Friday, July 10, 2015

This Is How You Make Porridge Mr Bittman

"I have seen wicked men and fools,
very many of both,
and they both get paid in the end,
but the fools first." 
a post from a couple of years back...
In a quaint, old fashioned article in The New York Times Mark Bittman the food critic goes after that softest of soft targets McDonalds, for daring to include oatmeal in their restaurants. Basically he hates the ingredients in their oatmeal which include sugar and preservatives. (I may be wrong but I dont think he actually ate the stuff). He tells us that McDonalds should serve simple oats and water and he links to some lunatic who prepares his own instant oatmeal with coffee mate and dried cranberries. This is what New York Times readers like to hear. Boo! McDonalds is evil. Boo, boo, hiss. We're so much better than those scumbags we see eating in there. Yes, this article is very much preaching to the choir.
I do like Mark Bittman though, I've got a signed copy of one of his cookbooks and I've worked with his daughter Kate, but his critique of McDonalds is ironic and very much the pot calling the kettle black. His own recipe for oatmeal in How To Cook Everything is absurd (boil oats and water and add butter!) I've tried the Bittman way and it tastes terrible. I also read the first 75 comments (out of an amazing 550) under the Bittman article and no one provided a good oatmeal recipe. So how do you cook oatmeal? Read on, MacDuff...
1. First of all, its called porridge. Oatmeal is the stuff that you buy in a packet or a box or a can, but when its cooked its called porridge. Porridge, ok? I know the word is used in America because I've used it often and nobody has ever looked askance. 
2. Not oats and water. No, no, no. Never oats and water. This is it the secret to good porridge and its real simple: a mug of oats, a mug of water, a mug of full cream milk. Ok? Got that? Add to a pot, light the gas, lets move on. 
3. Cook on a low heat stirring all the time. If you're not prepared to do that then forget it. It's only going to take five minutes of your life and if you want you can listen to the radio or meditate or whatever. If you're in a real hurry put it on a higher heat and stir faster, but do not put that bowl of oats anywhere near a goddamn microwave!
4. Add a pinch of salt.
5. Stir until nice and thick.
6. Serve with your favourite sweetener (honey, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup) and/or cream to taste. 
7. No bananas, cranberries, nuts, butter or anything like that.
8. Leave on shelf to cool. Go for walk in woods. Leave front door open so local miscreant girl with blonde hair can enter, eat and cause mayhem.