Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Velvet porridge

I took a trip down Memory Lane with this velvet porridge. This was my favourite when i was little. I used to ask my mom to make it for me because i didn't know how to make it myself. This was actually the first time i tried, but it was pretty good.

Velvet porridge is a strange porridge because it doesn't contain any grains or seeds. Here's what you need:

Velvet Porridge (serves 2)

A big knob of butter (about 40 g)
2 tbsp wheat flour
3 dl milk
1 egg
Pinch of salt

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour. Add the milk little by little, whisking in between. Throw in the salt. Let it cook for a few minutes until it gets thick, whisking every now and then. Take it off the heat and add the egg, immediately whisking it into the mix. Eat with some sugar on top, or fresh berries. We had it with some fresh plums, picked from the neighbour's tree (with permission).

I picked quite a lot of the plums. See what else i made, on my personal blog (in swedish).

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Baby's first porridge

Cliché of the day: Time flies when you're having fun. Well it flies whether you're having fun or not, but mostly we've had fun. What am I talking about?

Baby Erika turned 6 months already. I don't know how it works in other places but in Finland you go for monthly check ups the first 6 months. And now that it was time again, the nurse told us that now that Baby Erika has started tasting vegetable purees the last few weeks, it would be a good time to start with morning and evening porridge as well. I told her i have a porridge blog and this would definitely get to be a blog post. She commented that it's actually a very good idea because she's always surprised by how many phone calls she gets about how to cook food, porridge included, for babies and toddlers. People who have never cooked are suddenly expected to make healthy, nutricious, home cooked, versatile food for their children.

So here is what i know: Depending on how old your baby is when you start with porridge, you might want to begin with something really mild, like rice porridge. Don't confuse this with the delicious creamy christmas porridge that you make with rice grains. These are rice flakes that make a really soft baby friendly porridge. You can find it on the shelves with baby food, don't go looking where the normal grains are. This is because no one but babies would eat this since it is essentially tasteless.

Since Erika is already over 6 months i decided to start with oatmeal. That's what we had at home anyway. Here you can use the normal kind, it doesn't have to be special baby oatmeal although I'm sure you can find that on the baby food shelves as well. What i did first was to put a couple of deciliters of normal wholegrain oats in the mixer and mix it to almost flour. For the first portions i made the porridge only from the crushed grains and after making that for a few days i started mixing in some normal grains as well. When these crushed grains have all been used up i think she will be ok with only the normal grains from then on. She seems to be more particular on the amount of fluid in the porridge anyway than the consistency of the grains. She likes her porridge quite thin, this girl.

Normal oats in the big jar and a mix of crushed and normal oats in the small one. This way i don't have to take out the mixer everytime i make porridge for the baby.

Baby's first (ever) porridge
serves 1 baby, with lots left over to massage into baby's face and hair, baby chair, bib, baby's clothes, mom's clothes and whatever else you can find close by.

1 tbsp crushed wholegrain oatmeal grains
3 tbsp water (can be substituted with breast milk or formula)

Mix together in a microwave safe bowl and cook at 600W for under a minute. Keep your eyes on it, it boils over really fast. I usually put it back in and bring to a boil one more time before i take it out to cool. Be sure to let it cool enough, i bet you will not get more than one spoonful in if the porridge is too hot. Good luck!

Here we go! She ate about a third of what's in the bowl. Quite a lot that is :)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

End of Summer - Start of Something New

It's popular to lament the end of summer, and I feel it too - there's something easy about summer, things seem less serious. But to me there's always something appealing with the start of fall. The air is fresh, the evenings get cosy and you can wrap yourself up in blankets and watch the rain falling outside. Or you can be outside and get rained upon, sometimes that really works. And, (bet you couldn't see this one coming) fall is the perfect season for porridge. Hearty, warming and full of taste. So welcome back after a long hot summer! We will be trying lots of new recipes and researching traditional ones. This season we're also hoping to check out some porridge recipes from different cultures and Linn-Sofie will be coming up with easy and healthy solutions for families with kids and precious little time and free hands. This sounds like a grand plan that will probably end up being a mix of everything in a more or less sensible order. Oh! And we're also bringing in some guest writers! If you have a great recipe that you want to share let us know!

R and I celebrated the last days of summer holidays with a trip down to Snohomish, a sweet little town outside Seattle that specializes in antique stores. We tried very hard to distinguish just old stuff from very awesome design features and useful retro but I'm still not quite sure what kind we ended up bringing home... The picture above is from lunch found at the First and Union Kitchen. Pretty basic but well made from scratch and not too heavy on milk. The oatmeal was served with dried cranberries and brown sugar, accompanied by some fresh fruit and jam on toast. Their pancakes are great too..