Porridge Perfection

It all started with me mum cooking oats on a cold Sydney  morning,  the ONLY joy of winter  in an unheated, uninsulated weatherboard house.  It was the seventies going on  eighties, so the porridge whilst monotone  –  sweetened with white  sugar and cooled with  full cream milk from  a silver top milk bottle -was simple and delicious  and perfect for its time.  Here in 2009, sugar is out of fashion,  milk is as often soy and  porridge  where I live is by default boiled down rice flavoured with  carp, or century old eggs bought  from a Hong Kong juk shop, eaten in  35 degree humidity or bought back to an  air-conditioned  high rise apartment.

Where oh where are those white sugar days?  Our increasingly diverse and ever-changing  worlds are  ( for me ) reflected in the porridge.

Today’s inaugural recipe is both a tribute to those humble beginnings starting with oats and cold water slow boiled on gas, but in a tribute to Asia where this blog is being written will feature a ripe thiamine laden banana (for sweetness and tropical atmosphere), Sri Lankan nut meg grated directly into the pot with a steak knife, to banish  fatigue (as the herbal almanacs states)  and pink salt crystals  from the Himalaya.

Chinese  soy milk  and ice cubes  bring the temperature and  consistency into  line with Asian summer porridge, and  a little ( also mineral rich) maple syrup adds that cosmopolitan touch for which Hong Kong prides itself.

Stick around for  the World of Porridge, Porridge is  a Many Splendoured Thing, and other  posts about this  perceptually blank canvass of a food that on closer examination reveals the  world in all its culinary  colour.


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