Saturday, 21 June 2014

Porridge by the sea

The big Finnish Midsummer holiday is here. The holiday when the whole Finnish population moves out to their summer homes to celebrate the time of the midnight sun. For us this means a long awaited reunion out on a little island where our family has a selection of haphazardly arranged little wooden cottages, complete with a wood warmed sauna, outside privies and only cold running water. All four generations in the same place. And here we are, the porridge sisters together at last.

One legend that is part of the midsummer celebration is for young unmarried women to collect seven different flowers and put them under their pillow when they go to sleep. If this is done on Midsummer's Eve then you will dream about the man you will marry. Since we are neither very young nor unmarried, we decided to honor the tradition in a different way. Here is the recipe for our

Midsummer seven grain porridge (serves 4)

3 dl grains (oats, rye, linseed, wheat, buckwheat, millet, barley)
6 dl milk or water or mix of both
pinch of salt
fresh blueberries and wild strawberries

Serving suggestion: by the sea

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Porridge elsewhere on the web!

"Traditionally the English enjoyed their porridge with milk, buttermilk, butter and salt. In Scotland, they preferred butter, cream or beef broo' (the skimmings of beef fat from the cooking pot). In Asia, rice porridge (congee) is still eaten with a base of rice cooked in chicken stock and topped with lean pork, pig's liver and raw egg yolks." A. Forge

Found this great article by dietitian and columnist Arabella Forge. It covers lots of basic cooking and soaking tips about porridge, has a couple of great-looking recipes and is a short and easy read. 

Rolled Rye (front), Spelt (back) and Buckwheat (right)
Photo: Simon Schluter

Spelt, Rye and Cinnamon Porridge with a Pear and Prune Compote
Photo: Simon Schluter
"The preparation of grains prior to cooking can make a huge difference to their taste and flavour. Pre-soaking grains shortens cooking time and improves the creamy texture of the grain. It also makes the grains easier to digest and helps the body absorb nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals." A. Forge

"While there are plenty of “quick” porridge mixes available in the shops these days, porridge is best when it's cooked slowly, with lots of stirring. Adding the right amount of liquid is also essential to ensure the porridge is not fibrous or gluey. A good rule is to add a little water at a time and continue to stir. A generous-sized, sturdy wooden spoon is essential.A. Forge

Have a look at the article here , and if you want a detailed basic recipe for great-tasting rolled-oats porridge, look no further than to the very first post on this blog!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Overnight Slow Food Barley Porridge

I wrote about barley porridge in the oven on the blog before. I've now tried a new way of making the same thing. Even easier. You just put the porridge in the oven overnight. In the morning you wake up to the smell of delicious barley, just take out a bowl and breakfast is served.

Overnight barley porridge serves 4

2 dl whole barley grains (preferably wholegrain)
1,1 L milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
a couple knobs of butter

Heat the oven to 100°C. Put all the ingredients in an ovensafe dish. Leave the porridge in the oven overnight (8 hours). Eat with a little cinnamon and sugar and some milk. Or with fresh berries, yum.