Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Shiny New 2011 Breakfast

An area of my eating where I can be very, very dull is breakfast. For monnnnnnths now I've been tucking into a reliable mix of fancy Superquinn muesli, blueberries and Glenisk natural yogurt. It's speedy and minimal on the washing up front, though the muesli and the berries are pricey enough. At the weekend I like to retreat to my bed with maybe a bagel or a croissant, along with a pot of coffee and the paper, of course. When I'm on holidays I capitalise on the leisure time available to cook myself something tasty, and sometimes I choose to linger at home in the morning just long enough to try out something a little new and special. But my on-the-go weekday morning staple needs a little shaking up, and, to that end, my new brekkie-du-jour is to be porridge. Not plain old porridge, of course; there are as many ways to jazz up your simple bowl of stirabout as there are with pasta. I get at least one of my five-a-day in at breakfast time, so, rather than being all trendy and experimental and chucking some veggies in there, I generally go with fruit. After flicking through some books and website for inspiration, I set to work with my own little concoction. Some dried apricots and a dried berry soaked in orange juice the night before; I know that the benefits of prunes are innumerable, but to be honest I couldn't quite face up to them - they just reek of over-zealous early morning nutrition action to me.

When I got up the next morning the dried fruits had drunk all of that juice right up.

Because of this greediness, I added another glug of OJ to the pot on top of them, along with a cinnamon stick.

And very quickly the kitchen filled with the delicious scent of hot berries bubbling away in orange juice, steaming up into the air to scent up my morning in a zingy, citrusy way!

And of course the Flahavan's bubbled away in the pot beside it.

Maybe I need to review my portion sizes, but this did me nicely in the chilly January A.M. ...my huge porridge portion, topped with juicy berries, a good dollop of manuka honey to keep icky germy stuff at bay, and a handy seed mix (€1.50 at Superquinn).

I was prompted to choose porridge, by the way, because my dad brought me up a ginormous bag of Flahavan's a while ago - another of those culchie gifts that I'm oh so fond of. It was all we ate in my house for breakfast as kids. There wasn't a sniff of Cornflakes or Rice Krispies (my mam used to call them brown paper), and there was no entertaining any of that sugary (and, apparently, horrendously salty) muck like Coco Pops or Frosties. There were occasional forays into Weetabix eating, but porridge reigned supreme. I humped and grumped about it (and my dad even had to spoonfeed me my breakfast porridge until I was about four, I think, such were my protests) at the time, but I am so very, very glad and grateful that my parents stuck to their guns and went down this much more nutritious route, rather than acquiesce to my demands.

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