We’ve been experiencing a lot of snow lately. It’s not that unusual, really — it’s February, and we live in Maine. I should, after nearly 32 years in this state (and on this planet) be used to it by now, but it still surprises me how dreary it can be at times. It also surprises me, however, how beautiful it can be at times, but by this point in the winter I am generally itching to see green things and dig my fingers into earth — especially since I took up gardening last year.
A snowstorm the night before can leave the world feeling cozy, blanketed by soft white down, but since Ian typically walks to work, I like to try to send him off with something hot in his stomach — other than his coffee. That’s why lately I’ve taken to making porridge. Usually oatmeal, frankly, but for some reason the word porridge sounds more encompassing, somehow, of the little things I throw in to make it a little more interesting.
This is “Maine Morning” porridge not only because I made it for a chilly, snow-blanketed morning, but also because the things it contains — maple syrup, Macintosh apples, and dried blueberries and cranberries — are things that typically say “Maine” to me, in any context. All together, in a bowl of hot oats meant to steel Ian for a walk to work through a typical Maine winter morning, it’s all the more apt.
Hearty Maine Morning Porridge
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- maple syrup (to taste)
In a sauce pan on the stove, add one apple, water, cinnamon stick and oats. Cook about five minutes, until apple is softened and oats are cooked. Add dried fruit and second apple, stirring well, and cook until dried fruit begins to plump slightly. (Add more liquid as necessary; a little milk or cream at this stage will make the porridge creamier in texture.) Remove cinnamon stick; serve with maple syrup.