My Mum’s “Teacup Apricot and Honey Porridge” Recipe
for a Cold March Morning
Spring has ebbed away in a slither of ice and snow, and my daffodils and tulips are drooping under the weight of heavy white hoarfrost, whilst the garden birds look slightly shell-shocked as they grapple with ongoing nest-building in Arctic conditions – yes, winter has returned with a vengeance, and it’s time for wood fires, casseroles, soup and porridge once more. Today I awoke to the wind moaning and whistling through doors whilst madly waving branches of trees swayed in a brisk and ice laden breeze……or should I say a howling gale! The cat looked unimpressed, as the heating had been turned off last week, whilst we bathed in balmy sunshine and soaring temperatures, and she made her point by hunching up ON top of the Aga, letting last night’s heat soothe her temper as well as her bones. There was only one breakfast I had in mind to make for such a day, and that was a bowl of my mum’s fabulously creamy and fruity Teacup Apricot and Honey Porridge.
Porridge comes in many guises – there’s the real Scottish concoction of pinhead oatmeal made with salt, water and a spurtle to stir it; and then there’s the horrid (sorry!) instant stuff that come in individual packets, loaded with “flavourings” and looking like fine wood shavings. There’s wall paper glue style porridges, creamy syrup loaded bowls of naughtiness and then there is my mum’s fabulous apricot and honey porridge. Mum makes this for dad regularly as he loves it, and when we visit, it’s my breakfast to go if mum is making it as she is whizz with the honey and apricots. Mum tends to microwave hers now and has dispensed with the pan method, and she makes a HUGE amount of this unctuous stuff, so there are leftovers for a late supper or when hunger knocks at the door. It’s creamy and sweet with local organic honey, and chunky with plump chunks of apricots – in a word, it’s sublime.
It’s always been a mystery to me how a nosebag of oats (in the horse feed sense) when mixed with milk and honey can be so damn comforting and tasty…..and it’s not just the taste, but oats are incredibly healthy too, and are known the help with lowering high cholesterol as well as enhancing the immune system to fight off infections. They also stabilise blood sugar levels, lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, help ease asthma symptoms and protect against heart disease – a real SUPER food, as well as providing a brilliant breakfast of course. I often add oats to cake mixtures, stuffing, scones, crumble toppings and soups, as a healthy “padding” ingredient, and oatcakes are one of my favourite vehicles for transporting cheese to my mouth! My oatmeal of preference are jumbo oats, I am not a lover of the finer type of “instant porridge” oats, but will eat them if there are no other oats in the house……any port in a storm!
The only other proviso is that my porridge be served in suitably pretty and “user-friendly” crockery, such as the lovely Penzance “oatmeal” bowl by Churchill China as you can see in my photos…….you can read more about my involvement with Churchill China here: Mothering Sunday & a Posy of Daisies: Little Victoria Lemon Daisy Cakes Recipe. Note the beautiful large “Midi Elm” mug from the Penzance range too, a handy and essential mug to hold a substantial amount of tea, or milky coffee as is the case in these photos – all food and drink always tastes better when served on great china with style! The only other thing I would say is to try to use organic honey – local wherever possible and the SOFT semi-dried apricots, so that they cook with the oats and become plump and buxom when served. I hope you enjoy my mum’s lush porridge if you make it, and the recipe is shared below…….that’s all for today, see you soon, and try to stay warm! Karen