invigorating

I’ve been playing with my spirograph (did I just date myself here? They’re awesome.), watercolour and gouache. I could certainly get used to spending my afternoons at my coffee-table studio with the rabbits snuggled up beside me (or quietly removing the side of a bag of flour in the kitchen… ahem, Zephyr…).

Spring here is at that delightful indecisive stage where an enthusiastic breeze roars into a bright day, the sky darkens and breaks into rain showers (and that weird tension that you didn’t realize was building gives way to relief). Then, still pouring rain, the clouds break and the brightness is blinding even seen through somewhat dusty windows (stand on the porch and take this in). I seem be geekily enthusiastic in welcoming all kinds of weather, but spring weather is invigorating.

Last night after sweet Seven’s 3 am check-in, I lay awake thinking about fermented porridge until I got up to start some for the morning. I’ve mentioned this breakfast before, it’s one of my favorites. It doesn’t hold a candle to my friend Kyrie’s frittata or her eggs benny, but it’s exactly the kind of wholesome simplicity I look for in a weekday breakfast, heartier and more flavorful than regular oats or unsoaked steel-cut oats, with the added benefit of a fairly speedy cooking time.

photo 2-1 a b

Night-fermented Steel-cut Oats
Adapted from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions
1/3 cup steel cut oats
1 spoonful (closer to a tbsp than a tsp) plain, happy-cow, probiotic yogourt
1/3 cup water (you can also use liquid poured off of the yogourt, which will leave you with thicker yogourt – yum!)
Stir ingredients loosely together in a smallish bowl, then let it sit overnight on the counter (you can cover it with a plate or cloth, or tuck it in the cupboard if you like).
In the morning, bring to a boil:
1/3 cup water
Add fermented grain and simmer until it comes together and oats soften (try a little to check, they will be more toothsome than rolled oats), maybe about 10 minutes.
I like to serve this with a pinch of salt, a knob of butter, about a teaspoon maca powder, and a sprinkling of cacao nibs and hemp hearts. It’s also very tasty with heavy cream and maple syrup, or topped with granola and milk. If you have stewed rhubarb, don’t hesitate to add it.
Some days an impromptu coffee date interrupts my intention to make this in the morning and the soaker fares perfectly well sitting out until the following morning, in fact it might even be improved. (Insert Pease Porridge rhyme…)

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4 thoughts on “invigorating

  1. Spirograph!!!! I have been thinking about this lately (a toy from my childhood that is long gone) and about how awesome and clever it was. I spent hours with it as a child but I could not for the life of me remember what it was called – thank you for writing about it today! As for the recipe, how creative – is there anything that can’t be fermented?

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    1. Yes! I’d love to find my childhood spirograph. I have one that I bought a few years ago in great excitement (so they do still make them). I agree about the fermentation (though haven’t tried fermenting all that many things just yet), and grains in particular seem to really benefit from the enzymatic activity.

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