joanna's Food

In this house, as you see, the most enthusiasm is reserved for a full English breakfast (although only the children eat sausages). We don't really do brunch, if that means a collision between breakfast and lunch - no matter how late we eat breakfast, they all always want some lunch. On the other hand, we do often have a leisurely weekend breakfast. No-one eats muffins here - and, anyway, over the years they've been amongst my worst culinary disasters.

Lucius and I often eat kippers, and another favourite is porridge. I've made this in a variety of ways over the years, and this is the nicest, although not instant. You need medium and/or coarse oatmeal, not the rolled oats that are easy to buy in a supermarket, nor pinhead oats, which are too coarse to cook in real time (overnight in an Aga is the usual method for pinhead oats, but I have never been a fan, they often taste overdone, reminiscent of school food). I have to go to the health food shop for oatmeal, which is about £1 for 500g.

The porridge you make with rolled oats is fine, it's just that this is better. Perfect for weekends, perfect for brunch, perhaps with a little blueberry compote for extra heart health.


for each person:

50g medium oatmeal (or a mixture of medium and coarse)
300ml water

Use a sturdy pan with a thick bottom. You can start by toasting the oatmeal gently for two or three minutes, I'm not sure if it really makes a difference, and it's by no means essential.

Add the water to the meal, heat until it comes to the boil, then turn right down to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, giving it an occasional stir. I use a wooden spoon, which is what my grandmother in Scotland used, and I have never met a Scot who uses a spirtle, I think they are just for tourists.

I don't put salt in my porridge, it can be added to the bowl - my Scots grandfather, a farmer who grew oats in Fife, used to eat his porridge with salt and not much else. I use skimmed milk and a dollop of lovely brown muscovado sugar.

If there's any left over, you can fry it up like polenta, and eat it with fruit compote. That's what I had for breakfast this morning - reheated slices of porridge and a little stewed apple. My grandmother used to give her leftover porridge to the dogs - in fact, I rather think she made extra specially.

What do YOU do for a heart-healthy breakfast or brunch? The Heart of the Matter website is a resource I often consult, so I'd love it if you'd take part this month.

The usual rules: If you’ve participated before, you already know the basics. If you haven’t, check here, here and here for ideas on what “heart-healthy” means, and we hope that you’ll join us! Again, we ask that this please be a single event entry (please don’t use your post for other events – that way we can keep things centred on healthy heart awareness). Just send your entry to joannacary AT ukonline DOT co DOT uk (could you use the title HotM, so they don't get lost) by midnight Sunday 27 April , linking to my site, Joanna's Food (and to the HotM blog if you’d like) and I’ll post the round-up on the Monday or Tuesday on both sites.

Related posts

Kippers - without stinking out the house
Smoked haddock
More things for breakfast
Kedgeree (my very first blog post)
Frying pan bread - a quick fix for the disorganised
Baked pears with pinenuts

HotM: brunch

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Tuesday, 15 April 2008

yes there is a theme for April too

Just to let you know that there is a theme for this month too, see Joanna's announcement over here!

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