In the Kitchen: Porridge

See? I wasn't kidding about the basic food part. I am a fan of breakfast. Breakfast is a Very Big Deal. I've got a wonky insulin/blood sugar system, and if I don't eat a lot of food first thing in the morning, well . . . it's not pretty.

So, I eat maybe, I dunno, half? my day's calories at breakfast. Nuthin' I like better than two over medium, corned beef hash, hash browns with jalapenos, some toast. A little tea. (And if there were someplace nearby to get such a vision of bliss, I'd probably go there at least once a week, screw the expense. Sadly, the nearest good diner is 40 miles away, soooo........)

Anyway, one of my favorite breakfast (and even lunch) foods is porridge, especially like this one from Culinate. ("Porridge," by the way, is a high-falutin' way of saying "hot cereal.")

This is seriously good eats. It's also relatively inexpensive: assuming you buy the grains from the bulk section of your local "health" food store, they'll cost you about five, six dollars, and you'll get 12-15 servings, so it's great value. (And a helluva lot less expensive than those boxed whole-grain cereals, like Arrowhead.)

I've made it many times, and here's my advice:

1. It definitely needs salt (which the original recipe does not call for.) I'd say a good tablespoon or so.

2. Feel free to fiddle with the mix of grains. I love millet, so I usually add that.

3. Make sure to mix the salt and cinnamon into the grains before adding the water.

4. I don't own a slow cooker (I'm not even sure what that is), so I just put everything in a big pot, add the water, put it on the stove, turn the heat to "1" (with 9 being high flame and 1 being low), and set a timer for two hours. Do check it after a couple of hours! It may already be done. (Mine usually takes about two to three hours.)

5. If you feel the grains are cooked, but there's still water, don't worry. The grains will continue to absorb water even after you've turned off the heat. So if you like "runny" porridge, don't let all the water cook away!

6. This makes a lot of porridge: maybe 12-15 servings (depend on the size of your appetite). I can't eat all of it before it starts fermenting, so I just portion it out into containers and stick it in the fridge.