I’ve always liked the seasons to be distinct. I want my winters snowy and ice-cold, and my summers bright and balmy. I’m not averse to a cold slice of sunshine on a winter’s morning, provided it shines through windows thick with frost, and I don’t mind rain, as long as it isn’t between the months of May and October. It’s the only form of OCD I suffer from.
However, I live in a place where weather is erratic, unpredictable, and refuses to conform to the pattern of seasons; I have known heat-waves in March and snow in April.
As such, the type of food I want to eat changes just as rapidly. Salad becomes stew and ice cream becomes crumble as fast as dresses become jumpers. But I can maintain a link with the changing seasons through the fruit and vegetables I use. By merging the fresh produce of late summer with the warming spices of early autumn, this is comforting enough for a cold wet September day like today, whilst still preserving a small slice of late summer sunshine — if only in taste.
N.B.: Any respectable recipe will tell you to cook porridge slowly on the hob, as that is undoubtedly the best way to do it. However, I’d be lying if I said that’s how I cook my porridge — I prefer 2 minutes in the microwave and no pan to wash up. I have therefore not given any method; I’ll let you decide how to cook it. Mix all the ingredients together to start with and cook as desired.
- 1 cup oats
- 2 cups milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
- 2 handfuls of chopped stone fruits — e.g. 4 apricots/2 peaches or plums or nectarines/ 10 cherries/ or a combination of all — plus a little extra to garnish if desired
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tbsp honey (optional)
- Serving suggestion: reserved fruit/almond butter/Greek yogurt/honey/chopped nuts