The first time I had porridge was during my third year of uni in the US – I suddenly got really intrigued by the little instant oatmeal packs that came in awesome flavours like cinnamon roll and maple & brown sugar. I don’t think I ate porridge as a kid – my dad hates it and my mum’s not especially keen on it either. I guess it has sort of a general bad rep in Germany. (Then again, if you refer to something as oat mush or – even worse – oat slime, how much enthusiasm can you really expect?)
I liked the little microwavable packages, though they eventually got overshadowed by my love for Kashi cereal and Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. It wasn’t until I moved to Scotland for my master’s that I really got into porridge – I bought a huge box of rolled oats from ASDA (that lasted me ages!) and made it in my tiny milk pan in my flat when I didn’t have to go to uni until noon.
Personally, I think porridge is great – it’s cheap, it’s fast, and it keeps you full for absolutely ages. Perfect if you’re a poor student or intern, if you know it’ll be a while before lunch, or if you woke up and it’s raining (again) and you decide that spending the morning in PJs and watching YouTube is a perfectly acceptable alternative to going to the library and working on your dissertation. And if you’re not a militant porridge purist, there are plenty of ways to mix it up. Like this chai-infused number right here:
200 ml (1 cup minus 2 tbsp) milk
40 g (1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp) rolled oats
1 teabag (or 1 tsp loose-leaf) chai
1 tsp golden syrup (or honey)
A bit of cinnamon
A bit of nutmeg
Optional: Chopped walnuts & fruit
1. Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pot. Remove from heat, add tea and let steep for five minutes. Remove tea.
2. Add oats to the milk and bring to a boil. Stir the oats continuously over medium heat until the consistency is thick and creamy, about five minutes.
3. Stir in golden syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg. Top with chopped nuts and fruit if you feel like it.