Thursday 6 February 2014

Thermos overnight porridge

So I've been following and feeling inspired by the wonderful Girl Called Jack blog lately. She's done a few posts about porridge and other oat based breakfasts. Big'Un has been using her Berry Bircher (Starbucks-alike) pot recipe for a few months for her early morning starts. She makes enough for 2 days at a time in the evening and it is all soaked, creamy and plumptious by the morning. 
Papa has a couple of 5am starts a week, and he has been taking those "just add boiling water" instant porridge pots, but the cost of those quickly adds up, even if we buy them on offer! 
I looked into slow cooker porridge but it seemed to be very fraught, so I carried on searching. Then I saw a couple of very interesting posts from the lovely Jack about instant porridge and so we decided to give her method involving milk powder and oats and the kettle a go. However this seemed very heavy when made with ordinary oats, (and I didn't want to use more processed quick oats) and Papa felt very uncomfy after this. We also tried the microwave version but it also wasn't quite right. I looked again at more slow cooker methods, and even found there are multicooker machines which will cook porridge on a timer, ready for the morning. Yes, I know both hob top or microwave porridge don't take long to make, but they do take a while to cool down, and that is a problem unless we start getting up yet another half hour earlier.
Eventually, I found a few posts discussing thermos cooking. I was intrigued. I gave it a go.
Wow I'm so glad I did!!  Here's how:

So first we made the Girl Called Jack oat/milk powder mix and stored it in a cereal container. Papa had added ground ginger and lemon sugar to flavour his. 
I then boiled a kettle and preheated a proper metal thermos flask. Then I refilled the kettle and boiled it again. Once the kettle came to the boil again, I emptied the flask out (into the washing up bowl, so as not to waste it) and using a jam funnel, I put in one mugful of the oats mixture. I then quickly added 3 mugsful of the fresh boiling water. I sealed up the flask, shook it around, and then left it on its side overnight.
The next morning we had gorgeously creamy, smooth, cooked, warm porridge!! The perfect consistency and the perfect temperature. There was at least enough there for 4 people, in a 1.5 ltr flask. We had to mix it up as there was thin liquid on top and stodgy lumps at the bottom, but it evened out. That was a huge food flask, so I'm trying it again with a standard 1ltr drinks thermos. I will report back on how it works out. 
Seriously, try it! You will love it!! You could try adding cocoa to the mix for a change, the flavours you could add are endless.