A few months ago I found myself drawn to the artisan section of a local supermarket. It was but mere moments that this beautiful buttery yellow package caught my eye. I must make a confession and say that I absolutely and utterly hate porridge. I have done so since I was a child when I was faced with a bowl of frog spawn like gloop each morning before school. My father always told me that it would taste so much better with a spoon of sugar in it and each morning I would create an island in my bowl and watch it sink slowly into the milky mess. Sadly though, no matter what additions I made to my porridge, there was never any improvement that I could make to the texture. Sitting across from me at the table was my brother who scraped his teeth against the spoon with every mouthful as though it would somehow burn or wound his lips if he touched them against it. Time and time again he did it and more and more tenser my mother became. I would look over then to see him lift his bowl routinely because he was convinced that my mother had somehow rigged the table so that a tube coming from below and into his bowl, would replace every painful morsel that he swallowed. When he could take no more, he then resorted to flattening and shifting the porridge around the bowl to make it look like he'd eaten more than he actually had. This never fooled my mother though. We sat there glumly staring at our bowls and wishing it would disappear until the moment came when my mother could take no more and sent us off to school.
This memory of horrible textures, flavours and atmosphere at the breakfast table has probably turned me off porridge for life. Strangely though my kids love the stuff and ask me to make it the next day for them as they head off to their beds. I really struggle with the smell of it even now when I cook it despite trying many different varieties for my kids. I'm delighted though that they love to eat it so much because I can feel like a real Supermum sending my kids off to school with a really healthy, hot breakfast every day.
This all leaves me looking always for new and different ways to eat my oats. No I do really love granola and my Oatie biscuits but these are too high in sugar for me to eat for breakfast every day. God know that I need to loose enough weight as it is. So when I saw this cute little package in the shop it just called out to me to bring it home and try it out. When I make pancakes I always try to make my blueberry syrup to drizzle over the top. This is not just totally scrumscious but it is also a great way to get my kids to eat blueberries. I simply just don't understand why or even how kids of mine don't have the passion of fruit as I do. They are natures sweets and perfect in every way. Mysterious!!
There is a recipe for the pancakes on the packet but it only makes 5 and involves weighing out ingredients, which is something that I'm not going to be doing first thing in the morning plus I wanted mine to be a little lighter and fluffier so I added in some self raising flour. If you can't get self raising flour then just use plain flour and use 3 slightly heaped teaspoons of baking powder. So here is my version.....
PS If you cant get this flour don't worry because I saw somewhere before (sorry can't remember where) that you can just give some porridge oats a blitz in the blender until fine.
- Before starting out with the batter, put the syrup on to bubble away and thicken. Just rinse the blueberries and pop them into the pot with the maple syrup. Cook it slowly over quite a small flame. It will become beautiful and glossy with little balls of berries ready to pop in your mouth. Yum!!
- Put all of the dry ingredients into a bowl, stir and leave a well in the centre.
- Measure out all of the wet ingredients, including the vanilla paste, in a jug and whisk together quickly.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients until it it forms a silky smooth batter. It should not be so thick as to stay in form when it's put into the pan but it also should not be so runny as to be perfect for crepes.
- Rub a little oil over the pan with a piece of kitchen paper and heat the pan until quite hot. On the packet it says that no more oil is required after the first application but I do find that wiping it with the oiled paper every few batches of pancakes does help if you haven't got the best pan like me.
- Using an ice-cream scoop dollop the batter onto the pan in batches of three or four.
- When bubbles form on the top of the pancakes, flip them over and fry for another minute until golden brown.
- As oats always do, the flour will soak up more liquid the longer it sits stoveside so just add in extra milk in small amounts. Don't add too much at once or the batter will be too runny.
- Serve with the syrup spilling all over it and down the sides.
- Enjoy greedily and you're set up for the day!!