Porridge Breakfast

I've settled on a new breakfast. For a while I was sort of lost on the breakfast front, after musli got boring and I didn't want to go back to the very expensive smoothies. I started buying regular cereal, but that was insufficiently nutritious on the fat and protein front, and pretty boring besides. I'm not sure what else I did. Probably had eggs a little more often than I should have, occasional toast and peanut butter, although I don't really like those things. Anyway, inspired by my dad and sister, I've come up with an awesome new breakfast: Porridge with Treats and Goodness!

Porridge with Treats and Goodness is my delicious answer to the nastiness that is oatmeal. God, I've always hated oatmeal. Cooked with milk it's gluey and just way too milky, cooked with water it tastes like grass. There's just nothing good about oatmeal. You have to be careful when making this porridge that it doesn't end up tasting like oatmeal. Here's how you make Porridge with Treats and Goodness.

Start with a multigrain hot cereal. The grains should be rolled, not cut, but not quick-cooking either. This is important because cut grains give a gluey texture and quick-cooking oats just turn to mush. I generally buy either Country Choice Multigrain Hot Cereal or Bob's Red Mill 5 Grain Rolled Cereal. These cereals both have fairly thick-rolled grains, which will provide the proper texture.

The next vital thing is to undercook the porridge. If you use the amount of water and cooking time recommended on the box, you will end up with mush. You don't want mush. Or, at least, *I* don't want mush. So.

Pour a generous half cup of of dry cereal into a bowl and add just under a third of a cup of water. The water should just be visible peaking up around the edges of the cereal, but certainly not be covering it. This way you ensure that the individual grains will still be discrete objects after cooking, and the whole dish with have a nice, chewy, non-gooey texture. Now it's time for the Treats and Goodness.

Before cooking, add

  1. about a third of a cup of frozen blueberries.

    If you don't have frozen fruit you can skip this step, but then you might should add a little more water. Cover the bowl with a saucer and microwave for two minutes. Once the porridge is cooked,
  2. add a handful of walnuts
  3. and one sliced banana

Feel free to replace or supplement the above with other fruits, nuts, seeds, etc. as you desire, but keep in mind that acidic fruit like strawberries1 will curdle the milk you're adding later. Not necessarily the end of the world, but you should be aware.

Over the above, drizzle
  1. a couple teaspoons, maybe a tablespoon, of extra virgin olive oil and
  2. an equal amount of maple syrup.

    Cover the whole kit & caboodle with
  3. a small amount of milk (maybe a third of a cup)
and mix with your spoon. It will be delicious.

1. Not actually berries. Strawberries are technically swollen receptacles.


Should I start doing weeks in review again?

I was first doing weeks in review in order to go over my school work. It was effectively a study tool. Now that I'm finished all the requirements for my B.Sc. (hey, did I mention I'm FINISHED ALL THE REQUIREMENTS FOR MY B. SC.?), and I'm sort of taking the summer off before starting grad school next year, I'm thinking maybe I should review my weeks in order to make sure I do *something* this summer.

My first week after a semester ends is always a wash, and this one was no exception. Monday was my last day of school. I wrote an exam, had an extremely unpleasant conversation with my supervisor, where I told him I was too burned out to work on a research project this summer, and then had a nice dinner out with my family to celebrate having finished all the requirements for my B. Sc. (did I mention that?). Tuesday through Friday I mostly slept. I did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, did a bit of shopping, and updated and re-jailbroke an old iPhone so I could install my new alarm clock on it, but I didn't get out of bed before noon once. It's been nice, but I'm starting to get bored. Next week is shaping up to be a little more exciting, but I'll tell you about it then. For now I have to pack, buy bus tickets, and mail off my NSERC acceptance form.


Since it was almost midnight, and I had nothing better to do...

I mean, the bed was stripped anyway, from when I was doing laundry earlier, and I did have to fold all the dry clothes that were piled on top of it. So I decided to do all the stuff I had been putting off because it would have involved stripping the bed. First we finished folding all the dry laundry and putting it away. Then I picked up all the dirty clothes off the bedroom floor and put them in the hamper. Oh look, it's full again.

Then we stood the mattress and box spring on their ends. This is more complicated than it sounds, because the mattress and box spring are together encased in a single allergen-barrier mattress cover, so they have to be moved as a single unit, but you can't use the cover as a handle because it will probably rip. So. Stood the mattress cover and box spring on end to get them out from under the ceiling fan. Then, while Dave held them so they wouldn't tip over, I set up the ladder in the middle of the bed frame (on the floor) and got an old shirt out of the rag pile. I tore pieces off the shirt and used them to remove the truly astonishing caterpillars of dust from the ceiling fan. I may have sneezed a couple times. Got rid of the dirty rags, folded up the ladder, vacuumed under the bed (since I was there), and prepared to put the mattress/box spring back on the frame. Again complicated, this time also because we wanted to make sure the slack in the mattress cover (it's a big mattress cover) didn't end up all trapped on the underside of the box spring. We needed it available so we can tuck sheets under the mattress. Anyway, we got the bed put back together and tucked the cover slack between the mattress and box spring. Then I vacuumed the top of the mattress to get rid of any bits of whatever it may have picked up in its travels. Then we put fitted sheet and top sheet on the bed, vacuumed the pillows and blanket and finished making the bed. To look around my bedroom, you would never guess two people just spent two hours cleaning in it: there's still crap everywhere and the rest of the floor is decidedly unvacuumed, but I'm going to sleep a little more comfortably now that I'm on clean sheets and not worrying that enormous, nasty, dust-worms are going to fall of the fan and rain down upon my head as I sleep.

So that's good.