In a digital world that fortunes the pretty and complex, sometimes the reset of preserving something a little familiar, simpler and humbler is the sigh of relief you need.
I actually consider it to be a privilege to belong to a generation that knew what it was like to have a part of their lives without the internet, because while it is quite possibly one of life’s greatest inventions, I also hold it accountable for the downward spiral of natural contentment.
Comparison is the route of all evil, and in a world where everything is so visually accessible, it’s easy to drown your own self-worth in lieu of something that looks to be a little prettier. What a shame.
Social media has made it so difficult to keep up with trends. These things go in cycles and very much like staring at the wheel of a bicycle in motion, it would be quite hard to pinpoint where one spoke started its journey and where one ended. That’s why I don’t bother with trends. Or bikes, for that matter.
That’s why I prefer simplicity. On my timeline and on my table. It’s a much-undervalued quality both in life and food, and in every aspect of its own definition, simplicity just makes everything a little bit easier.
This world is hard enough to wade through as it is, why complicate it in the areas that are benefitted from by remaining as stripped back as possible. When anything life is stripped down to its simplest essence, everything is easier to understand. More importantly, once simplicity is recognised, the room for embellishment if necessary is then much easier to manoeuvre.
Porridge has become unfashionable because let’s call it what it is – it’s a bowl of greyish slop.
It doesn’t taste as dowdy as it sounds though, and we know it. Oliver Twist knew it and there’s a lot to be said for why the poor sod dared to go back for me. With its puddingy hymn of repetition, singing us back to the cradle of comfort, it’s the humblest bowl you can have for breakfast – why should it masquerade as anything more?
But it’s aesthetic has rendered it unpopular in a world of beautiful things.
Breakfast bowls of rainbow painted ingredients have trumped the humble porridge and while I will offer them a double tap on occasion, I can quite honestly say that they will never replace a simple bowl of oats, vanilla, sugar, milk and a spoon.
This recipe is what I turn to when I just want something simple and sincere in a world of veils and veneers.
For the porridge:
50g porridge oats
350ml full fat milk
1 vanilla pod or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the bananas:
50g soft brown sugar
- On the hob, drop the oats into a saucepan and turn the heat up to medium. Stir the oats around on the heat until they begin to heat slightly, letting out a warm, nutty fragrance.
- Pour in the milk and stir.
- Split open the vanilla pod with a sharp knife and using the edge of the knife, scrape out the vanilla from the pod. Bang the knife on the edge of the saucepan so that the vanilla drops into the oats and milk. If you don’t have a vanilla pod, just use vanilla essence and don’t feel any type of way about it.
- Continuing a medium heat, stir the oats until they soak up the milk and create a thick but still soft consistency. You can leave to one side and add a little milk later if it gets too thick for your liking while it stands.
- For the bananas, still on a medium heat, drop the butter and sugar into a frying pan and heat until the butter and sugar start melting together to create a golden brown syrup
- While it creates a syrup, slice up the banana into small pound coin sized disks
- Once the syrup is bubbling, carefully place the banana slices into the syrup and cook for 3 minutes before carefully flipping over and cooking for a further 2 minutes
- Pour your porridge into some bowls and spoon the bananas on top. Make sure you get a rubber spatula or spoon right into the corners of the pan and scrape any residual caramel sauce over the bananas and porridge otherwise you’re wasting the good stuff.