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Favourite things – Part 1

My life rocks. Many facets of it are awesome and beautiful and inspiring, but if I listed them all (a) you’d be overwhelmed and kill yourself in despair; and (b) we’d be here for weeks. So, in the interests of keeping things moving along, I’m going to post just a few things that are very awesome and do a lot to uphold the general fantastic-level average around here. You can embrace them too and, in that small way, emulate my awesomeness.

First up: oats. Yep, you read right. Rolled oats. Easily one of the most awesome staples in my pantry. Or stable. A staple in the stable. The basis of oatmeal cookies, porridge, muesli bars, ANZAC biscuits and toasted, untoasted or Bircher muesli. You can use them in baking, such as in 101 Cookbooks’ Oat Soda Bread or M’s awesome banana and date breakfast bread (AKA the BADASS loaf). Oats are the total bomb: you can use them to make beer, they’re good for horses, and you can grind them into DIY skin cleansers if you’re so inclined. They’re a vegan source of protein, they’re high in fibre and they (reputedly) lower cholesterol; they’re recommended if you’ve got heart disease, diabetes (or pre-diabetes), tummy problems of almost any kind, the grumps, a case of Old, sore teeth, or just, y’know, whenever. You got problems? Oats’ll fix ya. (Unless you have gluten intolerance or Coeliac disease.)

This from Wikipedia: “Samuel Johnson referred, disparagingly, to this in his dictionary definition for oats: ‘A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.’ His biographer, James Boswell, noted that Lord Elibank was said by Sir Walter Scott to have retorted, ‘Yes, and where else will you see such horses and such men?'” I love that. (Also: mysteriously, inspirational quotes regarding oats are hard to find, apart from encouragement to sow one’s wild oats, which, while probably good exercise, seems ecologically inadvisable.)

My highland oaty-oaty-oaty-oaty-oats

(Plus you get bonus points if the right song lyrics are now stuck in your head. Also there are points.)

You can (and I do) have oats so many ways, but I’m going to focus on my favourite: I love porridge. A bowl of porridge makes me all dopey-happy-warm. There’s nostalgia in there — my Nan or Mum making me rolled oats with brown sugar, or times I’ve been sick and a bowl of porridge made me feel settled and snoozy — but it’s mostly plain old delicious oat hunger. Oat lust, if you like.

I’m a little bit fuzzy if there’s a significant difference between oatmeal and porridge: my hunch is that porridge, using whole instead of ground oats, is chunkier or chewier, but I don’t think I’m basing that on any real evidence beyond the word “meal” in “oatmeal”. WAIT! I looked on Wikipedia: no difference. We all make it on rolled oats: the end product just gets different names. Aw. Let’s all hold hands and then eat porridge or oatmeal! How do you like it? I like mine with fruit, fresh or dried, and soy milk (lactose intolerant 4 life). Usually: shredded apple and chopped dates. Perfect balance of juicy and sweet. See also:

Pomegranate and cinnamon

Not as great as you’d think: the pomegranate flavour didn’t really go anywhere. Cinnamon was good, though.



Sliced pear and glace ginger

Oh YES oh BABY YES. Do it do it do it. Delicious beyond compare: make sure you use glace ginger, not fresh or powdered.

Jam, honey, Nutella, nuts, fruit, dried fruit, brown sugar — there’s not much you can’t put in porridge. And that’s just one more reason why it’s great. Go and eat some oats and pray that this, in some small way, makes your life as awesome as mine. It won’t, but you can pray all the same.

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