Lady Pamela's Tea Parlor

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


These last few days have been c-c-cold! I know winter is suppose to be cold but the Artic air of the last week has brought rosey cheeks to even the palest faces and fingers without mitts sting like the fire you wish to be near!

As I slowly push my feet out from the bedcovers and search the floor for a cozy slipper, (hopefully two), I can think of only one coffee! With my robe wrapped aound me like a sultan's turban I take flight to the kitchen and start that life-awakening brew. Once that has been started I think about breakfast. Cold cereal, well it leaves me feeling cold. So porridge it must be!

There have been times in my life when the instant, one minute porridge has served a purpose. But this morning I will take the extra few minutes to make if from scratch. My version has been named, "Sunday Morning Porridge".

When I was a young woman working the night shift as a nurse my Aunt Nelda would invite me over in the morning when I finished the last of my seven nights. She had just retired from a long successful career of nursing herself . We had a connection that comes from shared experiences, not needing many words. The quietness of the morning being savoured as much as the special porridge.

She always made me porridge. Her creation was ever so smooth, dotted with plump raisins and kissed with cinnamon. I was too tired to watch her method as she lovingly stirred the pot. I just enjoyed the results in those early twilight moments of the new day and her companionship.

As time went on I stopped working as a nurse and she moved into a retirement home and so the early breakfasts together ended, as both of our lives took new directions. But I will always remember those mornings, just the two of us in the newness of the day with fond memories.

After my aunt passed on, I was recounting this cherished memory to my mom and she was the one who told me the origin of the special recipe. On the farm during those cold days of the Depression, porridge was the main stay for breakfast. It was filling and it was easily accessible. You could fill the tummies of 10 childen effectively and cheaply. But on Sunday morning my grandmother would make the porridge with fresh milk from their cows, add a few raisins and a pinch of cinnamom. Slowly stirring the pot and serving it with a bit of brown sugar or molasses.

I was glad to hear the story and my mom's memory of the ingrediants. My mom wasn't as taken with porridge as my aunt and actually had never made it herself. But now I had something to start with and over the years I have created something almost as tastey as my Aunt's 'Sunday Morning Porridge'.

Most of the time I follow recipes but since this one has been created by estimating I will simply pass on the formula I use:


Follow the directions on the package of your favorite oatmeal, large flake or Scottish steel cut oats, same amount. Replace the water with a combination of milk (I like 2%) and water, remembering the more milk you use the more liquid you will need. I think half 2% and half water is a good place to start. Raisins and cinnamon to taste. Place ingredients in a double boiler and cook stirring occasionally, until you have desired texture and raisins are plump. I like using the double boiler because I am too impatient and often would boil the porridge over.
Top with brown sugar, or maple syrup, or your favoite topping.

A tip from Scotland: you can make your porridge in the evening and reheat in microwave or top of stove in the morning.

Now with a warm bowl of (comfort) porridge in your stomach you can put on your winter gear and brave the winds of change.

1 comment:

  1. Hey there! loved your recent blog posting on porridge! Can't wait to try the recipe my self on theses chilly mornings! Love the new look of your blog as well! Great writing skills also; keep up the good work Paper butterfly!

    Cheers from Silken Purse