Saturday, 16 January 2010
Lust of the Flesh #4
Each morning, on Skye, my great-great Grandfather (and probably several Greats before him) ate half a teacup of coarse oatmeal for his breakfast. Boiling water was poured over the oats and the saucer laid on top of the cup for a few minutes to let the oatmeal steep. Then, whilst the oatmeal was still far from cooked, it would be eaten with a pinch of salt. My Demon Aunt (she of the famous Malteser Biscuits: Take seventeen family bags of Maltesers, crush them, add ten bars of melted chocolate, 2lbs of melted butter and a few biscuit crumbs, press into a tin, cover in more melted chocolate and decorate with Maltesers) said that the uncooked oatmeal would continue to swell in the stomach and kept Grandfather full all day.
So, there is a genetic connection for porridge being a Lust of the Flesh, but it is more than that. Other more fashionable breakfasts might have their moment in the morning sun - sliced banana and Greek yoghurt, Bircher Muesli, smoked salmon bagels - but nothing beats the silkiness of porridge, the almost jelly-like quality as it forms an island in a sea of milk or cream. Demerara sugar melts across its surface in golden puddles. It slips from the spoon, slides down my throat ... a hard-to-beat combination of a saintly good-start-to-the-day and sinful sensuality.
N.B. Never cover a lover in porridge - it's a bugger when it sets.