It’s ‘Proper Porridge’ weather today at Tythebarn House. There’s no snow, but it’s very chilly! The log burner is keeping us snug and warm with a welcoming waft of wood smoke into the room as each log is added. I’m content with the view of snow-speckled Farleton Fell from our window. If intrepid guests choose to venture up there it’s fine by me. I’m staying curled up with the Fabulous Baker Brothers!
Back to the porridge – the ‘Brothers’ Henry and Tom have three heart warming versions, we have two. Guests have a choice of organic oats or old-fashioned oatmeal. I love it when they choose the latter. A handful of pinhead oatmeal is soaked in plenty of water. 1 part porridge to 3 parts boiling water is a good start. Give it a whisk – no lumps to spoil the creamy heaven. Now, remember the log burner is glowing and warm, my favourite porridge pan takes its place on the cast iron top and cooks slowly and surely until the following morning. Giving it stir and adding a little more water is my last breakfast task before snuggling into bed.
Breakfast time and the simplest of ingredients are transformed to thick and creamy deliciousness. Extra water and a touch of salt is the next step as it slowly bubbles away on the hob. Guests are asked how they like it – sugar, milk or as it is? There may even be a little whiskey left from Christmas. My Dad and I both go for a little cold creamy milk at the last moment, keeping the heat but helping you to tuck in straight away.
Then a childhood memory is evoked as the steaming porridge comes to the table in Goldilocks Bowls and Spoons of warm bamboo. How good this is on a cold and crispy morning, sitting next to a glowing fire and watching the sun rise over ‘The Knott’.
The very best extras are thick and creamy Greek Yoghurt, a spoonful of pomegranate seeds and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
Here’s the recipe in brief. Try this and porridge will never begin with Q again!
Porridge recipe per person: 1/2 cup porridge oats to 1 cup water. For the old-fashioned version soak 1/3 rd cup medium pinhead oatmeal to 1 cup water overnight. No salt at this stage as it stops the grains swelling. Cook slowly until the grains have swelled and porridge is thick and creamy. Add extra water/milk as needed. Add a little salt at the end. Delicious with cinnamon, jam, walnuts and a little COLD milk.
Tip: make the porridge without milk and it will keep in the fridge for 2 or 3 days – all ready to heat up on a chilly morning.
Images: Copyright 2016 Diana Brown
There’s so much to see and explore around this area. The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Arnside & Silverdale AONB and wildlife haven of the Morecambe Bay area are all within easy reach.
For more inspiring images: vimeo by 2020VISION “Morecambe Bay… a wild place…a big place …a place of infinite skies and endless colour…”